Welcome Message from the Board of Directors

Welcome to the Reading Symphony Orchestra’s second Concert Experience of our 85th season and our first event of 2018.  We began our season back in October with a performance commemorating the anniversary of the Reformation performed at the state-of-the-art Veterans Memorial Auditorium at Galvin Middle School in Wakefield.  Today, we return to the spacious and attractive William E. Endslow Performing Arts Center here in Reading, scene of many successful and exciting Reading Symphony Concert Experiences.

Our concert experience today will be a first for the RSO. We will be performing a single work, Symphony No. 4, “Romantic”, by Anton Bruckner.  Today Anton Bruckner is known as a celebrated composer of monumental symphonies and as one of the finest organists of his age. However, his journey to that status was anything but typical.  He was not a child prodigy, he did not “explode” onto the world stage with early success, or have a reputation as a temperamental genius.  He was born in rural Austria in 1824, learned his first music from his school teacher father and didn’t start any formal training until he was 11.  He had an unshakeable belief in God and had extraordinary tenacity.  Through years of work he developed into an organist of unparalleled skill. He also worked incessantly to master all aspects of musical composition including years of correspondence courses.  Finally, at 38, he heard a performance of Wagner’s Tannhauser and decided to devote more of his life to composition.  As he neared 50, he was in great demand as an organist, but that first compositional masterpiece still eluded him.  Finally, at the age of 57 in 1881, his Fourth Symphony which you will hear today provided him with his first spectacular success.

As you listen to the symphony today you 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 in some ways wasn’t really understood and appreciated until the middle of the twentieth century.

We hope you will enjoy this journey into the “Sound World” of Anton Bruckner and we also hope you will return and join us on May 20.  This is the date of 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.


Dwight Decker
President of the Board
Principal Clarinet