Symphony NH Honors Legacy of Esteemed African-American Composer in Upcoming Concert

Symphony New Hampshire will perform Mozart 40 and Elgar Cello Concerto with Grammy-nominated cellist Marza Merophi Wilks and guest conductor Stefano Sarzani on Saturday, March 9 at the Keefe Center for the Arts in Nashua and Sunday, March 10 at the Concord City Auditorium in Concord. With the passing of legendary African-American composer George Walker, Symphony NH has chosen to include his Lyric for Strings on the program to honor his influence on American music. These concerts come on the heels of two nearly sold-out performances from Symphony NH.

WHAT: Symphony NH starts the program with Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe. Gallant and captivating, this work from one of Weber’s most beloved operas is the most frequently performed overture today. 

Described as “contemplative and elegant,” Elgar’s Cello Concerto was drafted shortly after the first world war. Though it did not gain wide popularity until the 1960s, it has since become one of Elgar’s most notable pieces of work, performed widely by notable cellists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Jacqueline du Pré.

With the recent passing of George Theophilus Walker, Symphony NH honors his legacy with the addition of Lyric for Strings to the program. Walker's imaginative writing and trailblazing career has made a profound, lasting impact on American music. Known for his unique fusion of various classical, jazz, and folk styles, Walker was the first African-American to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Of all Mozart’s treasured symphonies, none is more iconic or well-recognized as his Symphony No. 40. Written just years before his untimely passing, this symphony has stood the test of time not only in its own right, but as some music historians believe, its direct influence on Beethoven’s own iconic symphony, Symphony No. 5. 

WHEN: 

  • Saturday, March 9 at 8pm at Keefe Center for the Arts, Nashua, NH.

  • Sunday, March 10 at 3pm at Concord City Auditorium, Concord, NH.

WHO: Peruvian-born cellist Marza Merophi Wilks has performed across the nation and was a soloist on the Grammy-nominated album, “Ruggles, Stucky & Harbison: Orchestral Works.” A graduate of Juilliard, Marza has appeared as soloist with the Genesee Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra of the Southern Fingerlakes. She has toured with the Sphinx Virtuosi, performing in such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. She will be making her New York solo debut at Alice Tully Hall with the World Civic Orchestra in June 2019.

Conductor Stefano Sarzani enjoys an international career leading orchestras and operas across the United States and Europe. Mr. Sarzani is a recipient of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2016 and has collaborated with symphonic and operatic institutions such as Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, Atlanta Opera, and Sarasota Opera. Stefano is one of Symphony NH's Music Director Search finalists.

Established in 1923, Symphony New Hampshire is New Hampshire’s oldest professional orchestra. Symphony NH performs to thousands in Nashua, Concord, Lebanon, Peterborough, Keene, and other towns across New England. Symphony NH’s education and community outreach programs have served the community for years, bringing diverse, exciting programs and exceptional live music to the schools, community centers, immigrant communities, and public institutions of New Hampshire.

TICKETS AND PRICING: 

Tickets are $18-$52 with senior and student discounts available. Youth under the age of 16 are welcome to attend free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at symphonynh.org, by calling (603) 595-9156, or by visiting the Symphony NH office at 6 Church St, Nashua, NH 03060.