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Friday, May 11, 2007

SSO Spring Concert Features Guest Artist James Bean

James BeanSALISBURY, MD---One of the principal musicians of the U.S. Naval Academy Band, trumpeter James Bean, joins the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra at Salisbury University (SSO) as guest artist, performing Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major during the orchestra’s Spring Concert 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

A senior musician with the Naval Academy Band, Bean has played with such luminaries as world-renowned maestro Leonard Slatkin, composer Marvin Hamlisch and jazz greats Phil Wilson, Eddie Daniels and Clark Terry. His most memorable concerts include a performance at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II.

A native of Beverly, MA, Bean joined the Naval Academy Band in 1985 and was named principal trumpeter three years later. He has also performed with the Naval Academy’s jazz ensemble and leads its brass quintet.

As one of the band’s ceremonial leaders, he has conducted ceremonies for many national and foreign dignitaries. He is also a founding member of the Annapolis-based Bayfield Brass Quintet, which has recorded two albums: Swingin’ Round the Christmas Tree and Songs from the Lost Generation. Music from both is regularly heard on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

The evolution of the trumpet led to the composition of Haydn’s Concerto. A new keyed trumpet developed by his friend Anton Weidenger inspired Haydn to write a piece that could take advantage of the greater number of notes a keyed trumpet could reach. By 1801, the invention of the valved trumpet, still in use today, allowed an even greater number of musicians to play this masterpiece.

The SSO concert, conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Schoyen, includes other favorites from the 19th and 20th centuries, including Adams’ Lollapalooza, Ravel’s Bolero and Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio, op. 72b.
Of these pieces, the least traditional is Lollapalooza, written by minimalist composer John Adams in 1995.

Drawing from classical composers as well as contemporary rock 'n' roll, rap and even cartoon music, Adams’ unique pieces have also included Dr. Atomic, a 2005 opera based on the testing of the first atomic bomb. His 2002 work On the Transmigration of Souls, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to mark the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

The question of tempo has always been an issue in performing Ravel’s Bolero. Written in 1928 for ballet company director Ida Rubinstein, the music became a rousing success. During a 1930 performance by the New York Philharmonic, however, Ravel argued about tempo during rehearsals. Following the performance, he insisted conductor Arturo Toscanini had directed the piece twice as fast as it should go. Since then, the work has been recorded successfully at various speeds.

Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera, premiered in 1805, but thanks to the composer’s revisions, the final overture was not completed until 1814. The overture is written in the key of E major, the same key as the sections expressing heroism and hope in the protagonist’s central aria, allowing the opera to highlight the struggle toward victory rather than victory itself.

Sponsored by Mercantile Peninsula Bank and Apple Discount Drugs, admission is $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and SU faculty and staff, and $5 for non-SU students. Children 12 and under and SU student ID holders are admitted free. For advance tickets visit the SU Bookstore Web site at www.salisbury.collegestoreonline.com (click “SU Box Office”). For more information call 410-548-5587 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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