Dvorak’s New World Symphony to be performed by Utah Youth Orchestra
Published: April 29, 2013 12:57PM
Updated: April 29, 2013 12:59PM

Dvorak’s New World Symphony, one of my favorite pieces in all of music, will fill Abravanel Hall May 10 as the Utah Youth Orchestra will present their annual spring concert.

The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

The seasonal performance will also feature John Escosa’s "Three Dances for Two Harps."

From the press release:

The New World Symphony was composed while the Czech native lived in New York as director of the National Conservatory of Music. It was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and premiered in 1893 as Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.” While in the United States, Dvorak was eager to learn about American music and was influenced by African-American and Native American melodies. One of the best known movements in the symphony is the “Largo” with its haunting English horn solo. It was later adapted into the song "Goin' Home" by Harry Burleigh, a black composer whom Dvorak befriended while in New York. Throughout the piece, folk-like melodies weave back and forth culminating in the finale scherzo.

Escosa’s Three Dances for Two Harps is a fine inter-play between two harps as they create a rhythmic structure for each dance – the Gavotte, Minuet, and Gigue. Because of his professional training and skill with the harp, Escosa uses many idiomatic techniques in the piece. Escosa studied at Julliard School and was a student of the great Carlos Salzedo. He was the harpist and soloist for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra and toured with the original company of Tennessee William’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Glass Menagerie.
Barbara Scowcroft, Utah Youth Orchestras & Ensembles Music Director and Conductor, said Dvorak’s New World Symphony “is one of the most enduring pieces of American music. Through Dvorak’s immigrant eyes he captures the optimism and energy of the American spirit; a new country in the New World bursting with promise.”

The Utah Youth Symphony Orchestra was originally founded in 1947 and is the oldest and most recognized youth orchestra in the state. It was the only state-based youth group to perform during the official 2002 Cultural Olympiad as part of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Barbara Scowcroft is the music director and conductor of the Utah Youth Orchestra.