Huw Edwards Leads String Orchestra in "With Strings Attached" Concert

September 26, 2012


TACOMA, Wash. – Huw Edwards, the new orchestra director at University of Puget Sound, will treat the public to a colorful program of modern British and Japanese masterworks, mixed with classical Bach and Mozart, at his first concert leading the college’s String Orchestra.

With Strings Attached, a free performance in Schneebeck Concert Hall, will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are not required and everyone is welcome. The evening, featuring students from the School of Music, will also spotlight faculty soloists Maria Sampen and Timothy Christie on violin.

Huw Edwards, a native of Wales, joined Puget Sound following a dozen years as music director of Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra in Oregon, and nine years as music director of Olympia Symphony Orchestra, a position he continues to hold. He has been praised by audiences, guest soloists, and the media for his intense performances and daring programming.

Edwards is credited with heightening the visibility of both the Olympia and Portland orchestras. He was previously music director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic and Seattle Youth Symphony orchestras, and he has toured or worked with orchestras in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Edwards holds degrees from University of Surrey in England, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

For the Oct. 10 performance, Edwards will open with a famous work by one of his countrymen, British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. The chosen piece is Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

 “There is a rich legacy of British string works—perhaps the vocal purity of the writing imitates the long tradition of cathedral choirs in Britain,” Edwards said. In this piece, he added, “the strings are split into two orchestras, with a smaller group behind the main orchestra, and there is a wonderful passage for string quartet involving the section principals.”

This will be followed by J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in d minor, succeeded by Requiem for string orchestra, by Toru Takemitsu, one of Japan’s finest composers. Edwards said the work, which includes “an amazing array of string colors, sonic effects, and mood swings,” was played at many concerts following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011.

The evening will finish with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade No. 13 in G Major, a piece which has become known the world over as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music). The short, four-movement work illustrates the Austro-German composer at his theatrical best and will provide an uplifting finish to the night.

Admission is complimentary and tickets are not required.

Press photos of Huw Edwards may be downloaded from: www.pugetsound.edu/pressphotos

For directions and a map of the campus: www.pugetsound.edu/directions

Photo on page: Huw Edwards, photo by Rodger Burnett

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