- The 83rd season of Mississippi's oldest symphony orchestra
at The University of Southern Mississippi is "Bringing
the World to Mississippi." The new line-up of stars to
shine on the Bennett Auditorium stage include famed Metropolitan
opera star Roberta Peters and classical guitarist Christopher
conductor of the symphony, sings high praises for the special
guest artists as he continues to program classical, audience-friendly
are calling our season 'Bringing the World to Mississippi'
to reflect our desire to bring world-class artists to campus
to share their talents with our patrons and students,"
Dean said. "We will be performing great classical music,
chosen for its beauty and artistry, that should appeal to
audiences from all walks of life and giving everyone the opportunity
to hear some of the greatest masterpieces ever written."
good on a promise given by famed Metropolitan Opera star Roberta
Peters when illness prevented her from performing in February,
the diva will give a recital Sept. 9 to those who had tickets
to her cancelled performance. A limited number of new tickets
will be available to the public as well.
Peters is recognized all over the United States and the world
as one of the greatest voices that American opera has ever
produced," Dean said. "As the leading figure in
opera and vocal performance, there is no opera aficionado
who does not know of Roberta Peters."
credits include 500 performances with the Metropolitan Opera,
more than 2,000 recitals and performances in every state in
the United States as well as in most countries in Europe and
her lead and officially opening the Symphony's 83rd season
Oct. 2, Parkening is one of the world's most renowned virtuosos
of classical guitar and is the recognized heir to the Segovia
tradition. For those unfamiliar with that tradition, Andrés
Segovia is the preeminent classical guitarist of the 20th-century.
it wasn't for Segovia, there would be no classical guitar
in this country," said John DeChiaro, professor of classical
guitar at Southern Miss. "His innovations in guitar rose
above great resistance from other classical musicians of his
time. Segovia made the guitar a classical instrument and brought
it to the concert stage."
himself describes Parkening as "a great artist, one of
the most brilliant guitarists in the world."
concerts and recordings span a period of two decades and have
received highest acclaim. His rare combination of dramatic
virtuosity and eloquent musicianship has held his audiences
captive from New York to Washington, D.C., from London to
Parkening is a name I have known for a number of years,"
Dean said. "We haven't had an internationally renowned
guitar figure on our season, and we are very fortunate to
have him accept our invitation."
highlights of the BancorpSouth-sponsored season include a
concert Nov. 6 featuring Joe Alessi, principal trombonist
of the New York Philharmonic; a presentation of Handel's "Messiah"
Dec. 4; the William T. Gower Awards concert Feb. 5, 2004;
a concert March 4, 2004, devoted to Beethoven's "Symphony
No. 9," given in conjunction with the exhibition of "The
Glory of Baroque Dresden" in Jackson; and a Richard Wagner
spectacular with "Scenes from 'The Ring'" April
audiences have been very positive about our concentrated effort
to bring great classical music to our concert hall during
the 2002-03 season," Dean said. "There is so much
great literature that we can share with our patrons and so
many wonderfully talented performers for us to draw upon in
presenting these programs."
of these performers are Dean's fellow faculty members in the
School of Music at Southern Miss. Faculty artists Kimberley
Davis, Maryann Kyle, Clint Nichols and Larry Smith are featured
on the holiday concert of Handel's "Messiah." Conducting
will be Gregory Fuller, director of university's choral activities.
Fuller's premier choir, the Southern Chorale, also joins the
the orchestra for Beethoven's Ninth will be Kyle and guest
artists Lester Senter Wilson, Robert Grayson, Benno Schollum
and the Hattiesburg Choral Union. "The Ring" concert
will feature guest artists Sheila Smith, Douglas Biggs and
Herbert Eckhoff. Dean will conduct both concerts.
for another year as the Symphony's sponsor is BancorpSouth.
are proud to continue our relationship with BancorpSouth,
as they have been so supportive of the symphony family,"
Dean said. "We appreciate the support that Dwight Dyess
has giv0en to the university over the years and now, more
specifically, to the Southern Miss Symphony."
information for the 2003-04 Symphony season is available through
the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425.
Tickets may be ordered online at www.tickets.usm.edu.
information, call the symphony office at (601) 266-4001 or
visit online at www.arts.usm.edu.