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UW Symphony 

  • The UW Symphony Orchestra

David Alexander Rahbee leads the University Symphony in a program of music by Klengel, Mahler, Pärt, and Schubert. With graduate student conductors Daren Weissfisch and Rylan Virnig.

Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus. Patrons must show proof of vaccination or recent negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test for entry to live events at Meany Hall. Individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including children under age five and people with a medical or religious exemption, must have proof of a negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 72 hours of the performance). UW staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative COVID PCR tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Proof of negative test result must come from a test provider, a laboratory or a health care provider. Home or self-administered tests will not be accepted. Details of these policies and procedures are at: 


Friday, February 4, 2022
Gerlich Theater, University of Washington Meany Hall

UW Symphony Orchestra
Rylan Virnig, Daren Weissfisch and David Alexander Rahbee, conductors

Hymnus for 12 cellos, Op. 57………………..……Julius Klengel (1859-1933)
Daren Weissfisch, conductor

What the Wildflowers Tell Me ……....Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), arr. Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten …………...…… Arvo Pärt (b 1935)
Rylan Virnig, conductor

Symphony in C major, D944 ….……………….. Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

  1. Andante – Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Andante con moto
  3. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
  4.  Allegro vivace

Program Notes

by Megan Rideout Redeker

Klengel: Hymnus for 12 celli, Op. 57 

At the age of fifteen, Julius Klengel was already a member of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Klengel was a prodigious cellist, and composed almost exclusively for his own instrument. He was also an incredibly gifted pianist, and could reportedly accompany his students on almost any work from memory. Klengel composed his Hymnus for 12 Celli in 1920 and performed it with some of his students as a gift for Arthur Nikisch, the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and Klengel’s dear friend. Two years later, Nikisch passed away. Klengel’s Hymnus was performed at his funeral, and then was not performed again for fifty years.

Mahler/Britten: What the Wild Flowers Tell Me

 During the summers of 1895 and 1896, Gustav Mahler was able to take a few months away from his position as principal conductor of the Hamburg Opera. Mahler spent these summers in a cabin in Steinbach am Attersee, writing his Third Symphony. In 1941, Benjamin Britten arranged the second movement of this symphony, What the Wildflowers Tell Me, for a smaller orchestra. Britten loved the music of Mahler, and felt that it should be more popular amongst orchestras and audiences. He thought that the smaller orchestration of this movement would make the work more accessible, and therefore more popular. While writing his Third Symphony, Mahler said that the second movement was “the most carefree thing that [he] had ever written–as carefree as only flowers are.” Britten’s arrangement remains faithful to the original, and the reduced orchestration does not detract from the beauty of the movement.

Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten

Arvo Pärt is an Estonian composer whose current works are primarily minimalist. His compositions are largely influenced by Gregorian chant and early European polyphonic music. Pärt is most known for the development of tintinnabuli, a compositional technique where one line arpeggiates the tonic triad and the other line moves in stepwise motion. One of Pärt’s earliest uses of this technique may be heard in his Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, which he dedicated to the composer after his death in 1976. Pärt greatly admired Britten’s music for its “unusual purity.” He had intended to meet the composer, but was unfortunately never able to. Cantus was written in canon form for string orchestra and bells, with the strings playing the A minor scale and arpeggiating an A minor chord, and the bells repeating an A. The piece has a sacred and haunting quality to it, and remains one of Pärt’s most popular and most performed compositions. 

Schubert: Symphony (No. 9), in C major, D.944 “The Great”

 Though his compositional career only lasted about twenty years, Franz Schubert wrote over 1,500 pieces of music. His Ninth Symphony is the last symphony he completed, though an incomplete Tenth Symphony was discovered among his belongings after his death. Schubert wrote two symphonies in C Major: Symphony No. 6 and Symphony No. 9. In order to differentiate between the two, the shorter Sixth Symphony is often called “The Little C Major,” and the much longer Ninth Symphony is called “The Great C Major.” Schubert finished his Ninth Symphony near the end of his life, by which time he was too ill and poor to have it premiered. After Schubert’s death, Robert Schumann obtained the score for the Ninth Symphony, and may be largely credited with saving it from being lost. Schumann wrote about the work in his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and also convinced Felix Mendelssohn to premier it in Leipzig in 1839. Schubert only lived to be thirty-one, and died without hearing his Ninth Symphony performed publicly. Today however, it continues to be a favorite of orchestras and audiences around the world.

