RSO holds Jan. 28 event in honor of Mozart’s 250th birthday

Music Director Steven Larsen and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Saturday, Jan. 28, with a concert titled “Mozart Tribute.”

Joining the RSO will be the Northern Illinois University Chorus, led by Dr. Eric Johnson, Rockford pianist Joel Ross, and nationally recognized baritone Nicholai Janitsky and soprano Kathy Pyeatt.

This concert is the capstone of the RSO’s season-long celebration of the life of Mozart, taking place just one day after his actual birthday. The concert paints a musical portrait of the composer’s life, from a piece he composed as a small child to his final work, Requiem, which legend says was written in part on his deathbed.

Other highlights include “Papagena,” from The Magic Flute, and the triumphant final movement of the “Jupiter” Symphony. Interwoven throughout the performance are additional pieces written in tribute to Mozart by other composers.

“I believe Mozart is the greatest composer in history,” said Maestro Larsen of the musical master. “Even Johann Sebastian Bach cannot approach the lofty pedestal Mozart unwittingly erected for himself by writing hundreds upon hundreds of utterly flawless works in every form and genre known to his time.”

Prior to the concert, the RSO Allegro League will host a Viennese Dinner in the Rehearsal Room of the Coronado, beginning with appetizers at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to the dinner are $75, and seating is limited.

Call the RSO to make reservations for this elegant dinner featuring authentic Viennese food prepared by The King’s Table, and musical entertainment by members of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Dinner tickets are purchased separately from concert tickets.

Tickets for the Mozart Tribute concert are available by calling the Rockford Symphony Orchestra box office at (815) 965-0049 or on the Web at Ticket prices start at $15.

This event is one of many scheduled throughout the season in commemoration of Mozart’s life and music. Initiated by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the events are sponsored by a consortium of regional arts organizations, including the Rockford Area Arts Council. For a complete listing of all events, visit the Rockford Area Arts Council’s Web site online at, or call the Rockford Symphony Orchestra at 815-965-0049.

Highlights of the Mozart Celebration

During the weekend of Jan. 27-29, many events are scheduled in recognition of Mozart’s birth anniversary Jan. 27, including the following:

A performance by Les Amies trio at the Second Congregational Church at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 27.

Mendelssohn Goes Mad for Mozart ongoing performances of Mozart’s music by area musicians at MPAC during the day from 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 28.

The RSO’s Tribute to Mozart concert at 8 p.m., Jan. 28.

A Viennese Dinner prior to the RSO concert at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 28 and a pre-concert lecture by Steven Larsen at 7 p.m.

The Rockford Dance Company presents the Young Choreographers’ Concert devoted to dance compositions based on the music of Mozart Jan. 27-28 at the Riverfront Museum Park.

The Requiem community sing at 3 p.m., Jan. 29 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

The Rock Valley College Music Consortium presents an evening concert at 7 p.m. in the RVC Performing Arts Room.

From the Jan. 25-31, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!