Fairfield University Orchestra presents an All-Grieg concert at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


The Fairfield University Orchestra will present a spring concert of three masterworks by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg on Tuesday, April 22, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

The evening's program, under the director of Conductor Christopher Hisey, includes Grieg's "Lyric Suite," "Piano Concerto in A minor" and his beloved "Peer Gynt Suite." Eric Hachinski will be the piano soloist.

"I think these pieces are absolutely beautiful," said Orchestra Manager Kurt Kuechler, who plays bass. "I think the audience will be very pleased."

Born in 1843 in Bergen, Norway, Grieg is known for promoting his country's folk culture and a sense of Norwegian nationalism during a time of heavy Danish influence in Norway. In the late 1860s, he wrote the first of nine "Lyric Pieces," which consisted of six to eight short movements in contrasting moods. By 1868, he wrote his best-known piece, the "Piano Concerto in A minor," a striking and technically demanding work that remains fresh even by modern standards.

Grieg started work on "Peer Gynt" when the playwright Henrik Ibsen asked him to provide music for his play of the same name. The suite was first performed in 1876 and met with such success that Grieg became an overnight superstar in his homeland. Though he shied away from larger musical forms, such as the opera or symphony, he is considered without equal in his preferred styles.

Sixty members strong, the orchestra is celebrating its 15th anniversary this season.

Hisey is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has conducted throughout the United States and Eastern Europe. He made his international debut with the Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra in Ruse, Bulgaria, in January 2001. Since then he has returned to Bulgaria to conduct the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Hisey has served as music director of the Perrysburg Symphony Chorale and associate conductor of the Bowling Green Philharmonia and Opera Theatre Orchestra, both of Ohio. He has been guest conductor with the Ohio District II Music Festival, the Lexington String Festival of Kentucky and the Fairfield County Chorale Summer Sing Program.

In addition to his duties at Fairfield University, Hisey serves as music director of the Troupers Light Opera Company of Southern Connecticut and as conductor of the Bridgeport Youth Symphony Orchestras. He is on the string faculties of Greens Farms Academy in Westport and the Westport School of Music.

Tickets are $8, $5 for students. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 24, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 237