Personnel: University of Washington Symphony Orchestra


Drew Burky                                              Materials Science & Engineering

Katelyn Campbell                                      Biochemistry, Applied Music (Orchestral Instruments)

Megan Hutchison                                       Music (Woodwinds)



Megan Hutchison                                       Music (Woodwinds)



Kieran Matz                                            Music (Ethnomusicology)

Kamil Tarnawczyk                                    Music



Megan Rideout Redeker                           Music Performance

Khang Zhie Phoong                                   Computer Science



Pascal Lovre                                                Chemistry

Parker Chu                                                   Biochemistry, Music minor



Anna Perry                                                   Music (Brass)

Nicholas Hidy                                             Music (Brass)

Levi Sy                                                         Biochemistry, Russian

Thomas Dylan                                            Bioengineering



Joe Yang                                                       Geology, Trumpet Performance

Jennifer Stump                                           Pre Sciences

Carter Archuleta                                         Physics, Astronomy

Greg Smith                                                   Music (Brass)



Neal Muppidi                                              Physics, Music

Sean Grimm                                                 Statistics

Clayton Thomas                                         Electrical Engineering

Timpani & Percussion

Sophie Schmidt                                          Percussion Performance

Cyrus Graham                                             History



Kelly Hou                                                    Informatics, Music Performance



Christine Chu                                              Communication, Violin Performance

Constance Aguocha                                   Violin Performance

Dalma Ashby                                              Violin Performance

Sejon Ashby                                                Biochemistry

Ido Avnon                                                   Computer Science, Education

Kelly Chiang                                               Psychology, Marketing

Hannah  Chou                                             Violin Performance

Kellen Cribbs                                              Music Education, History

Teela Damian                                              Music

Suad Maya Dirar                                        Biology

Raymond Doerr                                          Materials Science and Engineering

Rylan Ferron-Jones                                    Engineering Undeclared

Rei Funakoshi Anderson                          Pre Major (Arts & Sciences)

Nicholas Gjording                                      Biology (Molecular Cellular & Developmental)

Kara Johnson                                              Pre Major (Arts & Sciences)

Allison Kam                                                Pre Sciences, Linguistics

Meiqi Liang                                                 Pre Public Health

Audrey Lin                                                  Computer Science

Lucy Maki-Fern                                         Biology (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental)

Paige Michal                                                Music Education

Hannah Peña-Ruiz                                     Music (Strings)

Bianca Ponnekanti                                     Physics, Astronomy

Sean Sasaki                                                  Music

Victoria Sepulveda                                    Art (Painting & Drawing)

Selina Siow                                                 Music (Strings)

Olivia Wang                                                Computer Science, Music

Ethan Wu                                                     Biochemistry



Elena Allen                                                 Applied Music (String Instruments), Biochemistry

Eugene Chin                                                Applied Music (String Instruments)

Nathan Hatch                                              Robotics

Angielena Luong                                        Pre Sciences

Brian Pham                                                  Biochemistry

Mari Morikawa                                           Biology (Physiology)

Meghna Shankar                                         Computer Science, Physics

Kareena Sikka                                             Biology (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental)

Katie Tschida                                              Music

Randy Zhang                                               Computer Science



Bashir Abdel-Fattah                                  Mathemetics

Ryan Friesz                                                  Pre Sciences

Savannah Helming                                     Cello Performance

Breanna Humphrey                                    Pre Sciences

Sarah Johnson                                             Music

Youngbin (Young) Kim                           Cello Performance

Bennett Olsen                                             Geography: Data Science

John Rice                                                      Computer Engineering

