"An Affair to Remember": Rutgers Symphony Orchestra to present works by Strauss, Barber on Dec. 10

The Rutgers Symphony Orchestra will close its slate of fall concerts on Friday, December, 10, with A Strauss Affair to Remember. The program includes Richard Strauss’ signature works Metamorphosen and Death and Transfiguration.Maestro Kynan Johns

Audiences will have the opportunity to experience two of Strauss’ career-defining compositions: Strauss wrote Death and Transfiguration in his mid-20s, and he composed Metamorphosen at age 81.

Death and Transfiguration, along with Don Juan, “put Strauss on the map,” says Kynan Johns, director of orchestras at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. Johns says these early tone poems are bursting with ideas, and that they exhibit the “ebullience of youth. They’re daring; they take risks.” Meanwhile, according to Johns, the later composition, written at the end of World War II, demonstrates a man “at the end of his life. It’s written in memoriam to German high culture.”

Other works on the program: Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, Op. 9 and Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 10 in D-flat major, featuring Seungmi Jung on piano.

The Rutgers Symphony Orchestra’s A Strauss Affair to Remember program begins at 8 p.m. Friday, December 10. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni, employees, and seniors, and just $15 for students with valid I.D. Nicholas Music Center is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511. Direct all media inquiries to Laurie Granieri, 732-932-7591, ext. 516, lgranieri@masongross.rutgers.edu.

About Rutgers Symphony Orchestra

The Rutgers Symphony Orchestra is an ensemble of 90 players enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate music programs at Mason Gross School of the Arts. The orchestra performs an ambitious concert series that includes three fall and three spring concerts at the university, in addition to a major opera production. As part of the Rutgers In New York series, the orchestra has performed in many of New York City’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Symphony Space.

The orchestra's concerts include the most challenging works of the symphonic repertory, including masterpieces by Mahler, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Beethoven, among many others. The orchestra regularly collaborates with leading artists, including cellist Alexander Ivashkin, violinist Philip Quint, pianist Ruth Laredo, and the New Hudson Saxophone Quartet, with whom they released Flagello’s Concerto Sinfonico on the Naxos label in 2006.

Photo of Maestro Kynan Johns by Larry Levanti.