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Dayton, Ohio (March 5, 2009) – On Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 at 8 pm in the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present the Miami Valley & Good Samaritan Hospitals Classical Series concert Strokes of Brilliance a musical program featuring the works of Paul Hindemith, Robert Ward, and Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky. Guest conductor Sara Jobin, who made history in 2004 as the first woman to conduct on the mainstage subscription series at San Francisco Opera, leads the DPO in the program’s opening work, Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber. The magnetic, captivating, and gifted Canadian pianist Ian Parker performs Ward’s Piano Concerto. Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, which the composer himself said expresses “those things for which there are not words but which need to be expressed,” provides the evening’s climax.

Sara Jobin made history in 2004 as the first woman to conduct on the mainstage subscription series at San Francisco Opera. Prior to that, she conducted for Opera San Jose for four years. Two years ago, Ms. Jobin led productions with Tacoma Opera and Wolf Trap Opera and cover-conducted for Philip Glass’ world premiere, Appomattox, at San Francisco Opera.

Robert Ward received the 1962 Pulitzer Prize in Music and the New York Music Critic’s Citation for his opera The Crucible. He has received many commissions for his works, which have seen performance by the New York Opera, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, Central City Opera, Charlotte Opera and the Greater Miami Opera, among others. His body of work includes seven operas, large and small choral works, and diverse chamber music.

The melodies in the second movement of Ward’s Piano Concerto show the influence of his World War II experience. “I was the leader of the Seventh Division Band,” he states, “which included a hot, swing band, a Guy-Lombardo-type dance band, and a fine jazz sextet patterned on Benny Goodman’s wonderful group. These lively tunes, driving jazz rhythms, and rich harmonies have been part of my musical vocabulary ever since.”

Ian Parker has performed across the United States, Western Europe, Israel, and throughout Canada on tours with Debut Atlantic and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. He made his Lincoln Center recital debut at the Walter Reade Theater in 2004 and moderates a new recital series in Vancouver for the introduction of young artists. Born in Vancouver, Ian Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School.
On Thursday, March 19 at 3pm, Robert Ward will meet with music students at the University of Dayton. On both concert evenings at 7 pm in the Mead Theatre, Guest Conductor Sara Jobin and composer Robert Ward will conduct a Take Note discussion.
On March 20 from 7 pm to 7:45 pm in the Wintergarden as part of the Stars of Tomorrow program, the Stebbins High School Symphonic Choir – Christina Smith, Director – will perform.
Series sponsored by Miami Valley & Good Samaritan Hospitals. Xcelsi Group is the concert weekend sponsor.
Tickets $12 – $62.

For photographs of Neal Gittleman or any of the various series’ guest artists, go to: