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DuPage Symphony and the Hersh duo present "Double Rich" concert program.

Byline: Natalia Dagenhart

"Straight-away the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind's eye, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration," said famous German composer Johannes Brahms. The music of this highly gifted composer will be paired with the beautiful work of American composer Randall Thompson in the concert program called "Double Rich" presented by the DuPage Symphony Orchestra. This program will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 10 at the spectacular Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville.

"Double Rich" will not leave anyone indifferent as it is going to present the whole depth of the musical artistry demonstrated by the guest artists, the musicians from the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, and by brilliant Maestra Barbara Schubert. Maestra Schubert pays great attention to choosing fantastic music for the orchestra's performances and always creates an excellent repertoire. Maestra Schubert has been serving as Music Director and Conductor of the DuPage Symphony Orchestra for more than thirty years already and has put all her talent, skills, time and devotion to music to creating beautiful concert programs.

The "Double Rich" concert is the third one of the five subscription concerts of the 2017-2018 season. The name of this concert season is "Notable Pairings" as each concert features the music of two great composers whose compositions create a unique pair and complement each other. The season also features the collaboration of superb soloists and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra that consists of one hundred members. This concert features two great musicians of Chicago, father and son duo Stefan (Violin) and Alexander Hersh (Cello). Each of these acclaimed musicians possesses a unique talent and is deeply devoted to classical music. Performing as a duo, they complement each other's talent and double it.

It will be the debut performance of Stefan and Alexander Hersh with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra. "Once again, DuPage Symphony brings world class soloists to Wentz Concert Hall's stage," said Board Director Teresa Muir. Both the orchestra and the duo are excited about this performance and are ready to impress the audience with their outstanding presentation of Johannes Brahms "Double" Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor.

Composed in 1887, "Double" Concerto for Violin and Cello is considered to be a unique and technically superb composition. By combining two instruments u violin and cello u Brahms created a sound that could have belonged to a completely new musical instrument that possesses the characteristics of both violin and cello. The audience will have a chance to experience the depth, the beauty and all the colors of that 'newly created instrument', the sound of which will be especially emphasized during the solo portions.

Although this tremendous work didn't find support from some of the people who surrounded Brahms, this concerto has been successfully performed up to our days. It was written during difficult times for Brahms, and the music reflects all the feelings that the composer was experiencing during that period of time. Disappointment, hope, thoughtfulness, sorrow and deep inner analysis are clothed in this concerto in rich orchestration, memorable melody lines and harmonic ensemble presented by the soloing violin and cello supported by the orchestra.

The role of the soloists in this piece is essential, and the Hersh duo is a perfect fit for this concerto. Interestingly, they belong to a musical family that consists of four generations of string players. Stefan and Roberta Hersh, the parents of Alexander, are both active professional violinists. His grandfather, Paul Hersh, is professor of viola and piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his great grandfather, Ralph Hersh, was a member of the Stuyvesant String Quartet and principal violist of the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.

Besides that, Stefan is an expert appraiser, restorer, and dealer of fine violins. The talent of his cellist son Alexander was internationally recognized when he won first prize in the 2017 New York International Artists Association Competition. Alexander has performed in the US, Canada, and across Europe and is happy to be part of such a talented and unique family.

Brahms' Concerto for Violin and Cello will not be the only composition of this great composer presented by the DuPage Symphony Orchestra that night. To prepare the audience to such a massive piece, the orchestra will start the evening with Brahms Tragic Overture, a well-known work of symphonic literature which the composer himself declared emotionally 'cries.' The brilliance of this composition is reflected in each note and passage of it, and the orchestra is happy to demonstrate all the beauty of this passionate and touching piece.

The music of Brahms will be complemented by the concert's final work, the American composer Randall Thompson's Symphony No. 2, a large-scale, brightly colorful work written in 1931. Interestingly, this four-movement symphony is reminiscent of Brahms' music. "Thompson follows a compositional path similar to that of Brahms by fusing a classical approach to form and content with elements of both nationalism and personal melodic style featuring jazzy rhythms in the fast movements and folk melodies weaving through the slow sections," noted Maestra Schubert.

Full of such deep and serious music, this concert program will help the audience members look at this world through the eyes of these two great composers and through the sounds created by these talented musicians u the Hersh duo and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra. The musical ideas and the talent shared by these unique composers come directly from God and deserve to be appreciated, and they will be u at the DuPage Symphony Orchestra's "Double Rich" concert.

Tickets are available at the Wentz box office or online at

Natalia Dagenhart
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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Feb 5, 2018
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