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OU Symphony orchestra to preview concert featuring pieces from Berlioz, Brandt, Bernstein, Brahms

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OU Houston: The OU Symphony

The OU Symphony will preview its concert tour March 28 at Catlett Music Center as part of the Sutton Concert Series.

The OU Symphony will preview its concert tour March 28 at Catlett Music Center as part of the Sutton Concert Series.

Under the direction of conductor Jonathan Shames, the OU Symphony travels regionally every few years, playing in venues like Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center. This year's tour brings the symphony to Houston’s Wortham Center on April 1 for a concert open to the public with complimentary admission.

The symphony will present four works at these performances: Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival,” Brandt’s “Making Perfect,” Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from the broadway musical “West Side Story” and Brahms’ “Symphony No. 1.”

Shames, who has directed and conducted the symphony since 2004, said he is unable to pick a favorite piece because they are all great.

“Making music in itself is what I love to do,” Shames said. “Working with the gifted players of the OU Symphony as they discover these great pieces represents complete enjoyment.”

“Roman Carnival” by Hector Berlioz opens the concert in a way that Shames described as “scintillant bacchanal,” like a vivacious party. The concert then goes into “Making Perfect,” a new work from composer Anthony Brandt.

Brandt is the head of the composition and theory department at Rice University. He has composed contemporary works for groups ranging from Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra to Houston Ballet II.

“Anthony Brandt is a tremendously interesting artist and thinker whose compositions and writings explore deeply the nature of music and creation,” Shames said in a press release. “‘Making Perfect’ is a new work of his which rather amazingly portrays both the rehearsing and the performance of a new piece. Our orchestra is completely enthralled by it.”

The concert continues with American contemporary work with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story.” The performance will close with a German symphonic work from Johannes Brahms, “Symphony No. 1.”

The OU Symphony’s preview concert will be at 8 p.m. March 28 in Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center as part of the Sutton Concert Series. Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for students, faculty, staff and senior adults and $10 for all at the door. The concert will also be available via live stream.

Tickets for the Houston performance on April 1 have all been claimed, though viewers may be placed on a waiting list by submitting a form online.

Alma Cienski is a modern dance performance and public relations junior and a culture reporter for The Daily.

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