The West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mitchell Arnold, will be joined by faculty cellist William Skidmore for its final 2012-13 performance at the Creative Arts Center, Thursday, April 25.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre.

Skidmore will perform Antonín Dvorák’s “Cello Concerto” with the Orchestra.

“The concerto is so much more than just a showpiece for the soloist,” said Arnold. “Dvorák composed a work of great depth and feeling. It is very personal and speaks to the joy of living amidst the sadness of loss.”

The program also includes Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Isle of the Dead,” a musical poem based on a famous painting which depicts a dreamlike image of a boat carrying a coffin and a standing figure, propelled by an oarsman toward an island of tall poplars and rocky cliffs with a stone mausoleum-like edifice.

“The inevitability, the single-mindedness, of Rachmaninoff’s take on this painting is truly gripping,” Arnold said.

The performance begins with Finnish composer Einojunai Rautavaara’s “Isle of Bliss,” a brief glimpse of an island paradise, a subject of human yearning.

“This programs demonstrates the talents of our students and faculty at WVU,” Arnold said. “The students’ technical achievement is surpassed only by the depth of their artistry; Morgantown is fortunate to have such a cultural gem in its midst.”

Arnold received a doctorate in conducting from Northwestern University and has an extensive background in new music. Before coming to WVU, he was director of orchestras at Northern Illinois University and assistant director of orchestras at Northwestern University. He has also served on the faculties at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. In March 2013 he made his guest conducting debut with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston.

Skidmore, WVU’s professor of cello, has presented numerous recitals throughout the Eastern United States including performances at the National Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Professor Skidmore previously taught at University of Maryland, was a member of the Baltimore Symphony for four seasons, and taught cello and chamber music at the Interlochen Arts Camp. As a chamber musician, he has been a member of the Maryland Trio, the Baltimore Symphony String Quartet, and the American Arts Trio. In addition to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he was principal cellist with the West Virginia Symphonette and the Ohio Valley Symphony. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois, where his principal teachers were Peter Farrell, Louis Potter, Leonard Rose and Joseph Gingold.

For concert tickets and information, call the WVU Box Office at (304) 293-SHOW.

Check out the WVU Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page and their website at http://wvuso.weebly.com/.

-WVU-

CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4359, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu

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