The Montclair Orchestra’s French Connection: A Musical Tour of 18th-19th Century France

For its last concert of the 2018-19 season, the Montclair Orchestra will take its audience on a journey back to the Classical and Romantic Eras in France. The orchestra’s French Connection performance is Sunday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair. It will include works by Haydn, Berlioz and Bizet.

Tickets for French Connection range in price from $10-$50 and are available at the orchestra’s web site or by calling 973-435-2906. The program includes: Symphony No. 60 ‘Il Distratto’ by Joseph Haydn; Les nuits d’ete by Hector Berlioz; and Symphony in C by Georges Bizet.

Yungpeng Wang

Il Distratto (the distracted) was written by the Austrian-born Haydn in 1775. It is based on music he wrote for a five-act play, Le Distrait, by the French poet Jean-Francois Regnard. Berlioz’ Les nuits d’ete (nights of summer), composed in 1841, was written to accompany six poems by another French poet, Theophile Gautier, who was a friend and neighbor of the composer. The orchestra will be joined for this piece by Yungpeng Wang, a baritone who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Pacific Symphony. The final work in the program, Bizet’s Symphony in C, was completed in 1855. The French composer was only 17 when he wrote it, at the time a student at the Paris Conservatoire.

The Montclair Orchestra, now in its second season, is led by David Chan, concertmaster of the MET Orchestra. The up to 75-piece ensemble is made up of professional musicians from world class orchestras playing alongside student fellows from leading conservatories.

The professional musicians performing with the orchestra include: Quan Yuan, violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Yevgeny Faniuk, principal flute with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and frequent guest member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; and Harry Searing, bassoonist, who has performed numerous times with the New York Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

The Montclair Orchestra is a developmental orchestra with fellowships for students from the top conservatories in the area including The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Montclair State University’s Cali School of Music, and Rutgers’ Mason-Gross School of the Arts.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 73 S. Fullerton Ave. in Montclair, N.J.

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