Welcome Message from the Board of Directors

We are delighted to welcome you to the 85th season of the Reading Symphony Orchestra. A season where our Music Director and Conductor George Ogata will lead us through musical time and space.

Today’s concert opens with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. In the Mozart we will feature our guest artist Sylvia Berry performing on fortepiano. As a leading exponent of the fortepiano, Ms. Berry is dedicated to the performance practices of the 18th and early 19th denturies. She has performed extensively at home and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician and, as one reviewer has enthused, “to say that Berry plays … with vim, vigor, verve, and vitality, is actually a bit of an understatement”. Ms. Berry is a respected scholar and has written and lectured widely on performance practices of the period as well as sociological phenomena surrounding the music of the period. This will be your opportunity to hear Mozart “for the first time” with the instrument for which he wrote the concerto.

The second half of the concert will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, "Reformation". Mendelssohn intended the symphony for a 300th anniversary of the Reformation but didn’t complete it in time. Today we are fortunate to perform it just a few days before the 500th anniversary of the Christian Reformation.

Our concert experience on March 18 will be a first for the RSO when we perform a single work, the Symphony No. 4, "Romantic" , of Anton Bruckner. Here we will encounter a “Sound World” of some of the most complex yet transcendent symphonic music ever created. Music inspired by Beethoven, Wagner, and the organ. Music that presaged Mahler and wasn’t really understood and appreciated until the middle of the twentieth century.

We conclude our season on May 20 with our traditional “Pops” concert. This year we will take a journey “Around the World in One Afternoon”. From the sounds of Spain in “España”, to a “Hungarian Rhapsody”, across the “Steppes of Central Asia”, onward to Mexico and finally back home, “On the Town”, in New York.

Please join us as George Ogata and the RSO continue to bring a fresh and exciting perspective to the music that defines the symphony orchestra.

Dwight Decker
President of the Board
Principal Clarinet