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Celebrate Valentine's Day with the Terre Haute Symphony

The Terre Haute Symphony celebrates Valentines Day, 2010 with a concert Saturday evening in Tilson Auditorium in a concert of music by Sibelius, Samuel Barber, Debussy, Edward Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Strauss and Vaughan Williams. It's a concert that conductor David Bowden affectionately calls "love those strings."

WFIU's George Walker talked with the orchestra's principal cellist Kurt Fowler.

Kurt in addition to your work with the Terre Haute Symphony you also play in the Chicago 21st Century Music Ensemble and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. This suggests a wide affection for the middle and the early and late edges of what's called classical music.

"Yes, I really do love a wide spectrum. I have a baroque cello that I enjoy playing and it's the more modern instrument for most of my work and playing with the Chicago group. You know, I really am very involved with new music. I direct the Indiana State University's New Music Festival that takes place on the campus in Terre Haute each fall. I think of this and my other activities as contributing to the growth, the health of classical music."

For Saturday's Valentine's eve concert you have something special for the audience, something old and also new.

"Yes, I guess you're referring to the Rachmaninoff Vocalise. It is old. The piece dates from 1915, but when David decided to program it for me with the orchestra we couldn't find an arrangement for cello. So it is an old piece, but our resident composer Dan Powers has created a new arrangement."

In addition to your piece the orchestra is also featuring principal harpist Harriet Moore in a piece that Dan Powers's notes came out of a commercial endeavor.

"Right, the Erard and Pleyel companies were vying for the development of the harp. And Claude Debussy was commissioned to create the Danses Sacree et Profane for a new chromatic harp. It's a case of the piece persisting and the harp itself disappearing. Modern harpists play it on the pedal harp with just a few changes and it's very much part of the core repertoire."

We've been talking with cellist Kurt Fowler about the upcoming Celebrate Valentine's Day Concert Saturday the 13th, 2010 in Tilson Hall. In addition to Kurt's solo work the orchestra's principal harpist Harriet Moore will be featured in dances by Debussy.

By the way there are still tickets available for the Supper at the Symphony preceding the concert.

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