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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will perform music of the Americas 3 p.m. Sunday, when the acclaimed ensemble performs at Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts for the second time in the 2002-2003 season.

The performance has been sold out. To inquire about waiting list availability, call the box office at 610-330-5009.

The concert will include Charles Ives’ Symphony no. 3 (“The Camp Meeting”); Aaron Copland’s “New York” (Clarinet Concerto) with clarinetist Charles Neidich as soloist; Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Brazilian dance piece “Ciranda das sete notas,” featuring bassoonist Frank Morelli; and Ginastera’s suite of Argentine folk melodies, “Variationes Concertantes.”

Now in its 16th consecutive year, the Orpheus series is Lafayette’s proudest accomplishment in cultural programming, with memorable performances highlighted by such celebrated guest artists as Gil Shaham, Jeffrey Kahane, Branford Marsalis, Mischa Maisky, and James Galway. Williams Center audiences enjoy the orchestra’s final polishing of its award-winning recording projects, major international tours, and numerous Carnegie Hall programs.

Recognized internationally as one of the world’s great chamber orchestras, Orpheus celebrates its 30th season of concert activity spanning four continents, including appearances in the major cities of North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The centerpiece of each Orpheus season is its five-concert series at Carnegie Hall.

Accompanying the critical acclaim for the orchestra’s live appearances are numerous distinctions and awards, including a 2001 Grammy Award for Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, three 1999 Grammy Awards for its jazz-inspired Ravel and Gershwin collaboration with Herbie Hancock, a 1998 Grammy nomination for its recording of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode, and the 1998 “Ensemble of the Year” award by Musical America.

In 1975, Neidich became the first American to receive a Fulbright grant for study in the former Soviet Union, attending the Moscow Conservatory for three years. In 1985, he was the first clarinetist to win the Walter W. Naumburg Competition. His European honors include a top prize at the 1982 Munich International Competition and the Geneva and Paris International Competitions. He recently became an emeritus member of Orpheus after performing with the group for 22 years.

Neidich has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including St. Louis Symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Staatsorchester, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tafelmusik, I Musici de Montréal, and the Juilliard, Guarneri, Brentano, American, and Mendelssohn String Quartets. He performs regularly at Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Ojai Festival in California, Orford Festival in Canada, Brereton International Music Symposium in England, St. Nazaire Festival in France, Kuhmo Festival and Crusell Week in Finland, and Kirishima and Lilia Festivals in Japan. Neidich commands a repertoire of over 200 solo works, including pieces commissioned or inspired by him, as well as his own transcriptions of vocal and instrumental works.

Morelli holds the distinction of being the first bassoonist to be awarded a doctorate by the Juilliard School, and now teaches at Juilliard, Yale, and Manhattan School of Music. He participates regularly as a coach at the National Youth Orchestra Festival and National Orchestral Institute, and has served twice as a judge for the Gillet International Competition. He is editor of Stravinsky: Difficult Passages for Bassoon, the only excerpt book dedicated entirely to the works of composer Igor Stravinsky. In addition to his work with Orpheus, Morelli is principal bassoonist of New York City Opera Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and American Composers Orchestra. He was featured as a music “coach” in television commercials produced by American Symphony Orchestra League to promote music education.

A prolific chamber musician, Morelli has performed with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and at the White House for the final State Dinner of the Clinton presidency. He has also appeared at the 92nd Street Y and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as at the Marlboro, Spoleto, Newport, Caramoor, Grand Canyon, Orford, Norfolk, and Bridgehampton music festivals. He is a member of Festival Chamber Music Society and of Windscape, an ensemble-in-residence at Manhattan School of Music. One of the most active bassoonists recording today, Morelli has more than 140 recordings for major record labels to his credit.

Orpheus was founded in 1972 by cellist Julian Fifer and a group of fellow musicians who aspired to perform chamber orchestral repertory as chamber music through their own close collaborative efforts, and without a conductor. Orpheus developed its approach to the study and performance of this repertory by bringing to the orchestral setting the chamber music principles of personal involvement and mutual respect. Orpheus is a self-governing organization, making the repertory and interpretive decisions ordinarily assumed by a conductor. Holt/NY Times Books published a book about Orpheus and its management model, Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World’s Only Conductorless Orchestra, written by Orpheus executive director Harvey Seifter and business writer Peter Economy.

Members of Orpheus have received recognition for solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances. Many of the core members hold teaching positions at prominent conservatories and universities in the New York and New England areas, including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, and Yale University.

Orpheus has recorded extensively for Deutsche Grammophon. Included in the catalogue of over 50 recordings are several Haydn symphonies and Mozart serenades, the complete Mozart wind concertos with Orpheus members as soloists, Romantic works by Dvorák, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky, and a number of 20th-century classics by Bartók, Prokofiev, Copland and Stravinsky. Recent collaborations include a recording with countertenor Andreas Scholl (Decca); “Creation,” a jazz-inspired CD of classics from 1920s Paris with saxophonist Branford Marsalis (SONY Classical); a series of recordings of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode (Nonesuch); a recording with cellist Mischa Maisky (DG); and a recording of Piazzolla works with tango pianist Pablo Ziegler (BMG).

During the 2002-2003 season, Orpheus’ national and international touring includes appearances in Edinburgh, Houston, Santa Barbara, Vancouver, and Tokyo. In addition to its Carnegie Hall concerts, the orchestra’s New York season includes opening Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series and two major educational initiatives: a residency with Baruch College of the City University of New York, and a significant expansion of Orpheus’ curriculum development and teaching programs in New York City public schools.

The nationally recognized Performance Series at Lafayette attracts more than 10,000 people each season. It has been cited for performing excellence by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, Chamber Music America, Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, and Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

The 2002-03 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by the F.M. Kirby Foundation; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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