MSO to present ‘Seven Seasons’ strings concert

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra’s Spring Series of Concerts in March, April and May, under the baton of Maestro Julien Benichou, will continue to present pairings of works and soloists.

The concerts will feature 15 MSO string musicians in a program called “Seven Seasons,” because of the first two titled pieces. The concert will showcase two MSO musicians, concertmaster Nicholas Currie and assistant concertmaster Dana Weiderhold.

Benichou will premiere his “Three Seasons of Chicago,” a short three-movement piece dealing with the realities of northern Illinois climate — snow, rain and road construction. That piece will be followed by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.”

“Piazzolla is the single most important figure in the history of tango. His set of four compositions, a tribute to Vivaldi, were written between 1965 and 1970 and are an ‘electrifying blend of the fire and passion of traditional tango with the vast resources of modern harmony, texture and sonority,” MSO representatives said. “It is music that violinists love to play.”

The final piece is what they said some consider Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s loveliest composition, “Serenade for Strings.” In the fall of 1880, he composed simultaneously two of his most popular works: the “1812 Overture” and the “Serenade for Strings.” While the overture has since exploded in popularity (with help from cannons and fireworks), initially, they said, Tchaikovsky thought very little of the work.

“The ‘Serenade,’ on the other hand, was a work that came straight from his heart. The love stemmed from Tchaikovsky’s passion for Mozart, his favorite composer. The ‘Serenade’ pays homage to the classical period and the enchanting world of Mozart’s serenades and divertimentos. This piece belongs to the world of Tchaikovsky’s great ballets.”

Both featured soloists are accomplished musicians. Canadian-born Currie holds many titled positions in violin, being the concertmaster of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, associate concertmaster of Concert Artists of Baltimore and assistant concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony.

He has soloed with several orchestras, and his chamber music experiences include performances with the Azimuth String Quarter, the Mariner String Quartet, the Cueto Quartet, the Principles of Concert Artists Quartet, and the Melos Ensemble with Clarinetist Gervaise de Payer.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Currie studied with the late Berl Senofsky. At Illinois State University, he also studied under the late Bernard Eichen, former member of the Beaux Arts Quartet and spent a summer at the American Conservatory in Fontainbleau, France.

A native of Minersville, Pa., Weiderhold began playing the violin at the age of 7 at Woodhaven String Academy. She most frequently performs as assistant concertmaster of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and as principal second violinist with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. She is concertmaster of the Anthracite Philharmonic and has performed as an orchestral musician with the Annapolis, Allentown, Pottstown, Chester County Pops, Kennett and Delaware County symphonies.

In addition to her orchestral playing, Weiderhold has appeared as guest artist and soloist with the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, the West Chester University Chamber and Symphony orchestras, and the Newark Symphony Orchestra.

She received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in music from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music.

“The Strings Concert” will be performed on Saturday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Mariner’s Bethel Church, located at Route 26 and Central Avenue in Ocean View. An optional pre-concert lecture discussing the composers and compositions will take place at 6:45 p.m.

The concert will also be held on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Easton Church of God, 1009 N. Washington Street in Easton, Md., and on Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m. at the Community Church on Racetrack Road in Ocean Pines, Md.

Tickets cost $35 for adults. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available to those 18 or younger; however, reservations for those tickets must be made in advance. For tickets and information, call 1-888-846-8600 or visit the MSO Website at www.midatlanticsymphony.org, where the season brochure and ticket order form can be downloaded by clicking on “Concerts — Tickets.”