WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with André Watts will perform at Loeb Playhouse on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. This performance is presented by Purdue Convocations with support from Mike and Pam Luenz, Ginny Tyler and the Jeanne Compton Endowment for Artistic Excellence.
At 3 p.m. join Nick Palmer, music director and conductor of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, for a pre-show discussion about the program in Stewart Center Room 206.
For several decades, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist André Watts have been standard-bearers for artistic excellence. Now, these indelible icons of classical music will unite onstage for a centuries-spanning program evocative of their respective trailblazing spirits.
Founded in 1972, the Grammy-winning Orpheus is the world’s foremost chamber orchestra — with more than 70 albums, 40 commissioned works and a musically democratic process that has also inspired business leaders. Just 10 years earlier and handpicked by Leonard Bernstein, Watts debuted at age 16 with the New York Philharmonic on a CBS broadcast — a mixture of technical mastery, artistic nuance, and televisual reach with which Watts became a globally beloved superstar.
The Grammy-winning Watts remains a regular guest at Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga and Tanglewood. Watts received the National Medal of Arts in 2011, holds an endowed chair at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and, as the Los Angeles Times recently raved, “continues to play like a teenage phenom.”
The program, From Piano to Pen, shows what happens when fearless improvisers — from Viennese symphonists to jazz polymaths — wrestle with orchestral scores. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 changed then-contemporary definitions of the symphonic form. Charles Rosen called Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 “perhaps the first unequivocal masterpiece of the classical style.” Continuing its legacy of innovative commissioned works, Orpheus and Watts will debut Asunder — an orchestral work from jazz visionary Vijay Iyer, who performed at Purdue with his trio in 2013.
Tickets for the general public cost $28-$50, while student tickets cost $20-$35. Tickets are available at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Group tickets are also available to groups of 10 more. Call 765-496-1977 for more details or visit https://purdue.edu/convocations/group-sales/.
Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Purdue Convocations offers the region 30-40 performances of widely varying genres: Broadway-style shows, theater, dance, children’s theater, world music, jazz, and chamber music, along with rock, pop, country and comedy attractions. With a vision for connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media.