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Released October 28, 2003


HATTIESBURG — Famed trombonist Jörgen van Rijen will join The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for its second concert of the 2003-2004 season Nov. 6 in Bennett Auditorium.

Rijen, the principal trombone for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, stepped in for the originally scheduled performer Joe Alessi, principal trombonist for the New York Philharmonic, who had an unexpected scheduling conflict.

"We in the School of Music are very fortunate to have a gifted and internationally known trombonist in our faculty ranks who could secure another performer of equal caliber with Joe Alessi," said Dr. Jay Dean, musical director of the symphony. "Dr. Marta Hofacre, professor of trombone at Southern Miss, was able to engage Jörgen immediately, and we are looking forward to having him on our program."

The evening's program opens with Richard Wagner's Overture to Tannhäuser featuring the symphony. Rijen then joins the ensemble for Johann Georg Albrechtsberger's "Concerto for Alto Trombone and Strings."

Following intermission, Rijen performs Launy Grøndahl's "Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra." The concert closes with W.A. Mozart's "Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550."

Rijen was born in 1975 and began playing the trombone at the age of 8. He has studied with Geroge Wiegel at the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he received his master's degree summa cum laude. Interestingly enough, Alessi was among several teachers with whom Rijen has studied through master classes and lessons.

The winner of several first prizes at international trombone competitions, Rijen made his solo debut in March 2001 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Henri Tomasi's trombone concerto. He has since performed with several orchestras, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Fanfare Orchestra and the windband of the Royal Dutch Marine, and has given numerous master classes internationally. Rijen also teaches trombone at the Rotterdam Conservatory.

Future concert highlights of the BancorpSouth-sponsored season include 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 22, 2004.

"Our audiences have been very positive about our concentrated effort to bring great classical music to our concert hall during the 2003-04 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.

"We are equally as proud to continue our relationship with BancorpSouth, as they have been so supportive of the symphony family," Dean said. "We appreciate the support they have given to the university over the years and now, more specifically, to the university's symphony."

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $18, $16, and $14 and are available through the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425. Tickets may be ordered online at

For more information, call the symphony office at (601) 266-4001 or visit online at


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM