Halloween has come and gone, and autumn is beginning to wane into winter, which means the Wood River Orchestra is preparing for its annual fall concert.
This year’s concert, set to take place on Sunday, will begin with a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 103.
Haydn was a remarkably prolific composer in his time and Symphony No. 103 is, in fact, accurately named and not his last full-scale symphony composition, either. In addition to these symphonies, he also produced several overtures, divertimentos, quartets, trios, duos, concertos, marches, oratorios, dances, cantatas, canons and operas.
This has led to critics and historians branding him the “father of the symphony” as well as the “father of the string quartet.” During his 50-year career, he also mentored Mozart and tutored Beethoven. Between his own compositions and those of his protégés, his contributions helped define the parameters of the Classical period and his legacy shaped the course of the Western canon for centuries to come.
The Wood River Orchestra will tip a hat to Haydn in fine fashion this weekend, bringing to life one of the composer’s most beloved and sonorous works, the “Drumroll” Symphony.
The symphony’s nickname is derived from the long, ominous timpani roll that opens the proceedings, which will be executed by Wood River Orchestra percussionist Ted Dyer
“This work…is Haydn’s penultimate symphony and is considered by many to be one of his best,” said Wood River Orchestra conductor and musical director Brad Hershey.
Symphony No. 103 accounts for half of the orchestra’s Nov. 10 program and will kick things off in classical fashion. Performances of this piece typically last about half an hour, depending on the arrangement.
Following Haydn’s composition, the orchestra will turn its attention to one of his closest friends and mentees, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Needing no introduction or exposition, Mozart is among the most widely recognized composers in history. Haydn once wrote of Mozart, “Posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years.” High praise, indeed, and not inaccurate.
The orchestra will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, K. 238, which the composer penned in early 1776, making it just a few months older than America.
As the title of the piece implies, the piano features heavily into the concerto, although the rest of the orchestra does provide support.
For the “Andante un poco Adagio” portion of the concerto, the orchestra has enlisted the talents of a prodigious young pianist from Hailey, Tristan Boloix.
Although only 11 years old, Boloix has distinguished himself on his instrument, and placed third in a statewide piano competition in Boise, the youngest winner in his bracket.
“Tristan is a fine musician,” Hershey said, “and I know the community will be made proud by his performance of the ‘Andante un poco Adagio’ from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 6.”
The afternoon performance begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater at the Community Campus, 1050 Fox Acres Rd., Hailey.
The Wood River Orchestra is currently in the midst of its 13th season and consists of more than 30 musicians of various ages and abilities. It is always accepting new members.
As with previous orchestra concerts, the Sunday performance is presented to the public completely free of charge, although donations are welcome and gratefully received.
To learn more about the orchestra, its mission and future concerts—including the annual holiday concert, currently scheduled for Dec. 15—visit wrcorchestra.org.