RI Philharmonic and Providence Singers Offer Mozart’s Requiem


The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Bramwell Tovey to the podium on October 15, with a concert featuring Mozart’s Requiem with Providence Singers. The program also features Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini. The concert is Saturday, October 15 at 8:00pm, with a Rush Hour concert Friday, October 14 at 6:30pm. For the first time ever, hear the RI Philharmonic and Providence Singers proclaim the genius of Mozart’s deathbed composition, Requiem, as it develops swiftly and vanishes all too soon. You won’t want to miss it!



TACO Classical Concert Series
Saturday, October 15 at 8:00pm
The VETS, Providence, RI

Bramwell Tovey, guest conductor
Providence Singers
Christine Noel, Artistic Director

TCHAIKOVSKY Francesca da Rimini

MOZART Requiem 

AMICA Rush Hour Concert
Friday October 14 at 6:30pm
The VETS, Providence, RI

MOZART Requiem 


About Bramwell Tovey

“One of the most versatile and charismatic musicians in the world” (Musical America), Grammy Award-winning conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey is Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Adviser of the VSO School of Music. His tenure has included complete symphony cycles of Beethoven, Mahler and Brahms and an annual contemporary music festival.

  • Conductor: Last season’s guest appearances included the symphonies of Montreal, Melbourne, New Zealand, Pacific Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Tovey has worked with leading choirs including Los Angeles Master Chorale, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Melbourne Symphony Chorus and Pacific Chorale, in a wide range of repertoire from Bach and Britten to Part and Penderecki.
  • Composer: In 2003 Mr. Tovey won the Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. Commissions include the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Opera which premiered his first full-length opera The Inventor in 2011.
  • Pianist: He has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras including the New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto, and Royal Scottish orchestras.

Providence Singers celebrates the choral art through concerts of masterworks and contemporary works, creative collaborations, recordings of American choral treasures, new music commissions and education programs. Collaborators include Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Kronos Quartet at the FirstWorks Festival, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the New Haven Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Aurea Ensemble and Boston Landmarks Orchestra.

Christine Noel, Artistic Director of Providence Singers, has conducted the RI Philharmonic and the Singers in Handel’s Messiah, and the Singers in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Bach’s Cantata 140. She prepared the Singers for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Holst’s The Planets, Orff’s Carmina burana, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the RI Philharmonic. She is Director of Choral Activities at Clark University. She is Founder and Artistic Director of the RI Children’s Chorus, an award-winning choral organization for youth which serves children age seven to 18, offering six performance ensembles. An active festival clinician and adjudicator, she holds a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Boston University. She studied at the Università degli Studi di Firenze and the Kodály Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. 


About the concert: stories behind the music

Francesca da Rimini, op.32
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Star-crossed lovers: 14th-century Italian lovers Paolo and Francesca are immortalized in Dante’s Inferno. Sadly for them, Francesca was married to Paolo’s brother, who was not amused and killed them both. Tchaikovsky used their story in a programmatic orchestral “fantasy.” Audiences and most critics were enthusiastic, some saying that this was his best orchestral work yet. He wrote, “I have worked at it with love, and the love, I believe, has been quite successful.”

Requiem, k.626
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Origin of the story: The Requiem’s story is worthy of stage and screen; indeed, it inspired Peter Schaffer’s Amadeus. In 1791, Mozart accepted a commission to compose a Requiem Mass. Mozart was ill: could he have suspected that it would be his last work? According to Mozart’s widow, Constanze, a “grey messenger” appeared at Mozart’s door one night bearing an unsigned commissioning letter and some money as down payment for a Requiem Mass. Due to The Magic Flute and other commitments that year, Mozart had to wait until November to begin work on the Requiem. The specter of this visitor haunted Mozart during his last days.

