Dance Presented by the GSU Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

7:00 PM

Rialto Center for the Arts

Overture to "Rienzi" (1842)

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

During his residence in Riga -- a period of alternating hope and disappointment -- Wagner sketched the Opera Rienzi, deliberately building it on such a stupendous scale that it could only be offered to some royal theater. He had read Bulwer Lytton's Rienzi, The Last of the Barons, and "was carried away by this picture of great political and historical event." Wagner wrote as follows in explanation of the beginning of the work: "Grand opera, with its scenic and musical display, its sensationalism and massive effects, loomed large before my eyes: the aim of my artistic ambition was not merely to imitate it, but with reckless extravagance, to outdo it in every particular." He carried out his intentions so well that the premiere performance at Dresden in 1842 lasted six hours.

The overture is based upon thematic material from the opera, beginning with the long-drawn trumpet call, followed by Rienzi's prayer. This is followed by the allegro chorus of the first act finale and the battle hymn. The second act finale is then introduced, followed by the development section, which is based chiefly on the battle hymn. A brief recapitulation of the first part occurs and a brilliant coda bring the overture to its conclusion. With a wealth of colorful music, the overture has always remained popular -- principally because of one noble melody, Rienzi's prayer for the people.

- Program Note by Everett Kisinger from Program Notes for Band and Band Music Notes

Hungarian Dance No. 5 (1879)

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

arr. Albert Parlow

In the mid-19th Century, Hungarian immigrants flooded Austria, including Vienna and Brahms's Hamburg. Brahms, a young musician, encountered Hungary's renowned violinist Eduard Reményi and immersed himself in gypsy music. Brahms later published two sets of Hungarian Dances, earning success with arrangements for various instruments. Among them, Hungarian Dance No. 5, cherished for its enchanting themes and passionate energy, became a beloved masterpiece. Despite being orchestrated first by Martin Schmeling, not Brahms, this rendition remains a treasured gem in Western music.

Romanian Folk Dances (1915)

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

I. Bot tánc / Jocul cu bâtă (Stick Dance)

II. Brâul (Sash Dance)

III. Pe loc (In One Spot)

IV. Buciumeana (Dance from Bucsum)

V. Poarga Românească (Romanian Polka)

VI. Mărunțel (Fast Dance)

Romanian Folk Dances was written in 1915 by Bartok. It was six short pieces for piano. Two years later, Bartok wrote it for a small orchestra. The melodies are taken from folk songs of Transylvania, usually played on a fiddle or a shepherd’s flute. These melodies come from a genre known for many years as “gypsy” music.

Danzón No.2 (1994)

Arturo Márquez (b. 1950)

The idea of writing the Danzón No. 2 originated in 1993 during a trip to Malinalco with the painter Andrés Fonseca and the dancer Irene Martínez, both of whom are experts in salon dances with a special passion for the danzón, which they were able to transmit to me from the beginning, and also during later trips to Veracruz and visits to the Colonia Salon in Mexico City. From these experiences onward, I started to learn the danzón’s rhythms, its form, its melodic outline, and to listen to the old recordings by Acerina and his Danzonera Orchestra. I was fascinated and I started to understand that the apparent lightness of the danzón is only like a visiting card for a type of music full of sensuality and qualitative seriousness, a genre which old Mexican people continue to dance with a touch of nostalgia and a jubilant escape towards their own emotional world; we can fortunately still see this in the embrace between music and dance that occurs in the state of Veracruz and in the dance parlors of Mexico City.

The Danzón No. 2 is a tribute to the environment that nourishes the genre. It endeavors to get as close as possible to the dance, to its nostalgic melodies, to its wild rhythms, and although it violates its intimacy, its form and its harmonic language, it is a very personal way of paying my respects and expressing my emotions towards truly popular music. Danzón No. 2 was written on a commission by the Department of Musical Activities at Mexico’s National Autonomous University and is dedicated to my daughter Lily.

