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Emory's symphony orchestra and chorus unite for final season performance

The Emory University Symphony Orchestra and the Emory University Chorus perform together in free concerts on April 20-21. Emory Photo/Video.

The Emory University Symphony Orchestra and the Emory University Chorus perform together in free concerts on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. in Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

The program features three well-known pieces from Classical and Romantic literature:

• Beethoven's "Egmont Overture" is one of the last works from his middle period, and is a concert favorite because of its drama and expressivity.

• Brahms' "Nänie" was written as a funeral song. Although not performed frequently due to its difficulty, the piece is widely considered to be one of Brahms' most beautiful.

• Mozart's "Coronation Mass" is one of the most popular of his 17 mass settings, and is a short mass or "missa brevis" in six movements. It is believed that the piece was first premiered on Easter Sunday 1779 in Salzburg Cathedral, where Mozart held a position at the time. Aside from its majestic premiere, it earned the name "Coronation" Mass because of its bright, sparkling sonorities and its rich use of orchestral and choral colors. The soloists featured in the Emory performance of this piece are Carrie Kahl-Hardy, soprano; Elise Eskew Sparks, alto; Bradley Howard, tenor; and Stephen Ozcomert, bass.

The Emory University Symphony Orchestra presents dynamic and varied performances of repertoire embracing music from the Baroque to the 21st-century, often combining forces with the Emory choirs to feature masterworks of the rich symphonic-choral tradition. The 100-piece orchestra draws its membership from all disciplines across the campus. Award-winning conductor and composer Richard Prior directs the EUSO. Prior holds the Edward Goodwin Scruggs Chair at Emory and also teaches composition.

The Emory University Chorus unites a variety of members from the Emory community through a common love of singing. The University Chorus performs three to five concerts a year, including "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols," major works with the Emory Symphony Orchestra and Emory Wind Ensemble, and the student a cappella concert, "Barenaked Voices." The Emory University Chorus is conducted by Eric Nelson, who serves as Emory's director of choral studies, as well as director of the Atlanta Sacred Chorale and various church choirs in the Atlanta area.

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