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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Rocks!

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

January 2023

On Sunday, January 22, 2023, FCWC shook off the post-holiday blues and began the New Year by forging a new partnership with SUNY Purchase and enjoying an excellent concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. To begin the afternoon, we shared a fantastic cheese tray (contributed by Second Mouse Cheese Shop in Pleasantville) and prosecco (purchased at Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop in Rye Brook) while we socialized with SUNY staff and administrators, including Milly Pena, the President of SUNY Purchase,.

After an opportunity for the musicians to explain the music, answer questions and prepare the audience for the afternoon’s program, it was off to the concert itself. For those who haven’t been to the Performing Arts Center on campus, the acoustics are extraordinary – Orpheus recorded its latest album here! These Grammy-winning musicians, based in New York City, have worked together for over 50 years. It is known for its collaborative leadership style; for its entire history, the society has played without a conductor, managing to deliver complex music to great effect and success.

The program consisted of three pieces. First was a work, commissioned by Orpheus for its 50th anniversary, by a rising young composer, Hanna Benn, entitled View(Un)titled. Similar in theme to the last piece on the program (Pictures at an Exhibition), this new work was inspired by art at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City. The second piece, Prokoviev’s Sonata in F Minor the Violin, Strings and Percussion (Op. 80) as arranged by Andrei Pushkarev, featured the talented French violinist, Renaud Capucon. The piece just might be my favorite way to hear strings paired with a wide range of percussion instruments. The last piece, a new arrangement by Jannina Norpoth of the Mussorgsky classic, brought new drama to a familiar theme. The afternoon was an amazing presentation of virtuosity by the musicians on stage, individually and collectively. The concert was wonderful and enthusiastically received by the entire audience.

FCWC looks forward to building upon this successful collaboration with SUNY Purchase. We can learn from them: for example, the arts center has eliminated printed programs and instead is providing concert goers with a QR code to scan and access program information, a great way to go green. We hope that SUNY Purchase can benefit from our long-standing roots in the environmental community as they build their own sustainable future.

Our thanks to Ian Driver, Executive Director of the Performing Arts Center, for a warm embrace as we all seek new opportunities for future shared programs.

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