Pianist Brian Woods Performs with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra

The Quincy Symphony Orchestra, led by Dr. Bruce Briney, will present the Pines of Rome Concert as its 75th Anniversary Season finale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22 in the QJHS Morrison Theater.

Acclaimed pianist Brian Woods will join the orchestra to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2.” Widely accepted as one of the greatest works in the piano repertoire, this music has been described as an “epic work of genius” and a “towering piano masterpiece” by Classic FM digital radio. Its familiar melodies are featured in movies, plays, and modern music.

Celebrated for his stunning musicianship and dazzling stage presence, Brian Woods has emerged as a rising star of international acclaim. His 2022-2023 Season includes concert tours of the United States and numerous collaborations.

A native of St. Louis, Woods has enjoyed success in numerous competitions, including the Verona International Piano Competition, The American Prize, and the Artist Presentation Society Auditions. He maintains an extensive concerto repertoire and has performed with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, the Southeast Missouri Symphony, and the Southern Illinois Symphony. Past seasons have included solo recitals in Toronto, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, and Dublin, Ireland. Woods holds degrees from Vanderbilt University, University of Missouri – Kansas City, and Shenandoah University. Find out more at www.brianwoodspianist.com.

The symphony orchestra will also perform Respighi’s “Pines of Rome”, a thrilling homage to the Eternal City. The music presents four impressions that capture the imagination including the raucous play of children, the somber catacombs, and the nocturnal serenity of the Janiculum, Rome’s beautiful hilltop park. Here nightingales serenade the audience, one of the first examples of added recorded sounds to an orchestra performance. For the final movement, “Pines of the Appian Way,” Respighi employs his favorite format for closing: beginning quietly and slowly expanding to an imposing crescendo. As the music unfolds, the composer adds more layers, including extra brass instruments, to achieve a thunderous conclusion in true surround sound!

The QSOA has been at the forefront of championing new music each season.  That innovation continues with Roger Zare’s new overture commemorating the organization’s 75th Anniversary. “Luminous Synchrony” recalls the way the dark Illinois landscape comes alive in a strange way, with hundreds of blinking red lights. These lights on the wind turbines blink in synchrony across many miles of fields to warn pilots that there are towering obstacles below. Zare found it mesmerizing to see such a large group of otherwise invisible objects connected by the synchrony of light, gradually moving together across the horizon as he drove by.

As a composer, Zare has been praised by the New York Times for his “enviable grasp of orchestration.” Often inspired by science, nature, and mythology, his works create a visceral energy in their performance. Zare’s compositions have been performed across the United States and around the world. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Southern California. Zare is currently visiting assistant professor of music at Appalachian State University and previously taught at Illinois State University.

The $1,000 Grand Prize Drawing for the annual QSOA Raffle will be held after the concert’s intermission. Raffle proceeds support the orchestra, chorus, youth orchestra, and youth chorus, as well as annual in-school symphony concerts for thousands of children. The grand prize, the 2nd prize of a Symphony Getaway Package, and the 3rd prize of two QSOA season tickets will be awarded. Raffle tickets are $10 each or 12 for $100 and may be purchased at the concert, in advance from any orchestra, chorus, Encore! or Symphony Board member. The raffle is sponsored by HomeBank and Southern Air.

Concert tickets will be available at the door or in advance from Sturhahn Jewelers, County Market, or Hy-Vee. Tickets are $15 for seniors and $18 for other adults. Thanks in part to support from the Tracy Family Foundation and the Community Foundation, children 18 and under are admitted free to all QSO concerts.

This performance is made possible by Concert Sponsor Mercantile Bank, Music Sponsor Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu & Mitchell, Media Sponsor WGEM, and grants from the Marion Gardner Jackson Charitable Trust, the Tracy Family Foundation, the Stillwell Foundation, the Katherine Broemmel Endowment for the Arts through the Community Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.  The 75th Anniversary Season Sponsors are Blessing Health System and Knapheide Manufacturing Company.

Visit www.qsoa.org or call the symphony office at 217-222-2856 for more information.