Deathbed composition: Toward the end of November, Mozart grew so ill he was confined to bed. Nothing could deter him from trying to complete the Requiem, which would bring Constanze a little money after he was gone. Constanze’s sister wrote that on the day before Mozart’s death, “There was Süssmayr [Mozart’s student and friend] by Mozart’s bed, the well-known Requiem lay on the coverlet, and Mozart was explaining to him how in his opinion he should complete it after his death.”

All programs and artists are subject to change without notice.

The RI Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensembles Announce New Conductor, Aaron W. Bush

The RI Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensembles (RIPYWE) is excited to announce that Aaron W. Bush will conduct the Youth Wind Ensemble for the 2016/17 School Year. He joins RIPYWE Music Director Dr. David Neves for a season which includes works from Mozart and Shostakovich along with contemporary music from the stage and screen.
Dr. Neves remarks: “I can think of no one more qualified than Aaron to bring into the RIPYWE family. He combines incredible musical standards and expectations with a deep-seated belief that music performance and preparation must be a positive experience for all involved. His rehearsals are always exciting, uplifting and energetic while empowering each individual student to grow and express themselves to the fullest extent. Aaron embodies all that is best about music education.”

Mr. Bush has been the Director of Middle School Bands in the Needham Public Schools since 2008. Under his leadership, the performing ensembles in Needham have consistently received state, regional and national recognition at adjudicated events and festivals. Since joining Needham schools, Mr. Bush has led ensembles to multiple performances at Boston Symphony Hall as gold medal recipients in the annual MICCA Music Festival, and has hosted professional world class artists, conductors and composers in residency.

“I think the most important thing we do as music educators is to get kids EXCITED about music!” remarks Bush. “Establishing and maintaining a culture where students develop a love for music making will set them up for substantive growth as they experience meaningful art with one another. Making music is (and should be) fun! I think the RI Philharmonic has done a wonderful job setting a high bar for student achievement. I’m so thrilled to be part of this unique and special place.”

RIPYWE is now auditioning all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments for the 2016/17 Season. Students should have at least 2 years experience and be in grades 6-12. Auditions are by individual appointment.

Interested students can schedule an audition by contacting Youth Ensembles Manager Chelsea Anderson at canderson@riphil.org or 401.248.7038.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensembles (RIPYWE), founded in 2002, gives middle and high school students the opportunity to make new friends through rehearsal and performance of challenging and rewarding wind repertoire. Woodwind, brass and percussion students from across Southern New England join together in a fun and engaging musical experience and present a series of concerts through the school year.

RIPYWE Symphonic Winds, conducted by Music Director Dr. David Neves, is designed for high school students. RIPYWE Wind Ensemble, conducted by Music Director Aaron Bush, is designed for middle and high school students. Both RIPYWE ensembles rehearse each Wednesday at the RI Philharmonic’s Carter Center for Music Education & Performance in East Providence from September to May.

Interested students can schedule an audition by contacting Youth Ensembles Manager Chelsea Anderson at canderson@riphil.org or 401.248.7038.


Beethoven’s Emperor • Sept 16 & 17


Garrick Ohlsson Joins
RI Philharmonic for Opening Concert

Music Director Larry Rachleff’s
Farewell Season Begins

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes celebrated pianist Garrick Ohlsson to begin this season, Music Director Larry Rachleff’s last leading the Orchestra. Ohlsson will play Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Orchestra. The program also features Smetana’s The Bartered Bride Overture and Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra.

