Original concerto to headline orchestra performance

A new concerto by Bates music professor William Matthews and the monumental Ninth Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich will be on the program when the Bates Orchestra performs March 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall.

The performances, to be conducted by Matthews, are open to the public at no charge.

Matthews’ double concerto, which reflects the heritage of New England and Franco-American fiddling, will receive its premiere in the two concerts.

Its three movements include themes based on such well-known fiddle tunes as “Marie’s Wedding” and “Isabeau s’y promene.” Soloists will be violinist Steve Kecskemethy and violist Julia Adams, members of the Portland String Quartet and string instructors at Bates.

The Shostakovich symphony, considered by many as the Russian composer’s masterpiece, was written in 1945 to celebrate the end of World War II.

In the symphony, Shostakovich, “surprised his audience by writing a sarcastic and sometimes funny piece, which uses parodies of march music in its first and last movements,” Matthews said.

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