“LET’S PLAY!”: THE GSO FAMILY CONCERT
Stella Sung is an award-winning composer whose compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad. As a recipient of a “Music Alive” award, a three-year award sponsored by New Music USA, the League of American Orchestras, ASCAP, the Aaron Copland Fund, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Dr. Sung recently served as Composer-in-Residence (2013-16) with the Dayton (OH) Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera). During the course of her three-year residency, she created new works for orchestra, ballet, and opera.
Claude Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement, Debussy showed enough musical talent to be admitted at age ten to France’s leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris. He originally studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire’s conservative professors.
Ralph Vaughan Williams (12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folksong, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. He was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social life. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens and believed in making music as available as possible to everybody.
Daniel Dorff (born 7 March 1956) is an American composer born in New Rochelle, NY. Dorff grew up in Roslyn, NY, graduating from Roslyn High School. He was first inspired to become a musician when he was a second grader at the Roslyn-Flower Hill Elementary School in Flower Hill and was introduced to the recorder. Dorff graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University and earned his master’s degree in composition from the University of Pennsylvania, studying composition with George Crumb, George Rochberg, Karel Husa, Henry Brant, Ralph Shapey, Elie Siegmeister, and Richard Wernick.
Randy Newman (born 28 November 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, and pianist known for his Southern-affected singing style, early Americana-influenced songs (often with mordant or satirical lyrics), and various film scores. His best-known songs as a recording artist are “Short People”, “I Love L.A.”, and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, while other artists have enjoyed more success with cover versions of his “Mama Told Me Not to Come”, “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” and “You Can Leave Your Hat On”. Since the 1980s, Newman has worked mostly as a film composer.
The Toy Symphony is a musical work dating from the 1760s with parts for toy instruments, including toy trumpet, ratchet, bird calls (cookoo, nightingale and quail), Mark tree, triangle, drum and Glockenspiel. It has three movements and typically takes around seven minutes to play through. It was long reputed to be the work of Joseph Haydn, but later scholarship suggested that it was actually written by Leopold Mozart. Its authorship is still disputed, however, and other composers have been proposed as the symphony’s true author, including Joseph Haydn’s younger brother Michael Haydn.
Victor Herbert (1 February 1859 – 26 May 1924) was an American composer, cellist and conductor of Irish ancestry and German training. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the Tin Pan Alley composers and was later a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. A prolific composer, Herbert produced two operas, 43 operettas, incidental music to 10 plays, and 31 compositions for orchestra.