Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

February 24, 2012

Strings get 'center stage’ with TSO

TRAVERSE CITY — Strings will be featured when the Traverse Symphony Orchestra plays a trio of works written especially for the warm, rich tones of the instrument group during "Symphony for Strings."

Pieces by William Schuman, Richard Wagner and Antonin Dvorak are included in the performance beginning at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26, at Corson Auditorium at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

"This concert really puts the strings on center stage," said Kevin Rhodes, conductor of the orchestra since 2001.

Rhodes describes Schuman's "Symphony No. 5" as an extremely difficult work, full of vitality and verve.

"I love his music and feel it is in need of a revival," said Rhodes, who counts Schuman among his favorite composers.

"He influenced the music world as a composer and as the president of the Juilliard School of Music for 17 years," Rhodes said.

"Siegfried Idyll" by Wagner is one of the few purely instrumental pieces written by the composer.

"It was initially written as a birthday present to his wife and originally played on the steps of their home," Rhodes said.

The piece is classified as a symphonic poem, filled with affection, representing a zenith in the Romantic style.

Believed to be composed in just 12 days, Dvorak's "Serenade in E Major" rounds out the group of classical selections written for stringed instruments.

"This is really an incredible work, a hallmark of Dvorak's music," Rhodes said.

Rhodes will host a pre-concert talk beginning at 2 p.m. For ticket information call 947-7120 or visit

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