The Florida State University College of Music is proud to present the University Symphony Orchestra’s second concert of the 2023-2024 season. Led by Music Director and Conductor Dr. Alexander Jiménez, the USO is the premiere orchestral ensemble of Florida State University.
The first half of the program will feature Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture and Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, conducted by graduate conducting associate Guilherme Rodrigues. Described as “hauntingly beautiful” by Jiménez, Quiet City will feature performances by College of Music faculty members Eric Ohlsson (English horn) and Christopher Moore (trumpet).
The second half of the concert is dedicated to Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterpiece, Scheherazade, a work which uniquely displays Rimsky-Korsakov’s ability to blend western Romanticism with non-western melodies and harmonies to create something truly spectacular.
Based on the Arabic folk tale 1001 Arabian Nights, the four movements of Rimsky-Korsakov’s work are loosely based on stories told each night by the titular Scheherazade to her new husband, the Sultan, in order to distract and intrigue him so that she might avoid the fate of the Sultan’s previous wives – each of whom were beheaded the morning after their wedding. These movements were initially named after the individual stories they were based on but were eventually rescinded in favor of having the listener only be reminded of a fairytale-esque adventure.
Jiménez describes Scheherazade as “one of the great[est]” orchestral masterpieces, “beautifully orchestrated” and “full of virtuosic instrumental playing.”