October 2, 2018

A Brief Conversation with Conductor Perry So, about the MSM Philharmonia Orchestra Concert on Oct 4

What’s special about this concert, and for you?

For me, this is the first time I’ve performed in the Riverside Church and I’m very excited about that. The program that we’ve chosen is one I believe will really take advantage of the grandeur of the church, most particularly the epic 7th symphony by Bruckner.

We’re very excited because this is the first MSM Philharmonia concert of the season, and it’s the start of the MSM Centennial year. Normally MSM Philharmonia is a medium-sized group, but we’ve boosted our ranks this time, with students from throughout the School.

What should people expect from the concert, and why should people come to hear it?

Expect a wonderfully varied program! The climax of the concert will be a 70-minute symphony that is truly majestic yet filed with moments of heartbreaking beauty. For this Bruckner symphony, we’re bringing out a rarely seen brass instrument – a set of four Wagner Tubas, which will be played by four of our horn players. We have a lovely first half planned, including a piece by former MSM President Robert Sirota.

Can you tell us a little bit about the pieces being performed?

I’ve said a lot about the Bruckner already, but I’ll just add that the second movement is an homage to Bruckner’s idol, Wagner, and the second theme in that movement is a melody as beautiful as has ever been written.

I’m also really excited about the opening piece. It’s always terrific to play music written by the MSM community, and Sirota’s Rush of Wings is so rhythmically inventive and has wonderfully fun sounds for the orchestra to make.

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