Music, then and now: Orchestra of Northern New York’s upcoming concerts

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Next weekend’s two concerts by the Orchestra of Northern New York will include the works of two of the most accomplished female composers of our day. To introduce the works, the events will feature two guest speakers who are orchestra members.

The ONNY will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 29 in Potsdam at SUNY Potsdam’s Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall and at 3 p.m. April 30 at First Presbyterian Church, 403 Washington St.

The main features of the concerts will be Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68. It will be the first time in 35 years that ONNY has performed the symphony, which debuted in 1876 and which The Classical Review calls “an undisputed masterpiece which established a new path for the Romantic symphony.”

The two concerts are the final classical ones to be conducted by ONNY’s founder, director and maestro Kenneth B. Andrews. He has served as music director and conductor for the orchestra since its founding in 1988. He will conclude his tenure in July with the pop concerts, “Fantastic Film Favorites.”

The two programs next weekend will open with the rhythmic and driving “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 6” (2014) by Joan Tower, Music America’s 2020 Composer of the Year. Later, Charles Guy, ONNY’s principal tubist, will be featured on Jennifer Higdon’s “Tuba Concerto,” composed in 2018 for tuba and orchestra.

The pre-concert conversations begin 45 minutes before each program. Mr. Andrews will pose questions about the two female composers whose works will be performed in the concert.

Nelly Maude Case of Los Alamos, New Mexico, will travel to the north country from New Mexico to perform one last time under the baton of Mr. Andrews. Erin Brooks, a member of the Crane School of Music faculty, will join her. Both women play viola and are noted musicologists — persons who conduct the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music.

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