All that Brass & Gershwin to Boot

The second set of concerts in the Central Oregon Symphony’s season will run February 14-16 at the Bend High School Auditorium. COS music director, Michael Gesme, has programmed a concert that caters to all those who love the sounds of symphonic brass.


The fantastic COS brass section, (horns, trumpets, trombones and tuba), will be highlighted throughout the concert, beginning with Wagner’s dramatic Overture to Rienzi. Commencing with a single trumpet and building to include twelve brass instruments firing on all cylinders, this work presents several of the main melodies heard in the opera and is resplendent in its showy orchestral brilliance.

A suite of dances from the ballet Sylvia by French romantic composer Léo Delibes will conclude the first half. Delibes may not a household name today, but he made a big splash during his lifetime. Tchaikovsky, who hopefully is a household name, was so impressed with the music of Sylvia that he proclaimed to one of his fellow composers that, “If I had known this music earlier, I would not have written Swan Lake.” This is exceptionally high praise from a composer who certainly knew his ballet! The suite is an orchestral tour de force that assigns prominent melodic material to every section of the ensemble.


The second half will contain a single work, the Concerto in F by George Gershwin. Written as a follow up to his sensational Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin commented, “Many persons had thought that the Rhapsody was only a happy accident. Well, I went out for one thing, to show them that there was plenty more where that had come from.”

And, indeed there was! Concerto in F is pure Gershwin: infectious rhythmic, melodic and harmonic elements drawn from a career steeped in American musical theater and jazz.

Praised by The Independent as “A fabulous pianist and a prince among peers,” Kotaro Fukuma returns to Central Oregon for his second appearance as a piano soloist with the COS. Tokyo born, trained throughout the world, and currently based in Berlin, Fukuma is an internationally acclaimed pianist who has performed in the world’s great concert halls and appeared with numerous orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Moscow Philharmonic.
Michael Gesme at

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