Thursday, March 18, 2010

Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Always nice to see three 20th Century works on the same program. In this case, it's doubly daring since all three works have a similar character, even if they are starkly different in harmonic language.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is performing Schoenberg's "Transfigured Night," Barber's "Adagio for Strings" and John Tavener's “The Protecting Veil” in a concert this Sunday, March 21, at Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium. The latter is a work commissioned by cellist Steven Isserlis and will be performed here with former PSO principal cellist Qiang Tu as soloist. The group will be led by guest conductor Andrew Grams.

Tavener's work takes its inspiration from the Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, a celebration of the Byzantine church recalling the Blessed Virgin’s appearance to the Greeks in Constantinople in the 10th century. Like the more famous Barber and Schoenberg works, the mood is both meditative and transcendent.

The program is in cooperation with the Princeton University Art Museum, located a short walk across campus from Richardson. Concertgoers are invited to tour the exhibit of Byzantine art, "Architecture as Icon" following the performance. The exhibit addresses the role of architecture in Byzantine art, particularly the role of architectural designs as religious icons.

Tickets are available by calling the Richardson Auditorium box office, 609-258-5000, or by visiting For more information visit the PSO's website,


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