Music Director Jed Gaylin and the Hopkins Symphony
Orchestra celebrate the orchestra's 25th
anniversary this week with the world premiere of Matthew
Stofferahn's Synkinetic and a performance
of Beethoven's towering Symphony No. 9 (Choral). The
concert takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec.
1, in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the Homewood campus.
Jonathan Palevsky, program director of
WBJC-FM and an instructor in the Krieger School's Advanced
Academic Programs, gives the pre-
concert talk at 7 p.m.
Soloists in the fourth movement of the Beethoven, the
"Ode to Joy," will be soprano Lori
Hultgren, mezzo-soprano Fenlon Lamb, tenor Richard Crawley
and bass Robert Cantrell. They will be
joined by the Johns Hopkins Choral Society, Goucher Chorus
and Baltimore Masterworks Chorale.
Composer Matthew Stofferahn was a trombonist in the
HSO until May, when he graduated from
the School of Medicine. In his final year, he was awarded
Johns Hopkins' Louis Sudler Prize in the
Arts "for excellence and the highest standards of
proficiency" in the arts while studying an unrelated
discipline. He is now a resident physician in Christiana,
As an undergraduate, Stofferahn studied composition
with Erica Muhl, Stephen Hartke, Frank
Ticheli and Donald Crockett at the University of Southern
California. He graduated summa cum laude
in 2003, with a bachelor of music degree in composition and
a minor in the natural sciences, and was
named Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Composition
and the Thornton School of Music.
His original works have been performed by numerous
ensembles, including the USC Thornton
Gaylin commissioned Synkinetic to open the gala
"Given the piece's purpose, I conceived of it as an
overture," said Stofferahn, who composed it
over the spring and summer while finishing school, moving
and starting his career as a physician.
"While doing the initial planning, I thought of a
well-known example of the genre: Leonard Bernstein's
famous 1956 overture to Candide. What interested me about
this work was how the tempo remains
blazingly fast throughout while the character of the piece
changes so drastically, from opening
fanfares, to whimsical playfulness, to a beautiful love
duet. Bernstein convincingly fulfills the
overture's traditional role of introducing the operetta's
major themes while using the persistently
vivace tempo to build momentum and excitement. For my
piece, I decided to emulate this approach
using my own ideas."
Stofferahn said that he named the piece Synkinetic to
convey the concept of cooperatively
moving forward. "The orchestra is the largest standard
instrumental ensemble, and the effectiveness
of its artistic expression depends on the cooperation and
communication among its individual members.
If they are not precisely together, the music falls apart.
If they are, though, the music can soar," he
said. "Over the past 25 years, the HSO has taken on this
challenge, growing into a mature and capable
ensemble, and I'm sure that its next quarter century will
bring continuing success. In a way, the HSO
and I are moving forward together. I, too, turned 25 this
Admission to the Dec. 1 concert is free for Johns
Hopkins and Goucher College students.
Tickets are $8 for other students, seniors (60+) and Johns
Hopkins affiliates. General admission is
Featured works in later 25th anniversary concerts
include a free performance of Bach's
Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, Sunday, Feb. 17; a free kids
concert on Saturday, March 8; Tchaikovsky's
Violin Concerto, Sunday, March 9; the winner of the first
Hopkins Concerto and Aria Competition,
Sunday, April 6; and Copland's Symphony No. 3, Sunday,
The orchestra will present another world premiere on
Sunday, April 27: Gaetano Panariello's
triple concerto for oboe, bassoon and piano.
The Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, a program of The Johns
Hopkins University, is the only
community orchestra in Baltimore City. Each year, the HSO
offers four symphonic and three chamber
concerts, and a special children's concert. Orchestra
members are Johns Hopkins students, alumni,
faculty and staff, as well as other talented
Baltimore-Washington area musicians.
Jed Gaylin, now in his 15th season as HSO music
director, also directs the Bay-Atlantic
Symphony and the Cape May Music Festival, both in New
Jersey. He has just been named principal
guest conductor of the National Film and Radio Philharmonic
HSO programs are supported by a grant from the
Maryland State Arts Council, an agency
funded by the state of Maryland and the National Endowment
for the Arts.
For information about all HSO programs, call
410-516-6542, write to
email@example.com or go to