Symphony Orchestra to perform homecoming concert Feb. 3

The Luther College Symphony Orchestra will present a tour homecoming concert of works by Wagner, Elgar and Tchaikovsky at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 in the Center for Faith and Life, 700 College Drive, Decorah, as the last stop on their January 2013 tour.

The concert is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The program begins with one of the best-loved operatic overtures of the 19th century, the Prelude to Act One of "Die Meistersinger von NĂĽrnberg" by Richard Wagner.

Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor will follow, with Eric Kutz, Luther associate professor of music, as the soloist on cello.

Elgar's Cello Concerto--the composer's last important work for orchestra--has been called his most personal, his most confessional piece.  Elgar completed most of the work on his concerto during the summer of 1919.  The composer had recently been ill, and was deeply depressed by the Great War's destruction of the world he had known.

After a brief intermission, Symphony Orchestra will conclude with a performance of Tchaikovsky's epic Symphony No. 4 in F minor.  

Tchaikovsky wrote his Fourth Symphony between 1877 and 1878, during the most turbulent year of the composer's life.  The piece is closely associated with two women, one whom he married that year, and the other whom he never actually met.

Conducted by Daniel Baldwin, professor of music and director of orchestras, the Luther College Symphony Orchestra is Luther's largest and oldest orchestral ensemble. The Orchestra maintains an active rehearsal and performance schedule during the academic year, from early September to late May.

More than 85 student musicians, representing a variety of academic majors, perform with Symphony Orchestra. Many also play chamber music, sing in a choir or play in a jazz ensemble.

The Luther campus, in scenic Decorah, Iowa, is alive with the sounds of six choirs, three bands, three orchestras and two jazz bands. Nearly 1,000 students participate in the large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 300 students pursue music majors, studying music theory/ear training, history, education, composition, church music and performance. It all adds up to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the world.

Members of the orchestra also perform with the Luther College choirs, in periodic performances of major choral-orchestral works and in the annual Christmas at Luther festival performances.