David Alexander Rahbee conducts the University of Washington Symphony in a program of music by Schumann, Ravel, Boulogne, and Haydn. With faculty violinist Rachel Lee Priday and guest violinist Dr. Quinton Morris (Seattle University)
Robert Schumann: Overture to Hermann & Dorothea, Op. 136
Maurice Ravel: Introduction & Allegro
Katelyn Campbell, flute; Megan Rideout Redeker, clarinet; Kelly Hou, harp
Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Symphonie Concertante, Op.13 in G Major
Rachel Lee Priday & Dr. Quinton Morris, violin soloists
Maurice Ravel: Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn
(Orchestrated by David A. Rahbee)
Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 82 in C major, L’ours; the Bear
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Orchestra Director's Welcome
We are thrilled to be returning to the stage for the first time in nearly 20 months! You may notice that we are not back to full capacity quite yet; we are in configurations smaller than usual. This has given us the opportunity to explore repertoire for smaller orchestra. I have designed tonight’s program to center around France. Robert Schumann’s name may not inspire thoughts of France, but the French connection will become obvious to the listener at the start. We then have music of Maurice Ravel, undoubtedly one of the most iconic of French composers. Joseph Boulogne was one of the most famous composers of his time in France, and his music is now enjoying a well-deserved resurgence in popularity. Ravel’s Menuet on Joseph Haydn’s name, originally for piano and orchestrated by yours truly, starts the second half of the program. The program concludes with Haydn’s Symphony No. 82, one the six Paris Symphonies, written for Boulogne’s orchestra, and premiered by Boulogne as concertmaster.
-David A. Rahbee, Director, University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
by Kieran Matz
Schumann: Hermann und Dorothea, op. 136: Overture
Robert Schumann’s Hermann und Dorothea, op. 136: Overture (1851) was inspired by and based upon Goethe’s Idyl, an epic love poem describing rustic pastoral life in France of the same name. Schumann originally envisioned a full-scale opera. Uncertainty in Schumann’s professional life, revolutionary stirrings in Düsseldorf where he lived, and Napoleon’s 1851 coup d’état in France prevented him from focusing on anything other than the overture. Schumann seemed to compared this idyl to his personal story. The parents of his wife Clara did not agree to their marriage - just as Hermann’s did not agree to his marriage with Dorothea. In this idyl, the lovers Hermann and Dorothea flee from French Jacobin rebels during the 1796 Revolution. Schumann uses La Marseillaise to great effect to connect 1790s France to the current revolutions of his time. Listen for the French national anthem, and Schumann’s dedication to his wife Clara through a descending major pattern of notes - the same music Schumann had also used in other compositions to honor her. This overture remained unpublished until after the composer’s death.\
Ravel: Introduction & Allegro
Maurice Ravel wrote this piece for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet in 1905. It was commissioned by a French harp manufacturer to make use of a new style of harp. Tonight this work will be performed with string orchestra, as is done from time to time. Ravel often conducted this work. Some consider this work as a miniature concerto for harp, as it is a showpiece using the full range of this marvelous instrument. Listen for themes which are begun by the woodwinds before the strings carry them through, and for an expressive harp cadenza before a seemingly effortless finish.
Boulogne: Symphonie concertante, op.13, G major
Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was unlike any other composer of his time. Son of an enslaved woman who was married to a white plantation owner on the island of Guadeloupe, he used his education and prowess in the sport of fencing as an entré to French high society. Louis XV would eventually name him Chevalier de Saint-Georges as a teenager for his work in sport (fencing, riding, and running) as well as music. Boulogne later became concertmaster and music director of one of Europe’s best orchestras – Le Concert Olympique, where he composed numerous works, including ten symphonie concertantes. These works were immensely popular in Paris during Boulogne’s time, and many other composers, including Mozart (who was living in the same house with Boulogne at the time of this composition) who also capitalized on the popularity of these multi-soloist works.
Ravel: Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn (orchestrated by D. Rahbee)
Composed for the hundredth-year anniversary of Haydn’s death in 1909, Ravel’s Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn was his vision—one of six by Paris-area composers (including Debussy, D’Indy, Dukas, Hahn, and Widor) — commissioned to create works in Haydn’s memory based upon the letters of his name. Originally a work for solo piano, the theme for this 54-bar work has no connection to Haydn other than his name. Ravel realized Haydn’s name phonetically with the H being realized as B natural (H is German for B natural); the A and D are their respective pitches; Y is D natural; and N is G natural. Listen for this spelled out, rising melody throughout this minuet, as orchestrated by Dr. David Rahbee for this occasion.
