Capping its semester-long celebration of legendary opera composers, the Amherst Symphony Orchestra presents A Centennial Tribute to Benjamin Britten on Saturday evening, December 7, 2013 at 8pm in Buckley Recital Hall on the Amherst College campus. Britten (1913-1976), the greatest opera composer of the 20th century, was attracted to themes of social isolation and misunderstanding, as reflected in his masterpieces Peter Grimes, Billy Budd, The turn of the Screw, Death in Venice, among many others. He is widely considered as the finest composer for the voice in the English language.
The orchestra performs Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, sublime settings of poems by Blake, Keats, Tennyson and others. Guest artists William Hite, tenor, and Laura Klock, horn, faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, join the ASO for the Serenade. The orchestra also performs the popular Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Amherst College President Biddy Martin narrates. Finally, the concert opens with Estonian master Arvo Part's moving Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten. The ASO is conducted by Mark Lane Swanson, its Music Director since 2001.
Also on Saturday evening, December 7, 2013, Professors Jeffers Engelhardt and Visiting Valentine Professor of Music Mitchell Morris present a pre-concert talk on the Part work and on Britten beginning at 7pm in Room 3, Arms Music Center, just downstairs from Buckley Recital Hall.
Tickets will be sold only on the night of the concert beginning at 6:45pm in the lobby of Arms Music Center. General admission is $10, seniors, children and students $5, Five College students are free, as well as families with school-age children. The preconcert talk is also free.