The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra continues to share the inspirational power of music with our community as we invite you to join the music online. In these times, we remember the pleasure of experiencing live orchestral music at CUSO concerts conducted by Stephen Alltop in Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. “From the Hall” presents memorable performances from past concerts to enjoy again.
When the pandemic closed Krannert Center from spring 2020 until fall 2021, Music Director Stephen Alltop planned a virtual concert to bring music to CUSO audiences. A smaller orchestra of strings, percussion, and keyboard musicians performed together live and socially distanced, with no audience present. This performance of Asturias (Leyenda), by Issac Albeniz, captures the mood of that time, and was recorded for CUSO’s first video concert, which was streamed on YouTube to appreciative audiences on October 23–25, 2020.
TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONY NO. 5 IN E MINOR, OP. 64
The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra celebrates the genius of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky with this presentation of his famous Fifth Symphony. Led by Conductor Stephen Alltop, CUSO performed Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64, on March 7, 2020, in Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy the excellent-quality audio recording of the performance on SoundCloud. Maestro Alltop shares some insight into the music in his video introduction.
LES TOREADORS, AND IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING
The annual CUSO Youth Concerts introduce live symphonic orchestra music and the concert hall experience to young audiences. In April 2018, more than 3,000 children from 32 schools came to Krannert Center to see the orchestra perform. Join Conductor Stephen Alltop to “Meet the Orchestra” in this rousing video from “The Composer’s Toolbox” concert, performed April 9, 2018. Music included “Les Toreadors” from Carmen Suite No. 1 by Georges Bizet, and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 by Edvard Grieg.
BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY NO. 7 IN A MAJOR, OP. 92
Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony premiered on December 8, 1813, at the University of Vienna, with Beethoven conducting. Loved for its beauty and celebratory energy, it is one of Beethoven’s most popular symphonies. Join Conductor Stephen Alltop at his piano for a video introduction to Symphony No. 7 here. Enjoy CUSO’s performance of this brilliant music, presented in high-quality audio on SoundCloud. For a fuller look at the composer’s life and work, view Stephen Alltop’s video lecture “Ludwig van Beethoven: Heroic Genius”.
RUSSIAN EASTER FESTIVAL OVERTURE, OP. 36
In Russian tradition, Easter is known as “the bright holiday.” Composed in 1888 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36, expresses both the beauty of the religious mystery and the exultant joy of pagan rites celebrating spring. We invite you to experience this vibrant music, which was performed by CUSO on April 25, 2014, in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy the excellent sound quality of the audio recording on CUSO’s SoundCloud channel.
NIELSEN SYMPHONY NO. 4, OP. 29, “THE INEXTINGUISHABLE”
Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 29, “The Inextinguishable,” was composed against the backdrop of World War I and completed in 1916. Nielsen described it as expressive of the fundamental life force, saying “Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.” Conductor Stephen Alltop shares some insights about Symphony No. 4 in a preconcert talk—watch the video here. Listen to CUSO’s powerful performance, presented in high-quality audio on SoundCloud.
“WINTER” FROM THE FOUR SEASONS
CUSO invites you to enjoy our performance of “Winter” from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi, featuring CUSO concertmaster Maria Arrua. Conducted by Stephen Alltop, CUSO performed this famous work for the Holiday Magic virtual concert presented on December 10, 2020.
Experience the brilliance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor, conducted by Stephen Alltop and performed by CUSO on October 13, 2018, in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy this powerful performance by 82 local musicians in a musical journey that moves from tragedy to triumph as you listen to the excellent sound quality of the audio recording on CUSO’s SoundCloud channel.
Feel the healing power of music in flutist Amanda Pond’s soulful performance of Phoenix Rising by Stacy Garrop. Mindful that these times call on our resiliency, CUSO Music Now presents this moving musical portrayal of the phoenix myth and the sacred journey toward renewal. Phoenix Rising was performed on the stage of Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on March 9, 2019. Phoenix Rising is in two parts: I. Dying in Embers; II. Reborn in Flames.
DVOŘÁK SYMPHONY NO. 8 IN G MAJOR, OP. 88
On August 12, 1893, Antonín Dvořák conducted his G-major symphony at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Experience the timeless beauty of this work as CUSO presents Dvořák’s extraordinary Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, performed on February 1, 2020. Known as one of Dvořák’s greatest achievements, the Eighth is lyrical and expressive of the joys of life and the beauty of nature in its changing rhythms. Enjoy the excellent sound quality of the audio recording on CUSO’s SoundCloud channel.
SMILE O VOLUPTUOUS COOL-BREATHED EARTH!
The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra invites you to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of nature and music in this scenic CUSO Music Now video presentation of “Smile O voluptuous cool-breathed earth!” Walt Whitman’s poetry is the text for this sublime love song to the planet, an aria from Terra Nostra by Stacy Garrop. This moving performance by baritone David Govertsen and CUSO is from our concert on March 9, 2019, in Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Experience the power of musical fireworks in this dynamic work by Illinois composer, Roger Zare. Performed by CUSO on April 27, 2019, at the concert, “The Planets and Beyond,” Strontium Red is charged with energy. Strontium is the element that gives fireworks and flares their bright red color. As Zare describes, “Bursting with rapidly flowing streamers of notes and explosive percussive cracks, the rousing energy of this music reflects the heat and brilliance of red fireworks.”
LO, HOW A ROSE E’ER BLOOMING
Enjoy this timeless music of inspiration and hope by Michael Praetorius in this special video message for our community. The piece was originally performed by CUSO at the holiday concert on December 12, 2019.
Experience the musical journey of Terra Nostra, a brilliant oratorio by composer Stacy Garrop, which celebrates the beauty of Earth and humanity’s historic search for living in balance. The concert was performed by CUSO and the University of Illinois Oratorio Society on March 9, 2019.
THE COMPOSER’S TOOLBOX
Discover the delight of a CUSO Youth Concert as Maestro Stephen Alltop opens “The Composer’s Toolbox.” CUSO performed Stacy Garrop’s Blurrr for orchestra, favorite movements from Bizet’s Carmen, and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite for schoolchildren who visited Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on April 9, 2018.