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Chamber Music series concert is the final performance of the Williams Center’s 25th anniversary season

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will perform with Metropolitan Opera soprano Susan Graham at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 9 in the Williams Center for the Arts. This Chamber Music series concert is the final performance of the Williams Center’s 25th anniversary season.
Tickets are free for Lafayette students, $6 for students at LVAIC schools, $4 for faculty and staff, and $29 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

The performance is a set of works by Ned Rorem, regarded by many as the most accomplished craftsman of American song. Haydn’s Symphony No. 26, “Lamentatione,” and two early 20th-century masterworks, Ravel’s Pavane pour une enfante defunte and Stravinsky’s Dances Concertantes, complete the program.

Susan Graham is one of the world’s foremost opera, recital stars, and singing actresses. She has held dozens of roles in opera houses throughout the world including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, and Opera National de Paris. She appears in more than 25 recordings and received a Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance in 2005. She was named Vocalist of the Year in 2004 by Musical America.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra 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.

Orpheus has received numerous distinctions and awards, including a 2001 Grammy Award for Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, a 1999 Grammy Award for its jazz-inspired Ravel and Gershwin collaboration with Herbie Hancock, a 1998 Grammy nomination for its recording of Mozart piano concerti with Richard Goode, and the 1998 “Ensemble of the Year” award by Musical America.

The 2008-2009 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, the J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, 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, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts. Special thanks to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for extraordinary support of the 25th anniversary season, and to Joan Moran and the Amaranth Foundation for support of the Ravi Shankar commission.

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