The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra's March 9 concert features compositions by four Knights of the British Empire.
Maestro Sheldon Bair's program gives the audience an opportunity to experience some of the music that won the composers their knighthood.
"Be-Knighted Masterworks" begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, in the Bel Air High School auditorium at 100 Heighe St. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students and can be purchased at Preston's, Music Land, Music & Arts and Harford Pharmacy or at the door.
English composer Sir Malcolm Arnold, CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), was on hand in 2000 to hear the SSO perform his Ninth Symphony. In 2011, Bair spoke at the annual Malcolm Arnold Festival in the UK.
On March 9, the SSO will perform Arnold's Fifth Symphony, which includes solos written in memory of departed musician friends: clarinet solos for Jack Thurston, horn solos for Dennis Brain and a tuba solo for Gerard Hoffnung.
Like Arnold, English composer Sir William Walton, OM (Order of Merit), also wrote music for motion pictures. His "Touch Her Soft Lips and Part," written for strings in the 1944 Laurence Olivier film, "Henry V," will be performed.
"The Londonderry Air" for strings, violin solo and harp by Irish composer Sir Hamilton Harty is also on the program.
A Cello Concert by Sir Edward Elgar, lst Baronet, OM and GCVO (Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order), will close the concert with guest soloist Alexis Lee.
Born in South Korea, Lee began piano lessons at age 5. Six years later, she moved with her family to Bel Air, where she studied cello with the late Judi Famous while a student at Prospect Mill Elementary School. Later, she studied with SSO principal cellist Laura Ruth.
While playing in the Southampton Middle School orchestra under the SSO's Bair, she began to think of a musical career. Four years of lessons with well-known cellist Cecylia Barczyk followed. Since then, Lee has graduated from the Juilliard School of Music, earned a master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music and is working on her doctorate in music performance at Boston University.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun