Steamboat Springs Symphony Orchestra concert combines music and written word | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs Symphony Orchestra concert combines music and written word

The Steamboat Springs Symphony Orchestra practices at the Strings Music Pavillon.

— Storytelling and music will unite to create an orchestral language that journeys through fantasy and the western plains of America this weekend.

The Steamboat Symphony Orchestra has combined the written word and music for its concert "Scheherazade," that will take the Strings Music Pavilion stage at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. The concert will feature concertmaster Teresa Steffen Greenlee and soloist Desiree Cedeno Suarez.

If You Go…

What: Steamboat Symphony Orchestra presents "Scheherazade"

When: 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road

Tickets: $20

Recommended Stories For You

With a focus on the Scheherazade theme, the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra featured a variety of events this month including the Written Word Meets Music creative writing competition.

Orchestra director Beth Blaskovich said writers of all ages were encouraged to submit work inspired by listening to the featured pieces in “Scheherazade.” Over 65 entries were received, and the works of Daisy Tarango, Harriet Freiberger and Jeff Wolf were selected as the winners.

The concert, led by conductor Ernest Richardson, will tell the stories of the legendary queen and storyteller Scheherazade, the depths of Fingal's Cave in "The Hebrides" and the rugged plains explored in "The Cowboy's Overture" through music while the stories of the featured writers will be woven throughout the program.

Scheherazade's tale is an enticing one that involves a ruling Sultan who was known to marry women and kill them by morning. To prevent that from happening, Scheherazade spun enchanted tales about the voyages of Sinbad, Ali Baba and Aladdin that left the king wanting more stories day after day. Finally, 1,001 captivating stories later, he decided to keep Scheherazade as his wife.

These particular "Tales of the Arabian Nights" were what inspired Russian composer Nikoly Rimsky-Korsakov to compose "Scheherazade" in 1888.

"The fell of the music is the dialogue, and those are the essential elements of the stories," Richardson said. "That dialogue is really centered upon the colors of the orchestra and the solo violin. We are not trying to tell a specific story but to create that feeling of being in a storytelling environment. To use the music and write a story that paints those images."

“The Hebrides” concert overture, also known as "Fingal's Cave," was composed by Felix Mendelssohn and inspired by his visit to the island of Staffa, located in the Hebrides archipelago of Scotland. Richardson said this piece is performed by the orchestra in a way that evokes the feeling of the cave’s solitude or gazing out at sea.

"It creates this re-awakening and this feeling of a community coming together to tell stories that are basic to the human experience," Richardson said.

“The Cowboys Overture” by John Williams is a story known through the 1972 film "The Cowboys" starring John Wayne. It's a tale of inexperienced boys growing into manhood in the West.

"John Williams' music for me captured the optimism of the West," Freiberger said. "I think anytime we can combine the arts on all levels of the community it is pretty prominent. And the music of this overture sent me to the West, which is what my piece is about."

This is the first time the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra has had an event that combines multiple art forms.

"The idea of programatic music — which is music written to depict a storyline or place — is that it gives a backstory to the music and adds another layer to the concert," Blaskovich said. "If people attend the concert and hear those stories of what inspired the featured pieces, it allows them to go one step further to imagine or envision those places as they listen. It's about taking the music and bringing in other art forms to express it in a more holistic way."

Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased online here.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Steamboat Symphony Orchestra presents “Scheherazade”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road

Tickets: $20