A Diverse Musical World

The Symphony’s dynamic 2019 concert program – thoughtfully curated by Maestro Gary Berkson - brings attention to a diverse musical world with room for everyone.  The Program opens excitedly with Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance from The Nutcracker Suite, followed by The American Scene Suite #5: A Mountain, A Memorial, A Song by the African-American composer William Grant Still. blue cathedral by Pulitzer Prize and two-time Grammy-winner Jennifer Higdon is next. Higdon (b. 1962), who taught herself to play flute at the age of 15, began formal musical studies at 18, and started composing at 21, is a major figure in contemporary classical music with blue cathedral being one of the most performed contemporary orchestral works since its premiere in 2000. For the last piece on the Program – the soaring and triumphant Finale from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite – Maestro Berkson passes the baton to Shira Samuels-Shragg. Currently a senior at Swarthmore College, majoring in music with a focus in conducting, she was one of two inaugural conducting apprentices with Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA in 2015.


For more information visit http://desertsymphony.org/