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Allentown Symphony Commission by Chris Theofanidis

The Allentown Symphony Association is commissioning composer Chris Theofanidis for a piece to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

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Allentown Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s Pastoral

Posted on February 26, 2020 by Allentown Symphony Association, Inc.

The ASO welcomes Spring to the Lehigh Valley by celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with the ultimate homage to our planet, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.”  Violinist Lindsay Deutsch will perform two other masterworks as soloist on selections from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons  and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.  Plus, Diane Wittry and the ASO will present the World Premiere of a new a new work by American composer Christopher Theofanidis.


The Allentown Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Diane Wittry, has commissioned Grammy-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis (composer of Rainbow Body) to create a composition to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in the year 2020. Offered as a companion to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the 8 to 10 minute work for strings and harpsichord (or synthesizer), titled If falling is a leaf, will explore nature themes and the importance of conservancy and our environment.

The commissioned work will premiere on March 7 and 8, 2020, at two scheduled Allentown Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts. These concerts will be held one month prior to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and are planned around a theme of nature and the environment.

On the Thursday prior to the concert weekend, Theofanidis will lead Masterclasses at local high schools and colleges, where he will speak to aspiring musicians and composers about his work and answer questions. He will also remain at Miller Symphony Hall after the concert on Sunday for a meet and greet session.

In May 2020, Theofanidis will return to Allentown for a special performance of the commissioned work, performed by a string quartet and either a harpsichord or synthesizer, at the Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary. The chamber performance, which will be offered for free to members of the community, is the result of a partnership with the Wildlands Conservancy.

Project Media

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Title: “Rise” (excerpt) – World Premiere
Composer: Zhou Tian
Performance: Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Diane Wittry (Conductor)
Date: November 11, 2018

“Rise” is a commissioned piece by composer Zhou Tian. Its world premiere in November 2018 honored the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Also Sprach Zarathustra
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Title: “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (excerpt)
Composer: Richard Strauss
Performance: Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Diane Wittry (Conductor)
Date: September 23, 2018

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Allentown, Pennsylvania

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Last update on February 26, 2020


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