Michigan Tech Music will present Old World, New World, performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This concert will also stream live for faraway KSO and Michigan Tech Music lovers.
The finale for the orchestra’s 2022/2023 “Season of Premieres,” Old World, New World features the world premiere of Kalaupapa, Music Director Joel Neves’ own work for orchestra. The deeply personal and moving composition is dedicated to Neves’ Native Hawaiian ‘ohana from the “old world” and features Hawaiian sounds including the charm of a ukulele and the call of conch shells.
“My Hawaiian ‘ohana contracted leprosy and were quarantined for life in the government-sanctioned Kalaupapa leper colony on Molokai. Their lives were pain-filled but joyous,” says Neves. ” I wrote a symphonic tone poem that depicts their pain and joy in equal measure, with the joy winning out in the end. Kalaupapa is a kaleidoscopic work for symphony orchestra, ukulele, guitar, and conch shells that paints the lives of my beautiful ancestors. Having recently exited a quarantined existence, I think our patrons will find Kalaupapa to be a compelling, close-to-home experience.”
The concert also explores the “new world” experienced by Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, when he first visited America, resulting in his nostalgically beautiful New World Symphony. The concert features another piece by Dvorak, Carnival Overture, and Ballet music from Charles Gounod’s Faust.
Under the direction of conductor Joel Neves, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra is comprised of talented musicians from Michigan Tech and the surrounding community. The orchestra has established itself as a cultural asset to the region, presenting high-quality classical and contemporary music performances throughout the year.
“Our concert theme is Old World, New World, represented by “old” Hawaii and “new” America. Dvorak’s New World Symphony–inspired by his travels to America–is one of the most popular symphonies in the world, a tour-de-force for symphony orchestra that includes the famous “Goin’ Home” theme in the second movement,” Neves says. “It’s an exciting concert program that will take the audience on a thrilling symphonic adventure.”
Tickets for the public are available online, by calling 906-487-1906, or the Rozsa Box Office from 11-1 p.m. Monday through Friday or for 1 hour before shows. Michigan Tech Students can reserve free Experience Tech tickets online, and Student Rush will be available at the door. Prices range from $5 for youth under 18 to $19 for adults.
For more information about Michigan Tech Music and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, visit www.mtu.edu/vpa/music.