UW Symphony

  • Cello player close-up

David Alexander Rahbee leads the UW Symphony in an end-of-quarter performance. Program includes music by Marianne Martinez, Igor Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, and Ludwig van Beethoven. 

Program

University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
David Alexander Rahbee, Daren Weissfisch, conductors


Sinfonia in C major…………………………
Marianna Martines (1744-1812)

I. Allegro con spirito
II. Andante ma non troppo
III. Allegro spiritoso

Apollon musagète…………………………….… Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

  • First tableau

    • Prologue: The Birth of Apollo
  • Second tableau
    • Variation of Apollo
    • Pas d’action (Apollo and the Three Muses)
    • Variation of Calliope (the Alexandrine)
    • Variation of Polyhymnia
    • Variation of Terpsichore
    • Second Variation of Apollo
    • Pas de deux
    • Coda
    • Apotheosis

Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus..… Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Daren Weissfisch, conductor

Symphony No. 1, in C major, op.21…………….. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio
II. Andante cantabile con moto
III. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace

IV. Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace


Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus, and patrons must show proof of vaccination or recent (within 72 hours of the performance) negative COVID-19 test for entry to live events at Meany Hall. Enhanced sanitation measures and touchless ticketing are among other safety measures in effect for 2021-22. Details of these policies and procedures are at: https://artsevents.washington.edu/covid-protocols 


Program Notes

Martines, Marianna: Sinfonia in C major
Marianne Martinez (or von Martines) was a unique figure in 18th century Austria. Highly regarded for her choral works and piano concerti, her only symphony - Sinfonia in C major, embodies the light and airy Viennese style that was the aesthetic standard of classical music during that time. A virtuosic player since childhood, she composed numerous arias and performed her own vocal and harpsichord music. She was often a favorite piano four-hands partner with Mozart, and her portrait is still on the wall of Haydn’s home in Vienna today. Martinez’ gender and her existence in 18th century Europe caused much of her music to be forgotten about. However, a resurgence of her music is being enjoyed today.

Stravinsky: Apollon Musagète [1947 version]
Sergei Diaghilev, art critic and founder of the Ballets Russes called this work “music not of this world, but from somewhere else above, frozen in time.” Stravinsky had incredible freedom when composing this work, with the only stipulation by American patron of the arts Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge being that it was shorter than half an hour run time and required six or fewer dancers for a festival of contemporary music in Washington, D.C. He settled on the story of Apollo, leader of the muses as his inspiration. Although the plot centers on Greek antiquity, Stravinsky folds in his own Russian influence from earlier works and combines neoclassicism and modernism of the 1920s into the work.

Vaughan Williams: Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus" 
This short work for string orchestra and harp is based upon the English folk melody “Dives and Lazarus” which he previously used in his incredibly popular “English Folk Song Suite”. Originally commissioned for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, the work was inspired by Vaughan Williams’ fascination with newly discovered melodies – in this case one referencing the biblical story of the rich man and the beggar. This composition is known for its expansive harmonies and sweeping melodies among the orchestral sections.

Beethoven: Symphony No.1, op.21, C major
Beethoven’s first symphony shows his reverence to his teacher, Joseph Haydn, but also marks his unique character that would come to the fore later in his career. Premiered in Vienna in honor of one of his earliest benefactors, Baron Gottfried Van Swieten, this work takes the symphonic form Haydn and Mozart mastered and transitions it through Beethoven’s own artistic lens to create music that is joyous and intense. Although Beethoven followed many of the same symphonic composition rules already in place, he still found ways to cleverly introduce new ideas – such as starting his symphony with dissonance, which was a rarity in the form until that point. Woodwinds also take a prominent, independent harmonic role in this work that Beethoven would continue to develop over his career. From the sonata form of the first movement, to the Spaziergang (leisurely stroll) of the second movement, and the third and fourth movements inspired by folk music, Beethoven would use this symphony – as he did with his other works – to push the boundaries of his time and open the door to new expressive possibilities for the next generation of composers.

 Program Notes by Kieran Matz



CONDUCTOR BIOS

David Alexander Rahbee

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.

Graduate Student Daren Weissfisch

Daren Weissfisch has conducted professional and student ensembles in the United States, Mexico and Europe for over a decade. From 2013 until 2019 he was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca Sinaloa, which is an El Sistema based youth orchestra and choir in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Daren was guest conductor for the Festival Sinfónico Noroeste in 2018 and 2016 as well as the assistant director for the 2016 production of Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo and Juliet, under Sinaloense conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda. The same year he collaborated with French guitarist Jean Bruno Dautaner to record the contemporary guitar concerto Tres en Raya by Spanish composer Antonio Ruíz Pipó under the AdLib MusicMX record label. In 2017 Daren conducted the Sinaloa premier of Horizontes, a work by Mexican composer and Juilliard composition professor Samuel Zyman, with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes, and for the 2017 Sinaloa Cultural Festival and 2018 Chamber Music Series, Daren founded the ensemble Sinaloa Players which presented Stravinsky’s masterpiece Histoire du Soldat, with renowned Mexican choreographer Mauricio Nava and the Danza Joven Sinaloa contemporary dance ensemble.

Daren began his conducting studies in the United States with Glen Adist at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. He has studied with notable conductors including Edward Cumming of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Linus Lerner of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Donald Schleicher of the University of Illinois, Carlos Spierer of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City, Lior Shambadal of the Berliner Symphoniker, Charles Olivieri-Munroe of the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra and Gábor Hollerung of the Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok in Budapest, Hungary. He also spent two summers as a conductor at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School in Hancock, Maine studying with pedagogue and conductor of the Nittany Valley Symphony, Michael Jinbo. Daren is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington School of Music under the tutelage of David Alexander Rahbee.

Daren is also an oboist and was the second/assistant principal oboist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes from 2010-2019 as well as soloist playing oboe concertos by Mozart, Strauss and Bach. He is a substitute player in Seattle with the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Seattle.