Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Features Berlioz’ Monumental “Symphonie Fantastique”
On Sunday and Monday, October 26 and 27, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Music Director Mary Woodmansee Green will present Hector Berlioz’ orchestral showpiece, Symphonie Fantastique, as the highlight of the HHSO second Master Series and first Prelude concert of the 2008-2009 season. HHSO Principal percussionist Stephen Primatic will be featured in Ney Rosauro’s Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra; the concert will open with Georges Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsody in A Major. Both performances will begin at 8 pm at Hilton Head’s First Presbyterian Church.
“This autumn concert is about color,” announced Green. “It will open with the popular Romanian Rhapsody, proceed to a dazzling marimba piece, and conclude with the Fantastic Symphony which was inspired by Berlioz’ passionate love for the actress Harriet Smithson. All the works reflect the intense hues of the autumn scene.”
HHSO principal percussionist Stephen Primatic, the featured soloist, is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah. He received his Bachelor of Music from Wilkes University in Wilkes Bare, PA, his Masters of Music from Florida’s University of Miami, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Georgia. He performs with jazz, theatre, and classical groups in the Savannah and Hilton Head areas, and he is the drummer for the Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish) Big Band.
Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro’s Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra, to be played by Primatic, was written in 1986 as part of the composer’s Masters’ degree requirements and has become one of this instrument’s most popular concerti. It includes Brazilian motifs, jazz elements and irregular rhythms.
In 1827, Hector Berlioz’ ambition to become a composer was far greater than his musical ability, but that year would become fateful for his musical and personal life. He first saw Harriet Smithson, an Irish actress in a performance of Hamlet and became completely smitten. Initially his advances were unacknowledged, but she was in the audience for the first performance of Symphonie Fantastique where he hoped to impress her. The following year the couple married. Though the marriage was unsuccessful and they eventually separated, the piece she inspired became Berlioz’ first real success as a composer and is one of the great orchestral showpieces.
Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsody in A Major, which opens the concert, is one of the composer’s most popular pieces. His compositions are filled with the sound of his native country; the Rhapsody includes a series of folk tunes and gypsy dances, concluding with a rollicking round dance.
*Concert tickets are $20, $30, and $40. Call the Hilton Head Orchestra Box Office at (843) 842-2055 to purchase tickets, or log on to the orchestra website at www.hhso.org. American Express, Master Card and Visa are accepted.
Program Notes are posted on the website prior to each concert.*
Stephen Primatic is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Music from Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, PA, his Masters of Music from the University of Miami, Coral Gables FL, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Georgia, Athens GA. At AASU, Dr. Primatic teaches percussion lessons, percussion ensemble, percussion methods, percussion repertoire, sophomore theory, form and analysis, jazz combo, jazz improvisation, and music technology.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Primatic also maintains an active performing career. He is principal percussionist with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in Hilton Head, SC, and he also performs with symphonies in Savannah GA, Charleston SC, and Jacksonville FL. He performs with jazz, theatre and classical groups in the Savannah and Hilton Head areas, and he is the drummer for the Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish) Big Band.
Over the years Dr. Primatic has accompanied such artists as Harry Allen, Al Caiola, Art Van Damme, Scott Hamilton, Joe Cohn, John Doughten, Lynn Roberts, Nancy Evans, Bob Alberti and Ben Tucker, and played in the acts of Shari Lewis, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack, James Ingram, Melissa Manchester, Jerry Vale, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Mitzi Gaynor, Connie Francis, Jim Bailey, Music Man with John Schneider, Annie Get Your Gun with Andrea McCardle, Guys and Dolls with Vic Damone, South Pacific with Debbie Boone, Mame with Loretta Switt, Will Rodger’s Follies with Gary Sandy, Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and My Fair Lady with Michael Moriarty.
Dr, Primatic also has several musical publications with Meredith Music, drop6 publications, and Music for Percussion. He is also currently working on a percussion methods book.