- Program Note by composer


Tamara Dworetz

Director of Orchestral Studies

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Tamara Dworetz is a dynamic and electric musical force on the podium. She has conducted the Paris Mozart Orchestra, Boston Pops, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, and Mankato Symphony. She has served as an assistant conductor for the Orchestre de Paris (Klaus Mäkelä), Gürzenich Orchestre Cologne (François-Xavier Roth), BBC Concert Orchestra (Bramwell Tovey) and Atlanta Symphony (Nathalie Stutzmann) and won 2nd prize in the Boston Pops' Leonard Bernstein Conducting Competition. Her 2023-24 season will include debuts with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (HerStory Family Concerts) and the Arkansas Symphony in featuring pianist Conrad Tao. She is thrilled to be the newly-appointed Music Director of the Georgia Philharmonic.

Tamara 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. 'Maestra', a documentary directed by Maggie Contreras, features 5 conductors from the competition, including Tamara, and was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and highlighted on CBS National News as well as international film festivals.

A devoted music educator, Tamara’s musical beginnings took place in the Atlanta public school system and she is passionate about leading K-12 and pre-professional musicians in enriching musical experiences. Tamara is the newly-appointed Georgia State University Director of Orchestral Studies & Charles Thomas Wurm Distinguished Professor in Instrumental Music. She has served guest conducting residencies at University of Texas Butler School of Music, Boston University School of Music, SUNY Fredonia School of Music, and the Longy Conservatory Orchestra at Bard College and was Music Director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) Orchestra and Concert Choir. She has guest conducted the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and led all-state orchestras in Texas, Seattle, Colorado & Georgia. She also served as assistant conductor for the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2) in their first international tour. From 2013-16, Tamara was the Director of Orchestras at Lakeside High School where she increased enrollment by 50%.

Stephanie Morera

Graduate Orchestral Conductor

Stephanie is a Costa Rican conductor who is currently studying in the USA. She is the Georgia Philharmonic’s inaugural conducting fellow and will serve as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor in several family concerts this season. She attends Georgia State University where she serves as Assistant Conductor for the GSU Symphony Orchestra and works with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta. Stephanie has already had a versatile career. She was the first Costa Rican woman to conduct an opera in Costa Rica. From 2022 – 2023, she conducted seven concerts with the Orquesta de Costa Rica, featuring genres such as pop, rock, blues, jazz, soundtracks, and video game music. She is especially passionate about programming Latin symphonic music. She conducted the premiere of “Oratorio Participativo por la Autonomía Universitaria” by the world-renowned composer Mario Alfagüel. She also conducted the University of Costa Rica’s Campus Orchestra “Humanidades” premiering works by celebrated Costa Rican composers, Rocío Sans and Willam Porras.

A passionate music educator, she has been invited to guest conduct high school orchestras and productions of the University of Costa Rica Symphonic Orchestra and opera program. Comfortable on stage in many capacities, Stephanie served as Conductor and actress in a Family Concert. She also works with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta, and the GSU Campus Orchestra. Stephanie is a well-versed musician who grew up performing the violin. When she was 20, she performed at the internationally-acclaimed Nezahualcoyotl Music Hall in Mexico and the Rubén Darío National Theatre in Nicaragua. Stephanie has two Bachelor’s degrees for which she earned merit scholarships – she earned a Bachelor in Music Education from the National University of Costa Rica and a Bachelor of Music in Conducting from the University of Costa Rica. During her undergraduate years, she gained versatile experiences conducting choirs, orchestras, symphonic bands, and guitar orchestras.

Jackson Allred

Graduate Orchestral Conductor

Jackson Allred is a conductor based in Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as the Assistant Conducting Fellow for the Georgia Philharmonic and Assistant Conductor to the Georgia State Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Dr. Tamara Dworetz. Additionally, he assists with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra working with Music Director and Associate Conductor to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, William R. Langley. He won first prize in the 2023 Undergraduate Wind and Percussion Conducting Competition at Georgia State University, and attended the National Orchestral Institute, working with Marin Alsop and James Ross.

Jackson recently conducted a recording project including excerpts from Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale and Schubert’s Octet in F Major. In addition to his conducting endeavors, Jackson is a versatile performing musician. Having grown up performing in his church and school’s choir, band and orchestras, he continues to perform as a pianist, vocalist, and timpanist. He is passionate about making orchestral music accessible to as many communities as possible.

Outside of his music career, Jackson enjoys various outdoor activities such as diving, horse riding, biking, climbing, river kayaking, gardening, and caring for his two dogs. He is grateful for the unwavering support of his wife, family, and friends in his pursuit of music and all his passions.