“The Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, which includes student musicians from around the East Bay, will perform two spring concerts this weekend with music by greats like Gustav Mahler, as well as the world premiere of ‘The Midpoint,’ ” writes Janet Levaux in Wednesday’s (4/29) San Jose Mercury News (California). “The contemporary piece was written by a former member of the group, Greg Rathje, and will highlight the talents of acclaimed violist Helen Callus. ‘I was happy to give the world premiere of Greg’s piece,’ said music director and conductor David Ramadanoff of the Berkeley-based orchestra. ‘He was an excellent instrumentalist during his three years with YPSO, so it’s great to be able to show another side of him.’ Rathje, the orchestra’s principal violist in 2011, is finishing college at UC Santa Barbara, where he studies with Callus. The young composer … was inspired by ‘The Divine Comedy’ by Dante Alighieri…. ‘Of course, the YPSO reputation is excellent, which makes it an even more exciting project,’ … said Callus.” Also on the program are Berlioz’s Harold in Italy; Musica Mobilis (1996) by American composer James Beckel; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.
Posted May 1, 2015