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Symphony Orchestra

Concert III: February 18, 2021 at 7:30pm

 WVU Symphony Orchestra
Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre
Montani String Quartet
Mitchell Arnold,  conductor

Live stream only.  To view this concert live on YouTube please click here shortly before the concert begins.  You can also find information on our WVUSO facebook page.

WVUSO’s season continues with Mozart’s great but enigmatic serenade for strings, Eine kleine Nachtmusik.  Mozart composed the serenade in the midst of creating his great opera Don Giovanni.  Little is known about what its purpose was, for whom or for what it was composed, and what happened to one of its original five movements; but what is known is that Mozart’s “little bit of nightmusic” is expressive, subtle, and sublime, well beyond what is indicated by its title.

We are joined by WVU’s outstanding graduate string quartet, the Montani Quartet, to perform Jessie Montgomery’s Banner which uses snippets of the National Anthem in a deft mix of national songs of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Black Americans, and other patriotic songs as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s poem.

Rounding out this unique program is Ravel’s evocative piano work, La Vallée des Cloches (The Valley of Bells) arranged for 8 percussionists, piano, celesta, 2 harps and strings by Percy Grainger.  As in Ravel’s original, bells ring throughout the valley at different pitches, speeds, while a central evocation of plainchant makes a momentary appearance in the strings before fading.

The Montani String Quartet

The decades-old WVU Graduate String Quartet named itself The Montani Quartet in 2018. The name “Montani” comes from West Virginia’s state motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Are Always Free). In 2019, Montani was awarded a prestigious position at the Interlochen Arts Camp where its members taught and performed during the summer. As a result of its outstanding performance, Montani was invited back to Interlochen for 2020. In 2019, Montani was awarded First Prize in WVU’s ChaMP competition. Its current members are Sandra Morales Corrales (Bogota, Colombia), Yaniv Gutman (Rehovot, Israel) Gabrielle Padilla (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and Gerardo Pastrana (Neiva, Colombia).

As a multicultural ensemble, The Montani Quartet is very excited to have the opportunity to perform Jessie Montgomery’s Banner with the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra and to celebrate diversity, inclusion and freedom through music.
Montaini String Quartet


Jessie Montgomery

Banner for String Quartet and String Orchestra

Maurice Ravel 

La Vallée des Cloches arranged for tuned percussion, harps and strings by Percy Grainger

Wolfgang Amadé Mozart

Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Click here for a downloadable Concert Program.

To view this concert live on YouTube please click here shortly before the concert begins.