Haydn: Symphony No.82, C major (L'ours; The Bear)
Haydn’s Symphony No. 82 is the first of six “Paris” symphonies that commissioned by the orchestra Joseph Boulogne was concert master of, Concert de la Loge Olympique, in 1786. However, this symphony would be the last of the six that Haydn completed. In the first movement you will hear fanfare figures in the winds, brass, and strings. In the second, some lyrical themes with dramatic contrasts and even a country dance. A very Haydnesque minuet and trio make up the third movement, and in the final movement, the drones and bass note figures were thought to impersonate the domesticated dancing bears. The symphony’s nickname L’ours or “the bear” first appeared on a piano transcription of this score in made in 1829, and does not come from the composer.
Dr. Quinton Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, chamber musician, educator, entrepreneur and filmmaker. He performs solo concerti/recitals and chamber music and presents lectures all over the world: the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Notable solo concerto performances are the Seattle, Thalia, Tacoma Youth, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra and South Suburban Symphonies, Orchestra Seattle and the Everett Philharmonic.
Dr. Morris presented sold-out recitals in the renowned Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall for three consecutive seasons. He debuted with soprano Indra Thomas and pianist Maimy Fong in January 2011. He presented his debut solo recital with pianist Dr. Erin Chung the following year and in 2014, Dr. Morris presented his third appearance with pianist Alastair Edmonstone and hornist David Jolley.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, Dr. Morris embarked on the “BREAKTHROUGH: The Quinton Morris World Tour”, which include recitals, concertos, public lectures on entrepreneurship and master classes and community outreach projects in 22 cities on 5 continents. This radically new type of concert experience included a self-produced short film-music video based on the life and music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges that was a major component of each performance. Governor Jay Inslee awarded Dr. Morris the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award for his success with BREAKTHROUGH and the film received first prize “Diamond Award” at the European Independent Film Award Festival in Paris, the bronze award at the Global Music Awards and was premiered at New York Film Week and Las Vegas Lift-Off Film Festivals.
The recipient of numerous awards including the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Award” for esteemed leaders and entrepreneurs in Seattle, Dr. Morris received Seattle University Alumni Association’s Outstanding Academic and Arts Faculty Award, the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, the Boston Conservatory Chamber Music Honors Competition, the Louisiana Junior Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist’s Concerto Competition. He received top honors and the “Distinguished” and “Audience Favorite” prizes at the Ibla International Recital Competition in Sicily, Italy in 2010.
Founder and artistic director of The Young Eight String Octet, Dr. Morris performed chamber music recitals across the country for eleven seasons. America’s only string octet was composed of distinguished string players that hailed from the nation’s most prestigious music schools and conservatories. The octet performed in New York City at York College’s Distinguished Artists Chamber Music Series, The Juilliard School, Music Mondays Chamber Music Series and a host of educational school residencies and appeared at several chamber music societies and series including the Jewel Box Chamber Music Series at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, the Young Artists Afternoon Concert Series at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, the Chamber Music Guild in Raleigh, University of Washington World Series and Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and the University of Texas at Austin. The Young Eight received honors for Seattle performances from the King County Executive Council and Seattle Weekly (Best New Chamber Music Group for 2005). In 2007, it celebrated its fifth anniversary with a national Black College Tour and hosted an Emerging Composers Competition for Young Composers. The Young Eight octet retired in 2012.
Dedicated to music education, Dr. Morris gives master classes to music students at some of the most respected music schools and institutions around the world, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Australia), National Normal Taiwan University (Taiwan), Monash University (Australia), the Universitie de Paris, Dong-eui University (Korea), Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), Bloemendal Youth Symphony Orchestra (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), the University of Pretoria (Johannesburg, South Africa), Nevada School of the Arts (Las Vegas) and Los Angeles Youth Philharmonic. His students have garnered top ratings at various music competitions and attend music festivals across the nation. Dr. Morris presented talks on artist entrepreneurship at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) national conference in New York and the TEDxSeattle Conference.
Since coming to Seattle University in 2007, Dr. Morris has successfully transformed a nascent Music Division into a community of artists that serves as a center for talented music faculty and students to grow, learn and foster their music education and talent. He wrote and designed the Bachelor of Music degree and curriculum, recruited music faculty and students and brought in professional musicians to provide guest artist performances and educational residencies. He serves as the Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music. He is the first music professor in over twenty-five years (and the second living African-American violinist in United States history) to receive tenure and promotion at Seattle University. He is the director of Key to Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching middle and high school violin students in South King County.
Dr. Morris began his studies at Xavier University of Louisiana, where he studied pre-law and was a private violin student of Rachel Jordan. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied violin and chamber music with Daniel Ching, first violinist of the Miró String Quartet. He also studied with Lynn Chang, Irina Muresanu and Aaron Rosand, and participated in Mr. Rosand’s Violin Intensive Program for Aspiring Soloists in New York.
Violinist RACHEL LEE PRIDAY (PRY-day) is a passionate and inquisitive explorer in all her musical ventures, in search of contemporary relevance when performing the standard violin repertoire, and in discovering and commissioning new works. Her wide-ranging repertoire and eclectic programming reflect a deep fascination with literary and cultural narratives.
