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December 8, 2006

January 13 concert opens U-M Life Sciences Orchestra’s seventh season

ANN ARBOR, MI – Three stirring and spirited pieces to warm a winter’s night, including one featuring the famous Hill Auditorium organ, will kick off the seventh season of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra on Saturday, Jan. 13.

LSO imageThe LSO and music director Clinton Ryan Smith will present a free public concert at 8 p.m. that will take full acoustical advantage of U-M’s Hill Auditorium, with works by Mozart, Saint-Saëns and Rimsky-Korsakov.

The orchestra is made up of members of U-M’s medical, health and life science community, including faculty, staff, students, family members and alumni. It is conducted by Smith, and by Oriol Sans, both students of the nationally known graduate program in orchestral conducting at the U-M School of Music.

The performance will begin with Sans conducting the Russian Easter Overture, which Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov based on Orthodox Christian melodies that he then interpreted and embellished to poetic and rousing effect.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 will come next, with Smith conducting from the keyboard. Smith, who holds a degree in piano performance from the University of Texas, has a special affinity for Mozart: for the past four summers, he has conducted and played at the Austrian/American Mozart Opera Academy in Salzburg, Austria – including this 2006 celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday.

The concert will conclude with Camille Saint-Saëns’ romantic and spectacular Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, op. 78, composed in 1886. Commonly referred to as the “Organ Symphony”, the work in two multi-part movements features organ and two pianos integrated with the orchestra. Erven Thoma, DMA, will literally pull out all the stops on Hill’s 1928 Frieze Memorial Organ for the final section of the symphony, which some in the audience may recognize from the children’s movie “Babe.”

For more information on the concert or the LSO, visit www.umich.edu/~lsorch, e-mail orchestra@umich.edu, or call (734) 936-ARTS.

The LSO is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to the U-M Health System. The orchestra was founded in the spirit of the U-M effort to encourage collaboration, community and creativity beyond the traditional boundaries between academic disciplines in the basic sciences, health sciences, health care, engineering, social science and the humanities.

The LSO gives its members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. Members include doctors and research scientists, medical students and residents, nurses, hospital and research laboratory staff, public health specialists, bioengineers, pharmacists, dentists and social workers. Founded by students and staff from the
U-M Health System, the orchestra made its debut in January 2001.

Written by Kara Gavin

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