Rice’s Shepherd School orchestra to play Carnegie Hall Oct. 28

Two years after making its Carnegie Hall debut, Rice University’s Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra will return to the New York City venue’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on Oct. 28 for a program of modern and contemporary music.

Larry Rachleff directs the Shepherd School symphony orchestra during its 2014 Carnegie Hall debut. Photo credit: Jennifer Taylor.

Larry Rachleff directs the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra during its 2014 Carnegie Hall debut. Photo credit: Jennifer Taylor.

Larry Rachleff, the Shepherd School’s director of orchestras and the Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Music, will direct the musicians on the Perelman Stage. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. and will be presented by Rice’s Shepherd School of Music.

The program will include the world premiere of “In Terra,” a new work by award-winning composer Pierre Jalbert, a professor of composition and theory at Rice. This piece will be performed alongside Lutosławski’s “Concerto for Orchestra,” Stravinsky’s “Feu d’artifice” and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto featuring soloist Jon Kimura Parker, a professor of piano at Rice. The orchestra will offer a preview of this program at the Fisher Center on Bard College’s Hudson Valley campus Oct. 26.

“The Shepherd School is incredibly proud to be returning to New York and the renowned concert stage at Carnegie Hall,” said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School and the Elma Schneider Professor of Music. “Having this performance opportunity affirms the Shepherd School’s position within the highest echelon of collegiate-level orchestral programs. Moreover, the honor speaks to the exceptional level of our students and faculty.”

The Huffington Post described the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra’s first performance at Carnegie Hall as “energy, artistry and a very distinctive Shepherd sound.”

Since its founding at Houston’s Rice University in 1975, the Shepherd School of Music has built a reputation as one of the nation’s finest university-level music programs, assembling a pre-eminent group of artist-teachers and attracting the most promising young musicians in training from around the world. The Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra is justly celebrated as one of the nation’s premier student ensembles and this season, as the first U.S. conservatory to participate in the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program. The school is well known for offering exceedingly comprehensive and far-reaching orchestral career preparation, Yekovich said.

Rachleff has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a take-charge maestro who invests everything he conducts with deep musical understanding.” Renowned for his rich rapport with or­chestral musicians, Rachleff is also music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, former music director of the San Antonio Symphony and highly sought-after as a guest conductor.

Jalbert has taught at the Shepherd School since 1996. His many honors include the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s 2007 Stoeger Award and a 2010 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

“Jalbert’s music immediately captures one’s attention with its strong gesture and vitality,” wrote the American Academy of Arts and Letters. “Rich in instrumental color and harmonically engaging, its narrative is dramatically compelling yet always logical in its flow.”

The New York Times has described Parker as “an insightful, energetic soloist.” Since taking first prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition, Parker has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch at Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Royal Philharmonic and Andre Previn, shared the stage with Jessye Norman at the Berliner Philharmonie and premiered new works by Peter Schickele and Jake Heggie.

Tickets, priced at $20 and $30, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

For more information on Rice’s Shepherd School, visit http://music.rice.edu/. For information about tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance, visit http://music.rice.edu/carnegiehall/. For information about tickets to the Bard College performance, visit http://www.fishercenter.bard.edu/.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.