Greeley Philharmonic’s Music Director to Conduct Final Concert

For Immediate Release: April 22nd, 2019
Contact: Nick Kenny, Executive Director
(970) 356-6406 | nick@greeleyphil.org
Greeley Philharmonic’s Music Director to Conduct Final Concert
Greeley, CO – The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra (GPO), under the direction of Glen Cortese, will present A Fond Farewell on Friday, April 26th, at the Union Colony Civic Center (UCCC), 701 10th Ave. This concert marks Maestro Cortese’s final concert as Music Director of the GPO, a position he has held since 2007.
A Fond Farewell, presented by the Sallie Johnson, will showcase world-renowned pianist Lei Weng and the University of Northern Colorado Combined Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Jill Burgett and Dr. Galen Darrough. The concert begins with the same masterpiece that Maestro Cortese conducted in his first concert as Music Director of the GPO, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture. 160 singers will then accompany Lei Weng on Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, a piece often viewed as a precursor to the final movement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony. The concert concludes with Maurice Durufle’s Requiem, a calm and serene mass concentrating on visions of calm and peaceful rest, a perfect ending to Maestro Cortese’s legacy.
A post-concert celebration of Maestro Glen Cortese will take place immediately following the concert. Please join the musicians, staff, and Board of Directors as we wish Maestro Cortese a fond farewell after his dozen years of dedicated musical service. The GPO’s 108th concert season is sponsored by UCHealth, with support by Ehrlich Toyota.
About Lei Weng
Steinway Artist Dr. Lei Weng was hailed as “a colorist of exemplary control” and “displayed a powerhouse technique and provided good contrast with its delicate moments” by the New York Concert Review for his sold-out Carnegie Hall debuts. He has performed in prestigious venues around the world as the Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Beijing Music Hall, Taichung Concert Hall, Kaohsiung Cultural Center, Canada’s Banff Center, Italy’s Campana Theater, Vienna’s Peterskirche, as well as music festivals including Tanglewood, Messiaen, Sarasota, Rocky Ridge, Breckenridge, and Cliburn Institute.
As a frequent orchestral soloist, Weng has performed with orchestras in Cincinnati, Seattle, Indiana, Louisiana, Fort Worth, Fort Collins, Greeley, Kentucky, Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao (China), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Gimhae (Korea), as well as the China National Symphony and Chorus, Taiwan National Taitung University Symphony, UNC Symphony Orchestra and UNC Wind Ensemble. His engagements in this upcoming season include performances with the orchestras of Greeley, Xianmen, Tianjin (China), and Marchigiana (Italy).
Weng’s performances have been critically acclaimed as “spirited and full of nuances” by The Cincinnati Post. The Herald Times calls him “colorful and flamboyant.” China’s Tianjin Daily remarked on his “profound and immense artistry” and Scott Cantrell, music critic from the Dallas Morning News wrote: “Fabulous playing – really fresh, personal! I love the unpredictability, the willingness to take chances, not just to sound like someone else. ”
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 concludes 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.

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