Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Orchestra Musicians To Give Goodbye Concert
By David Steinberg
Journal Staff Writer
The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra may have died, but its musicians are playing on.
In fact, the players will give a concert in Popejoy Hall on Saturday to say thank you to the NMSO's supporters.
The concert will feature Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 ("Ode to Joy") and W.A. Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4.
"The decision to have a concert came about as a consensus from among the musicians to honor our patrons as best we could," said Lori Lovato, who served as the NMSO's assistant principal clarinetist.
"I think the musicians are excited to do something for our patrons. They've been with us through some trying times, and we want to do something for them."
Lovato said a majority of the NMSO's 75 musicians are expected to play but none is expecting to receive any compensation. David Felberg, who was the symphony's associate concertmaster, will conduct.
Lovato said Guillermo Figueroa, the NMSO's musical director, would have conducted but he had a previous engagement out of state.
Roger Melone said he's preparing about 88 voices of the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus for the Beethoven work. The chorus is the new official name of what had been the NMSO Chorus.
Melone was the NMSO's longtime chorus director and resident conductor.
And four University of New Mexico faculty members — Kathleen Clawson, Bradley Ellingboe, Sam Shepperson and Leslie Umphrey — will solo in Beethoven symphony.
Peter Ulffers, who was the NMSO's principal French horn, will solo in the Mozart concerto.
Last week, the orchestra's board of trustees voted to shut its doors and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As of Monday, the NMSO had not filed.
The NMSO had been beset by long-term financial woes, including declining corporate gifts.
More than half of its income has traditionally been unearned. When the NMSO closed its doors, its musicians were owed about $800,000 in back pay.
Felberg predicted that there will be a professional symphony in Albuquerque's future.