HSO's Classics II to feature Godfather composer

The Holland Symphony Orchestra and guest artist, Jack Unzicker on double bass will share live music “together again!” during the symphony’s Classics II concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Hope College’s Jack H. Miller Center. 

Single tickets are $22 per adult and $5 per student — kindergarten through college. The orchestra is using e-tickets so patrons are asked to download their tickets to a phone or print them ahead of the concert. The HSO office is willing to print tickets for attendees who call the office by Friday noon, Oct. 15.

Ticket holders can find concert information on the HSO’s website, including the program, program notes with interactive music clips, biography of soloist and conductor, information, and maps to the venue location. A pre-concert video will be available one week ahead on the Holland Symphony website to learn more information about the concert, the composers, and the soloist. 

There will be no pre-concert talk in the venue before the concert. Masks will be required at all HSO concerts. (All plans are subject to change relative to the pandemic). 

“Classical Chats” will continue this season at Freedom Village, (145 Columbia Ave.) at 3 p.m. on the Thursdays prior to the three HSO Classical Concerts. Classical Chats is open to concert attendees. 

The full season sponsor is David P. Roossien and the artist sponsor is Bradford Co. Logo sponsors for Classics II include Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, First National Bank of Holland, Sight Eye Clinic, Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, Opera Grand Rapids and Blue Lake Public Radio. Artist flowers are provided by Huisman Flowers (Eastern Floral Lakeshore). 

The performance will open with “The Hiawatha Suite” by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. This British composer was inspired by Longfellow’s poem, “Hiawatha,” and wrote a cantata and a ballet based on it. Coleridge-Taylor is often considered a successor to Dvorak, channeling his romantic sound and use of American sounding music.

The concert will continue with Nino Rota’s “Divertimento Concertante,” a concerto for double bass and orchestra featuring guest soloist Jack Unzicker. Rota is best known as the composer of several film soundtracks, especially the Godfather trilogy.

This piece has all the lush sounds and excitement of a classic Hollywood film. The concert concludes with Ludwig van Beethoven’s well-known Symphony No 6 “Pastorale,” a joyful celebration of nature. Beethoven invites listeners to enjoy the peaceful sounds of the countryside. The piece provides intensity during a fierce thunderstorm sequence before it resolves in a spirited country dance.

Currently an assistant professor of bass at University of Texas Arlington, Unzicker performs regularly with Dallas Opera, Caminos Del Inka, Dallas Chamber Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica and Plano Symphony Orchestra.

Read more articles by Andrea Goodell.