Rachel Lee Priday has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras, including the Chicago, Saint Louis, Houston, Seattle, and National Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Pops, and the Berlin Staatskapelle. Recital appearances have brought her to eminent venues including the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Musée du Louvre, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and tours of South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Committed to new music, and making enriching community and global connections, Rachel takes a multidisciplinary approach to performing that lends itself to new commissions organically merging poetry, dance, drama, stimulating visuals and music. Recent seasons have seen a new Violin Sonata commissioned from Pulitzer Prize Finalist Christopher Cerrone and the premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s “The Orphic Moment” in an innovative staging that mixed poetry, drama, visuals, and music. Rachel has collaborated several times with Ballet San Jose, and was lead performer in “Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart” during a week-long theatrical concert with Ensemble for the Romantic Century at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Her work as soloist with the Asia America New Music Institute promoted new music relationships and cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, combining new music premieres and educational outreach in the US, China, Korea and Vietnam.
Rachel began her violin studies at the age of four in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, she moved to New York to study with iconic pedagogue Dorothy DeLay, and continued her studies at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division with Itzhak Perlman. Rachel holds a B.A. degree in English from Harvard University and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried. Since Fall 2019, she serves as Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Washington School of Music.
Recent and upcoming concerto engagements include the Pacific Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic, Stamford Symphony, and Bangor Symphony. Since making her orchestral debut at the Aspen Music Festival in 1997, she has performed with numerous orchestras across the country, such as the symphony orchestras of Colorado, Alabama, Knoxville, Rockford, and New York Youth Symphony. In Europe and in Asia, she has appeared at the Moritzburg Festival in Germany and with orchestras in Graz, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea, where she performed with the KBS Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic and Russian State Symphony Orchestra on tour.
Rachel has been profiled in The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, and The Strad. Her concerts have been broadcast on major media outlets in the U.S., Germany, Korea, South Africa, and Brazil, including a televised concert in Rio de Janeiro, numerous radio appearances on 98.7 WFMT Chicago radio, and American Public Media’s Performance Today. She been featured on the Disney Channel, “Fiddling for the Future” and “American Masters” on PBS, and the Grammy Awards.
Praised by the Chicago Tribune for her “irresistible panache,” Rachel Lee Priday enthralls audiences with her riveting stage presence and “rich, mellifluous sound.” The Baltimore Sun wrote, “It’s not just her technique, although clearly there’s nothing she can’t do on the fingerboard or with her bow. What’s most impressive is that she is an artist who can make the music sing… And though her tone is voluptuous and sexy where it counts, she concluded the ‘Intermezzo’ with such charm that her listeners responded with a collective chuckle of approval as she finished.”
She performs on a Nicolo Gagliano violin (Naples, 1760), double-purfled with fleurs-de-lis, named Alejandro.
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Chair of Orchestral Conducting. He is Music Director and Conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and founder of the UW Campus Philharmonia Orchestras. He is a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, a fellowship the Acanthes Centre in Paris (2007), and is first prize winner in conducting from The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts for 2020. His work at UW has earned national recognition. In 2021 he was praised by The American Prize as “Consistently one of the most courageous and comprehensive [orchestral] programmers working in higher education in the U.S. today…”
Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Guernsey Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, Grand Harmonie, the Boston New Music Initiative, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Kennett Symphony, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. His collaborations with the Seattle Symphony include assistant conductor for the performance and recording of Ives’ Fourth Symphony, and as guest conductor for their Native Lands project and the North American premiere of Páll Ragnar Pallson's Quake with faculty cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. He has collaborated with several prominent soloists such as Sarah Chang, Jon Kimura Parker, Yekwon Sunwoo, Glenn Dicterow and Jonathan Biss. He has been a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestra of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra. He has served on faculty of the Pierre Monteux School as Conducting Associate, has been resident conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival and guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Dr. Rahbee was an assistant at the Vienna State opera from 2002-2010. As part of his fellowship and residency at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, Dr. Rahbee was assistant conductor of the International Attergau Institute Orchestra, where he worked with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has been selected to actively participate in masterclasses with prominent conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors. From 1997-2001, David Rahbee was founder and conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Dr. Rahbeeʼs principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting. He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His brass arrangements are published by Warwick Music, and his articles on the music of Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others.
In addition to being awarded first prize in conducting from The American Prize for 2020, he was awarded 2nd place in 2019. He has also placed among winners for five consecutive years for The American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Orchestral Programming, recognizing his programming with the UW Symphony and its affiliated ensembles for every season since he joined the faculty. The UWSO has also been a finalist in the category of orchestral performance in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Dr. Rahbee is co-editor of Daniels’ Orchestral Music (6thedition) and Daniels’ Orchestral Music Online (DOMO), the gold standard among conductors, orchestral administrators, orchestra librarians as well as other music professionals and students researching for orchestral programming.