TACO Classical Concert
Saturday, September 17 • 8:00pm

Larry Rachleff, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

SMETANA The Bartered Bride: Overture
LUTOSLAWSKI Concerto for Orchestra
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No.5 (Emperor)

Before & After the Concert
Pre-concert Talk with Francisco Noya
Music School Students in Mezzanine Lobby
Talkback with Larry Rachleff


Amica Rush Hour Concert
Friday, September 16 • 6:30pm

SMETANA The Bartered Bride: Overture
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No.5 (Emperor)


Directions & Parking

Concert sponsored by Almon & Suzanne Hall
Mr. Ohlsson’s appearance is sponsored by
Almon & Suzanne Hall and Mr. & Mrs. Robert Catanzaro

Box Office


The Carter Center
Mon–Fri: 9am–4:30pm
667 Waterman Avenue
East Providence, RI 02914

Friday Concert Days: 3:30pm–Showtime
Saturday Concert Days: 4pm–Showtime
1 Avenue of the Arts
Providence, RI 02903

Supper Club

Enjoy a special buffet at the Renaissance Hotel, adjacent to The VETS, at 6pm on Classical Saturdays. Francisco Noya gives a pre-concert talk at 6:30pm, then take your seat for the 8pm performance featuring Music Director Larry Rachleff and your RI Philharmonic!

$45 per person
Cash Bar Available

RI Philharmonic Supper Club • Sept 17
Renaissance Haydn Room

6pm ~ Cocktails
6:30pm ~ Pre-concert Talk
7pm ~ Dinner Buffet

To RSVP email: ljohnson-carvalho@riphil.org
Deadline for reservations and cancellations is Wednesday, September 14!

About Garrick Ohlsson 

American pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays during rehearsal of Special Concert on the 200th Anniversary of Frédéric Chopin's Birth at Warsaw Philharmonic
American pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays during the rehearsal for the Special Concert on the 200th Anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin’s Birth at Warsaw Philharmonic February 25, 2010.

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Ohlsson’s repertoire ranges over the entire piano literature. To date he has at his command more than 80 concerti, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. Last season, with concerti as diverse as Beethoven, Brahms, Barber and Busoni, he performed in San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Minnesota, Scotland, Prague, Boston, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Nashville, Indianapolis, Oregon, Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Manchester (UK) and Lugano (Switzerland).

  • New York roots, San Francisco home: A native of White Plains, N.Y., Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of eight; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School.
  • Big break: In 1970, he became the first American – and still the only one – to win the Gold Medal at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, earning worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. This fall he will return to serve as a judge at the competition.

About the Concert: Stories Behind the Music

Complete Program Notes

The Bartered Bride: Overture
Bedřich Smetana

Smetana found his roots in the music of his native Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic). His political activism created a fresh, liberating force in his music, and nowhere is there a stronger sense of Czech “roots” than in his second opera, The Bartered Bride (1863-1866). Smetana felt such enthusiasm for the project that he wrote the overture first. The peasant opera has become synonymous with Czech culture.

Concerto for Orchestra
Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)

In the 1950s, composer Witold Lutoslawski became internationally celebrated, winning prizes and honors galore. In his native Poland, Lutoslawski was renowned as a pianist and conductor as well as a composer. Under repressive Stalinist Soviet Bloc rules, however, he paid the same heavy price for fame as did Russian composers such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich. His Concerto for Orchestra was a 1950 commission from the Warsaw Philharmonic. Lutoslawski wrote: “This was to be something not difficult, but which could, however, give the young orchestra an opportunity to show its qualities. Folk music…was to be used…. A work came into being, which I could not help including among my most important works as a result of my episodic symbiosis with folk music, and in a way that was for me somewhat unexpected.”

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, op.73 (Emperor)
Ludwig van Beethoven

Oh no, you don’t:  Beethoven’s “Emperor” slammed the door on the tradition of piano soloists improvising cadenzas. In the first movement, just before the conclusion, where the soloist’s cadenza is expected, Beethoven wrote in the score, “Non si fa una cadenza, ma s’attacca subito il seguente” (“Do not play a cadenza, but immediately proceed to the following”). The movement continues with Beethoven’s own written-out cadenza, gradually bringing in the orchestra for a triumphant ending.

Who is Emperor? The “Emperor” was written during the French siege and occupation of Vienna. The origin of the nickname “Emperor” is unknown, but a story persists that a French officer attending the premiere enthusiastically dubbed it “an emperor among concertos.”