For Immediate Release: October 25, 2018
Nick Kenny, Executive Director
(970) 356-6406 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra Presents
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Audience Participation
Greeley, CO – The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra (GPO), under the direction of Glen Cortese, will present its first Masterworks concert of the 2018-19 season on Friday, November 9th, at the Union Colony Civic Center (UCCC), 701 10th Ave. The program, entitled Home Grown, showcases local soloist Robert Vitale, Rossini’s Overture to “The Barber of Seville,” and Beethoven’s most recognizable masterpiece, Symphony No. 5 in C minor. The concert begins at 7:30 pm. Home Grown is proudly presented by Edward Jones – Brian and Kim Larson.
The GPO’s 108th concert season, sponsored by UCHealth, kicked off in grand fashion on October 19th with an unforgettable performance by the GPO and Mandy Harvey. Continuing on the opening concert’s successes, the GPO presents its first Masterworks concert with selections by Gioacchino Rossini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig Van Beethoven. Rossini’s Overture to “The Barber of Seville,” one of the most popular and recognizable operas, has been presented to generations of music lovers through Bugs Bunny, Woody the Woodpecker, and even Robin Williams. Almost everyone in the country recognizes melodies from Rossini’s masterpiece, written in a short three weeks at the age of only 24.
GPO Principal Clarinetist, Robert Vitale, takes center stage presenting Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A minor. This concerto was Mozart’s final purely instrumental work before his death at the age of 35. Not originally written for the modern clarinet, the change proves challenging to modern players, as some notes in the concerto are not available on the modern instrument.
The concert concludes with one of the most well-known symphonies in the world – Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. It was written during an extremely productive, and also very emotional time in the composer’s life, three years after he began going deaf. It has been noted that the dark tone of the first movement reflects Beethoven’s struggles at this hard time in his life, and that the opening notes represent fate knocking on Beethoven’s door. For the first time in GPO history, the audience will help to perform and recreate those opening notes with instruments provided to the first 500 audience members in attendance.
About Robert Vitale
Robert Vitale, a native of Long Island, joined the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra as principal clarinet in September of 2016. He moved to Colorado Springs in 2014 after being awarded a position with the United States Air Force Academy Band. As a member of the Academy Band, he performs regularly with the Concert Band, Marching Band, and one of their eclectic chamber ensembles, Academy Winds. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from George Mason University, and a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from Stony Brook University. His principal instructors include Mitch Kamen, Dr. Brian Jones, Lora R. Ferguson, and Alan R. Kay. While attending George Mason University, Robert was principal clarinet for The Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band. He was also featured as an honors recitalist in 2007, and was selected as the winner for the 2008 concerto competition when he performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto K. 622. While attending Stony Brook University, he performed in the Symphony Orchestra and made his Lincoln Center debut premiering a new composition with their Contemporary Chamber Players ensemble. Mr. Vitale is a very enthusiastic educator and takes every opportunity to mentor young musicians. His tenure with both the GPO and the Academy Band has led him to perform master classes and clinics throughout the entire Front Range. In addition to his craft as a performer, he is also highly skilled in professional instrument repair, and manages a large inventory of wood wind instruments for the Air Force Academy Band. When getting away from the clarinet, Robert is a very dedicated father to his therapy dog Terry. He’s also an automotive hobbyist and novice racer.
About the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra
Founded in 1911, the GPO is the oldest continually operated professional orchestra west of the Mississippi River. The organization is dedicated to providing the highest degree of music and cultural enrichment in Northern Colorado. Education initiatives continue to engage and inspire youth, promoting an interest in classical music. All musicians have auditioned and been contracted by the GPO. Over 70% of the GPO’s orchestra members hold a Master’s Degree or higher, and many have made successful careers performing for the GPO and other professional orchestras throughout the Front Range and beyond.
Concerts feature repertoire spanning hundreds of years, showcasing composers from across the globe. The GPO is invested in the future of classical music and its relevance in its community, presenting annual Fifth Grade concerts, outreach to schools, side-by-side coaching sessions, and a Junior Ambassador program.
About the Music Director
Glen Cortese begins his twelfth season as music director of the Greeley Philharmonic. His recent guest engagements have included the Eugene Opera, Madison Lyric Stage, The Three Tenors Concert in Tirana Albania to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the independence of Kososvo, RTSH Radio Orchestra (Albania) Emerald City Opera, Opera Fort Collins, Wolftrap Opera, The Charleston Symphony, the Sapporo Festival Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Orchestra the Sofia Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Mexico City Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the Lafayette Symphony, the Billings Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Cleveland, and the Annapolis Symphony. He was resident conductor of the Florida Philharmonic for the 2001–2002 season and completed twelve seasons at the Manhattan School of Music where he was principal conductor from 1988 to 2000. He has appeared as guest conductor both in the United States and abroad with the Symphonies of New Jersey, Florida Philharmonic, Austin, Mexico City Philharmonic, North Carolina, Colorado Springs, Bangor, Meridian, Queens, New Amsterdam, The New Orleans Philharmonic, the International Chamber Orchestra, the Belarus Sate Philharmonic, Sofia Philharmonic National Romanian Radio Orchestra, Noorhollands Philharmonisch, Orquesta Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, San Francisco Conservatory, Cleveland Institute, and the Altenburg Landeskappele Orchestra. Mr. Cortese covered as assistant conductor to the New York Philharmonic in 1990–92 for Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirikanov, Erich Leinsdorf, Zdenek Macal and Cristof Perick. In July of 1993, he was invited by Kurt Masur to guest conduct a reading with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.
Single tickets to the 2018-19 concert season are on sale now at the UCCC Box Office, 970.356.5000. More information may be found at www.greeleyphil.org.