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From London to the Leighton

Brandon Hollihan | Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The 2004-05 concert series at the Debartolo Performing Arts Center will roll along with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields performing Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall. Pianist Christopher O’Riley also will star.Founded in 1959 by Sir Neville Marriner, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s elite chamber companies, featuring both an orchestral ensemble and chorus. The Academy resides in London, presenting its own series at Wigmore Hall and serving as the resident orchestra for the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Barbican Centre. As with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which recently performed at the Leighton, the Academy tours aggressively and performs this season in such nations as Italy, Germany, Croatia, Hungary and Austria. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is under the direction of violinist Kenneth Sillito, one of Great Britain’s greatest musicians. His numerous honors include an appointment with the English Chamber Orchestra, a fellowship with the Royal Academy of Music, and his eventual founding of the Academy Chamber Ensemble. His recording include Handel’s “Operatic Overtures, English String Masterpieces”, made up of works from Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar, and others; and J.S. Bach’s Cantatas, featuring operatic countertenor Jochen Kowalski.Featured star Christopher O’Riley has also enjoyed a musical career that matches the brilliance of Sillito’s. He boasts a keyboard repertoire that ranges from the English Renaissance to newer works written by today’s leading composers. O’Riley is also renowned for the work he has done in arranging music. In 2003 he recorded the CD “True Love Waits,” which is composed of original transcriptions of songs from the English group Radiohead. He has also released transcriptions on works from Stravinsky, such as selections from the famous ballet “Petrouchka,” and has also released CDs consisting of piano works by Maurice Ravel and several of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. O’Riley’s touring ventures have taken him to London, Paris, Vienna, Hong Kong and Melbourne, along with many other global cultural capitals.The program for the concert consists of a wide variety of works. It opens with Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Chamber Symphony for Strings.” O’Riley will then make his first appearance of the night in Mozart’s “Concerto No. 12 in A Major for Piano and Orchestra.” After intermission, O’Riley will again be featured in Franz Liszt’s “Malediction for Piano and Strings,” and the evening concludes with Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings in C Major.”Tickets for the performance are $62 dollars for the general public, $50 dollars for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross faculty or staff and $25 dollars for all students.