Russell Sam                                                 Pre Sciences

Amanda Song                                              Business Administration

Ignacio (Nacho) Tejeda                            Mathematics



Alejandra (Ale) Heringer                         English

Eddie Nikishina                                          Music

Ethan Park                                                   Pre Sciences

Gracious Wyatt Draher                             Envir Science & Terrestrial Resource Mgt


UW Symphony Orchestra

The University of Washington Symphony Orchestra is made up of music majors as well as students from departments all across campus. Under the leadership of Dr. Rahbee since the fall of 2013, the UW Symphony has performed over 180 works, spanning from the early baroque through contemporary. The orchestra collaborates regularly with distinguished faculty soloists as well as members of the Seattle Symphony and other local and national arts organizations. The orchestra has also collaborated with internationally prominent guest artists such as pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Jonathan Biss and Yekwon Sunwoo. Other collaborations have included Side-by-Side concerts with the Seattle Symphony, operas on period instruments with Pacific MusicWorks, a concert with jazz studies faculty, as well as annual performances with the combined university choirs. Performances are given in Gerlich Theater (formerly known as Meany Theater), as well as various other locations on campus as well as at Benaroya Hall. They rehearse twice weekly, and perform at least six concerts per academic year. The orchestra may also be divided into smaller groups throughout the year under the title UW Chamber Orchestra. The UW Symphony has been nationally recognized by The American Prize National Non Profit Competitions in the performing arts, placing in the finals in orchestral performance and for each of the last three seasons, and in the category of orchestral programming for the past 5 seasons.

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Do you play an orchestral instrument? Students interested in joining the UW Symphony or Campus Philharmonia Orchestras may email Dr. Rahbee at New enrollment occurs each quarter on a space-available basis. 

David 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. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington under the tutelage of Dr. David Alexander Rahbee where he is the conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestras, the assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the University of Washington Modern Music Ensemble and Opera Theater Works Orchestra. Daren was recently named House Conductor of the Tacoma Opera and he previously conducted the University of Washington’s opera production of Vinkensport by David T. Little and Joseph Haydn’s opera Philemon und BaucisDaren has also served as cover conductor for the Harmonia Orchestra Seattle and the Issaquah Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2013 to 2019 Daren was the Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca Sinaloa, which is an El Sistema based youth orchestra and choir in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. While in Mexico he was the assistant director for the 2016 production of Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo and Juliet with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes under Sinaloense conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda and the same year he collaborated with French guitarist Jean Bruno Dautaner to record the 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 Samuel Zyman, again with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes, and for the 2017 Sinaloa Cultural Festival Daren founded the ensemble Sinaloa Players which presented Stravinsky’s masterpiece Histoire du Soldat in collaboration with renowned Mexican choreographer Mauricio Nava. Daren was a conducting student of Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School for several summers and he also studied with many notable conductors including Ludovic Morlot, Donald Schleicher, Kensho Watanabe, Lior Shambadal, Edward Cumming, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Gábor Hollerung, Linus Lerner, Carlos Spierer, Sandro Gorli, Glen Adsit and Timothy Salzman among others.

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

Grad student Ryan Virnig

Rylan Virnig is the Assistant Director for Admissions, Recruitment, & Community Outreach for the University of Washington School of Music.

Under the direction of Dr. David Alexander Rahbee, Rylan earned a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Washington in 2022, and served as conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestra and assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra. A passionate educator, Rylan began his formal conducting studies with Robert Spittal and Timothy Westerhaus at Gonzaga University, where he received degrees in Violin Performance and Economics. In addition to winning the University’s Concerto Competition during his third year, Rylan was awarded the Undergraduate Music Award as well as the Jo Merwin Music Award for outstanding musical accomplishments and contributions. Rylan served as concertmaster of the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra, who hosted internationally recognized soloists such as Midori Goto and Lynn Harrell.

In addition to his work at the University of Washington, Rylan is the assistant conductor for the Bellevue Youth Symphony, and has appeared as a substitute violinist for the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra and the Helena Symphony Orchestra. He was previously the conductor for the Snoqualmie Strings Youth Chamber Orchestra, and has participated in the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival Orchestra and the InterHarmony International Music festival in Piedmont, Italy.