‘Creative Legacy’ features premiere of commissioned orchestra piece

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CEDAR CITY — Featuring the world premiere of a commissioned piece as well as two familiar favorites, the Orchestra of Southern Utah presentation of “Creative Legacy” will take place Thursday in the Heritage Theater in Cedar City.

Creative Legacy will include the “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff, the “William Tell Overture” by Rossini, and the premiere “Valley of Enchantment” composed by Mark Dal Porto and commissioned by the Orchestra of Southern Utah.

The evening will kick off at 6:15 p.m. with “Musically Speaking” with Dal Porto and Dr. Nicki Frey in the back of the theater. Frey will be discussing the challenges and importance of preserving the scenic wonders that have inspired “Valley of Enchantment,” and Dal Porto will talk about his composition in detail.

The virtuosic “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Sergei Rachmaninoff features talented guest pianist Christian Bohnenstengel. The selection, created for a solo piano accompanied by symphony orchestra, has delighted audiences with its challenging exhibition of technical precision on the part of the pianist.

Bohnenstengel teaches at Southern Utah University, directs the annual “Monster Piano Concerto” for area students and performs in jazz ensembles as well as many classical music engagements. Adam Lambert will direct the piece.

The dramatic “William Tell Overture” by Rossini presents a unique multifaceted performance with guest scientist Brandon Wiggins performing science experiments alongside live music. The familiar musical selection is most recognizable as the theme from the 1949-57 television series “The Lone Ranger.”

The piece begins with a cello choir at dawn and progresses through a thunderstorm, celebration and gallop of Swiss soldiers. Carylee Zwang will direct.

According to a media release from the Orchestra of Southern Utah, “Valley of Enchantment” composer Dal Porto found his inspiration in the splendor and majesty of the Southern Utah landscape The symphonic tone poem is structured in ten movements, each named for the natural scenery it conveys.

Danielle Dubrasky’s poetry is combined with a visual presentation produced by Charles Shirley that adds beautiful imagery to complement each section. Additionally, local photographers have contributed stunning visual art for this performance. The orchestra will be directed by Xun Sun.

The concert is sponsored by the Charles and Gloria Maxfield Parrish Foundation.

Event details

  • What: The Orchestra of Southern Utah presents “Creative Legacy.”
  • When: Thursday, Feb. 23 | “Musically Speaking” discussion at 6:15 p.m. | Concert at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Heritage Theater, 105 North 100 E., Cedar City.
  • Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for students and $30 for groups up to 6.
  • Tickets: Available at box office, by calling 435-865-2882 or at the Heritage Center website.
  • Information: Because evening concerts are recorded, it is requested that babies and children under the age of 6 not attend. Children over 6 are welcome at all OSU concerts with adult supervision.

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