News Release: Arts and Humanities, Events

Feb. 15,  2011

Richard Prior's "Symphony No. 3" Premieres March 3

ATLANTA (Feb. 15, 2011)— The Emory University Symphony Orchestra (EUSO) premieres award-winning composer and conductor Richard Prior's "Symphony No. 3" in a free concert at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, March 3 at 8 p.m.

Like Prior's first two symphonies, the third is cast in three movements, combining moments of Romantic exuberance with a rich, dark lyricism. Scored for a large orchestra of triple woodwinds, brass, percussion, two harps and strings, a number of parts were written for specific students within the 100-member ensemble. The March 3 concert also features the winners of the 2010-2011 EUSO Concerto Competition, Kevin May and Vijay Balakrishnan in a clarinet duo, and the symphonic poem Finlandia by composer Jean Sibelius.

Prior's career as a composer began in his native England where he made his debut in 1988 at London's Westminster Abbey with a large-scale choral work entitled The Seventh Seal. Subsequently reviewed in The Independent as "…clearly a musical voice to be noted for the future," he has written a variety of well-received choral, chamber and orchestral works. Earlier Atlanta performances of Prior's music have included the hymn for nations united, originally premiered in The Hague, Netherlands; the Pulitzer nominated Stabat Mater that became a PBS special subject and an independent film project by William Brown; and his string quartet intimations of immortality, performed by Emory's Quartet-in-Residence, the Vega Quartet. Prior has worked as an orchestrator on projects ranging from collaborations with Grammy-nominated Atlanta star Janelle Monáe and Syrian composer Malek Jandali's album Echoes from Ugarit.

Prior is the conductor of the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Rome Symphony Orchestra (GA) and appears as a guest conductor with orchestras regionally and internationally. Since 2004, he has served as the Director of Orchestral Studies at Emory University, where he holds the Edward Goodwin Scruggs Chair and also teaches composition. He was a 2010 recipient of the Winship Faculty Award, a University Research Council grant and a 2011 Crystal Apple Award presented to faculty by their students in recognition of exceptional teaching.

Emory University Symphony Orchestra premieres Richard Prior's "Symphony No. 3" on Thurs. March 3, 8.p.m. at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall, 1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, 30322. Free admission and parking. For details: 404-727-5050, boxoffice@emory.edu, or arts.emory.edu.

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