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Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Presents ‘Friends & Favorites’

For the Metro Wire

The CWSO continues its 70th season on Feb. 23 and 24 with “Friends & Favorites”.

Under the direction of Dr. Patrick Miles, the CWSO welcomes two guest artists and long-time friends of the orchestra; Susan Bender, soprano, and Michael Keller, piano. Susan Bender, professor of voice at UW-Stevens Point, will perform “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” by Samuel Barber, a poetic evocation from the perspective of a young boy on a warm, humid evening in the American South.

Michael Keller, Professor Emeritus of piano at UW-Stevens Point, will perform Gerald Finzi’s pastoral masterpiece, “Eclogue for Piano and Strings.” The concert will open with Carl Maria Von Weber’s “Overture to Der Freischutz, Op. 77”, a piece that defines the German romantic opera tradition.

The concert will conclude with “Firebird Suite”(1919 version) by Igor Stravinsky, originally a 50-minute ballet composed for the Ballets Russes company (under the direction of Sergei Diaghilev) in 1910, later revised into shorter orchestral suites. The story is about the blessing and curse of whoever possesses the firebird, based upon Russian fairy tales.

In addition to these works, the winner of 2018-19 “So You Think You Can Conduct” contest, Ellen Hilgendorf, will step on the podium to conduct the CWSO in a surprise offering.

The concerts will take place at Sentry Theater, 1800 Northpoint Drive, Stevens Point. Performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. Entertainment during intermission will be provided by students from the Wausau Conservatory of Music.

Tickets are available online at cwso.org/tickets, the CWSO office, located in the Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum, 800 Main Street, or at the door. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the CWSO office at 715-345-7726.

The CWSO, whose mission is to “enrich, engage, and educate through the power and performance of live music,” is affiliated with the College of Fine Art and Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the City of Stevens Point. The CWSO season is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Friends & Favorites” is sponsored by The Worth Company. Wisconsin Public Radio and WSAW are this season’s media sponsors.

For more information about the CWSO, call 715-345-7726 or visit www.cwso.org.