- The next season concert for the symphony orchestra at The
University of Southern Mississippi April 3 in Bennett Auditorium
will feature a piano duo performing one of Wolfgang Mozart's
most challenging concertos and the Hattiesburg Choral Union
performing one of his most famous works, "Requiem."
Fuller, director of choral activities at Southern Miss and
guest conductor for the evening's concert, said he has great
confidence in guest pianists, Richard Steinbach and Howard
Helvey, to take on this highly technical and competitive piano
to musicologist Steven Ledbetter, Mozart wrote the composition
in 1779 as something he could play with his sister, also a
very talented musician and performer. It has a certain amount
of "tossing musical ideas back and forth," as one
would find in a competition or duel.
concerto is not often performed as it takes two musicians
who are willing to rehearse together quite regularly,"
Fuller said. "Both artists perform together at least
monthly in a variety of venues. Prior to their appearance
on our program, they will perform in Vicksburg and afterwards
at Jones Junior College."
has professional ties to both pianists. Helvey was Fuller's
accompanist at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music,
while Steinbach was on faculty with Fuller at Briar Cliff
University in Sioux City, Iowa. Fuller said he feels a sense
of pride for having introduced them to each other and beginning
their prolific collaboration.
as a pianist, composer and arranger, Helvey also serves as
organist/choirmaster at the historic Calvary Episcopal Church
in Cincinnati, Ohio. Known for his published choral music,
his compositions have been featured on various recordings,
national networks and PBS television broadcasts.
winning the top prize at the 1995 French Piano Institute's
International Competition in Paris, Steinbach has established
himself as an extraordinarily versatile artist whose insightful
interpretations of both French and American music have been
the piano duo and intermission, Fuller leads the orchestra
and the Hattiesburg Choral Union in their presentation of
Mozart's Requiem, one of the most recognized and performed
works in the classical music repertoire.
are several editions of this dramatic work, but I think we
are using the best one -- that being the edition completed
by Mozart's own pupil Franz Xaver Süssmayr after the
composer's death," Fuller said. "This particular
manuscript is very clear to annotate who wrote what parts,
and Süssmayr completed the work based on Mozart's sketches."
university choral students will sing the solo parts of the
composition, including Krista McKenzie, soprano; Kathy Wade,
alto; Rudy Gatlin, tenor; and Matthew Green, bass. These students
auditioned for these parts in November 2002, captured the
roles and have been preparing for the performance since.
unique aspect of this performance is the use of Bassett Horns,
a single reed instrument similar to a clarinet that was used
during Mozart's time. As a unique experience for his students,
Wilbur Moreland, professor of clarinet in the Southern Miss School of
Music, encouraged Fuller to rent these horns and use them
during the performance.
The Southern Miss
Symphony's 2002-03 season is sponsored by BancorpSouth. Tickets
for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $18/$16/$14 and may be purchased
at the Southern Miss Ticket Office by calling (601) 266-5418
or 800-844-8425. Tickets may be ordered online at www.tickets.usm.edu.