Gannon University’s Erie Chamber Orchestra Welcomes First Soloist of 2016 Season
Posted: January 15, 2016
Everybody knows the names of the immortal instrumental virtuosi
of the 19th-century, pianist Franz Liszt and the demonic violinist
Niccolò Paganini among them. But who today remembers Bohumir
James Thompson does.
Thompson, a professor of trumpet at the Eastman School of Music
and the longtime principal trumpet in Robert Shaw's Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra, will be the soloist as the Erie Chamber
Orchestra begins the 2016 portion of its season on Saturday at 7:30
p.m. at Cathedral Prep Auditorium, 250 West 10th St.
Thompson will play Kryl's "Josephine Waltz," once a calling card
for the millionaire composer, bandleader, financier and art
collector who was once called "the Caruso of the cornet" for his
ability to hold high notes for an impossibly long time.
In truth, "Josephine" is not great music, but it is great fun,
and it's a worthy vehicle for a virtuoso soloist. The hardy few who
braved subzero temperatures to hear the ECO's presentation of
Stravinsky's "A Soldier's Tale" last February can tell you that
Thompson is just such a soloist.
This time around, he'll add Haydn's evergreen trumpet concerto
to the program of the free concert, a showpiece that is as
unavoidable for trumpet players as the Tchaikovsky concerto is for
The Russian composer will be present on this program with his
Suite No. 4. Subtitled "Mozartiana," it's a series of charming
character pieces written by Tchaikovsky as an hommage to the
composer he idolized.
A similar impulse led the young Benjamin Britten to write the
piece that will open the program, a series of variations for string
orchestra on a theme by his teacher, Frank Bridge. Closing the
circle to Mozart, the Austrian composer's Symphony in D major, K.
196+121, which was adapted by Mozart himself from the overture to
his early opera "La finta giardinera."
"Adoration and Adaptations" is a program where the ECO and its
departing music director Matthew Kraemer prove that inspiration in
the supposedly ossified world of classical music is continually
refreshed, even when that inspiration is second-hand.