Afro-American Symphony GSU Symphony Orchestra

Overture to Ruslan & Ludmilla (1837-1842)

Mikhail Glinka (1804 – 1857)


Ruslan and Lyudmila (Руслан и Людмила) is an opera in five acts composed by Mikhail Glinka between 1837 and 1842, based on the 1820 poem of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. It tells the story of the abduction of Ludmila, the daughter of Prince Vladimir of the Kievan Rus' (reigned 980–1015), by an evil wizard and the attempt by the brave knight Ruslan to find and rescue her. The Russian libretto was written by Valerian Shirkov, Nestor Kukolnik and N. A. Markevich, among others. Pushkin's death in a famous duel prevented him from writing the libretto himself as planned. The premiere took place in Saint Petersburg on November 27th, 1842, at the Bolshoi Kamenniy Teatr.

Today, the best-known music from the opera is its overture.

Jane Grey Fantasy (1940)

Ruth Gipps (1921 - 1999)

Tania Maxwell Clements, viola soloist


Ruth Dorothy Louisa ("Wid") Gipps (1921-1999) was an English composer, oboist, pianist, conductor, and educator. She composed music in a wide range of genres, including five symphonies, seven concertos, and numerous chamber and choral works. She founded both the London Repertoire Orchestra and the Chanticleer Orchestra and served as conductor and music director for the City of Birmingham Choir. Later in her life she also served as chairwoman of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain.

Her early career was affected strongly by discrimination against women in music (particularly composition) by professors, judges, and music critics. This caused her to develop a tough personality that many found off-putting and a fierce determination to prove herself through her work.

Symphony no. 1 “Afro-American” (1893)

William Grant Still (1895 – 1978)

I. Longing: Moderato Assai

II. Sorrow: Adagio

III. Humor: Animato

IV. Aspiration: lento; con risoluzione


Mississippi-born composer William Grant Still (1895-1978) holds a significant place in the history of American music. He embodied many firsts for African Americans in classical music. He was the first African American composer to have a work performed by a major American orchestra (Rochester Philharmonic, 1931) and to have an opera performed by a major company (Troubled Island, 1949). William Grant Still was also the first African American conductor of an American symphony (Los Angeles Philharmonic, 1936) and of an all-white radio orchestra (Deep River Hour, 1932).


Tania Maxwell Clements


Tania Maxwell Clements attained a BA in Music Performance (Viola) and a Certificate of Post-Graduate Studies (Viola Performance) from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) where she studied viola with James Durrant. During her studies at the RSAMD she won the prestigious Watson Forbes Prize for Viola Playing and the Viola Challenge Prize. Her studies continued in Switzerland at the International Menuhin Music Academy (IMMA) for two consecutive years, working intensively with Alberto Lysy and Johannes Eskar. During this time she performed regularly in master classes given by Sir Yehudi Menuhin and artists such as Igor Oistrakh and Donald McInnes. She was principal viola and soloist with the Camerata Lysy and performed as soloist at the Menuhin Festival, Gstaad and at festivals in France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Wales.

Upon leaving the IMMA, Tania was invited to become a founding member of the Seville Symphony Orchestra in Spain and from there was invited to join the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in Manchester, England as Assistant Principal Viola. Whilst working with the BBC, Tania also held the principal viola position with the Northern Symphony Orchestra and was invited to perform as guest principal with the Halle Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. During this time she was also a founding member of the Wralle flute, viola and harp Trio and the Puligny String Quartet.

Tania joined the faculty of Georgia State University in 1998. Since arriving in Atlanta she has appeared as a concerto soloist both at GSU and elsewhere, gives frequent recitals and performs regularly with Georgia State faculty (Musica da Camera). She is also principal viola with the Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee and the North Georgia Symphony.

Over the years she has performed with many other orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish Orchestra (formerly the SNO), the BP Scottish Ensemble, the Scottish Opera Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the East of England Orchestra and the Royal Festival Orchestra. She has played at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Philharmonie in Berlin, Boston’s Symphony Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center, La Scala Milan in Itay, the Musikverein in Vienna and Prague’s Dvorak Hall. Since moving to Atlanta in 1998, she has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Columbus Symphony and Macon Symphony orchestras, the Atlanta Chamber Players, the Kopec String Quartet, Musica da Camera and the Lyra String Quartet.

Tania has a prolific recording career and appears on almost one hundred CD’s covering orchestral, solo and chamber repertoire. Upcoming projects include a CD of solo viola, piano and chamber works by Atlanta composer Nickitas J. Demos as well as two concertos specially commissioned for her. She is a strong supporter of new music for the viola and has personally commissioned many new works for her instrument.

Tania Maxwell Clements is also a master teacher. Before moving to Atlanta she taught orchestral techniques at Chethams School of Music (a Yehudi Menuhin School) and the Royal Northern College of Music and has also taught at the Junior Department of the RSAMD. In Atlanta, Tania is Adjunct Professor of Music (Viola and Violin) at Georgia State University.

Tamara Dworetz


Tamara comes to Georgia State University with an impressive background working with professional, collegiate and youth orchestras. Professionally, she has conducted the Paris Mozart Orchestra, Boston Pops, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Mankato Symphony and Georgia Philharmonic. In the 2023-24 season, she will make her debut with the Arkansas Symphony featuring acclaimed pianist, Conrad Tao. Dworetz has also worked with world-class orchestras and conductors in Europe as Assistant Conductor – Orchestre de Paris with Klaus Mäkelä, Gürzenich Orchestre Cologne with François-Xavier Roth and the BBC Concert Orchestra with her late mentor, Bramwell Tovey. As an opera conductor, she has led the Dallas Opera Orchestra and served as Assistant Conductor for Indianapolis, Atlanta and Butler Center Operas. Dr. Dworetz was recently selected as 1 of 14 candidates from a worldwide pool in the 2022 La Maestra Conducting Competition and Academy for Women Conductors in Paris, France. She was the only US-born conductor selected for the competition and earned a spot as one of 6 semi-finalists. Dr. Dworetz won 2nd prize in the Boston Pops’ Leonard Bernstein Conducting Competition. She has been a recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting Fellowship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, studying with Cristian Măcelaru, conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestre in Cologne & the National Orchestre of France.

Dr. Dworetz’s musical beginnings took place in the Atlanta public school system. After graduating from North Springs HS in Fulton County, Dr. Dworetz was Assistant Band Director at Alpharetta High School before serving as Director of Orchestras at Lakeside High School in Atlanta where she increased enrollment by 50% over 3 years. In addition to her public school teaching, she has guest-conducted the TMEA (Texas) All-State Philharmonic Orchestra, All-Northwest Honors Orchestra (students from 6 states), and will lead the 2024 Colorado All-State Symphony Orchestra. She has also served as Interim Conductor of the Austin Youth Orchestra and worked with the Emory and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. This summer she looks forward to working with the National Youth Orchestra which will perform at Carnegie Hall and in the Dominican Republic (NYO-USA & NYO2).

Prior to her appointment at Georgia State, Dr. Dworetz served as the Music Director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) Orchestra and Concert Choir. She has led guest conducting residencies at Boston University, SUNY Fredonia School of Music & Longy Conservatory at Bard College.

Dr. Dworetz holds degrees from Indiana University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Georgia and Boston University.