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    MARCH 23, 2006
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Kimmel Concert to feature Stone in ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’


Internationally renowned baritone William Stone will be the featured soloist when the Symphony Orchestra and Combined Choirs perform Belshazzar’s Feast at Temple’s fifth annual Kimmel Center Concert on Sunday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Verizon Hall.

The highly dramatic and musically challenging cantata-oratorio by the British composer William Walton will lead off the concert program of all 20th century music, conducted by Luis Biava, professor of music at the Boyer College who served as principal second violin with the Philadelphia Orchestra for nearly two decades, and Alan Harler, Laura Carnell Professor and Chairman of Choral Music at Boyer.

A professor of vocal studies who joined Temple’s faculty last year, Stone described Belshazzar’s Feast as “a goose-bump piece, with some wonderfully thrilling passages of music for singers and orchestra as well.”

With Stone as the featured soloist, a Telarc recording of the piece by Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was on a Grammy Award-winning album in 1990.

Belshazzar’s Feast is truly a tour de force for the choir,” Stone observed. “Yet it’s very approachable, with interesting, complex harmonies. The music depicts the text, and at times sounds very much like movie music.”

Stone, who has an international reputation as a singer of opera, oratorio and art song, has performed with the major opera companies in this country and Europe and as a soloist with the major symphony orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Also on the Kimmel Concert program are two pieces by Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Op. 96, and Symphony No. 1, Op. 10.

At the event, Boyer College Dean Robert Stroker will present a tribute award to Vera Wilson, founder and president of Astral Artistic Services, in recognition of her support and advocacy of the arts and gifted emerging musicians.

“The Kimmel Center concert affords a wonderful opportunity to showcase the outstanding work of the Boyer College’s extraordinarily talented students and faculty,” Stroker said. “It is especially appropriate that we are honoring Vera Wilson at this event for her decades of work in support of aspiring, exceptional musicians.”

Tickets are $10–$25 and may be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad and Spruce streets, or by phone, 215-893-1999.

For more information, call the Boyer College information line at 215-204-7600, or visit www.temple.edu/boyer.

- By Harriet Goodheart

Phyllis White Rodríguez-Peralta will be signing copies of Temple University Press’ new release Philadelphia Maestros: Ormandy, Muti, Sawallisch at the Boyer College’s March 26 Kimmel Center Concert, both before the concert and during intermission.
In Philadelphia Maestros, Rodríguez-Peralta carefully considers the professional role of each conductor as well as the human factors that are tied to their individual careers. For more information about the book, visit www.temple.edu/tempress.