2019 - 2020 Ninth Season Concerts
Woomyung Choe, Music Director

** The Concert is postponed indefinitely 

in response to COVID-19 **

Ninth Season Finale

 "The Magnificent 1800" 

with Guest soloist MICHAEL KATZ, violoncello

Fort Lee High School Auditorium 

3000 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ

Michael-Katz-Headshot1 (1).jpg

$25 for General Seating

$20 for Seniors & Students

Free admission for Children up to age 17 

For more information call

201-704-7584 /

413-446-6266 or contact bergensympho@gmail.com

Admission free tickets available at the door or in advance at Main Violin Shop (523 Summit Ave, Fort Lee, NJ)


The Bergen Symphony Orchestra

SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2020, 7:30 pm
Fort Lee High School Auditorium, 3000 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ

Ninth Season Finale

The Magnificent 1800s

with Guest Soloist

MICHAEL KATZ, violoncello

          The Bergen Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Woomyung Choe, is
celebrating its Ninth Season Finale with an array of magnificent music all conceived in the
1800s. The concert beings at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 16 at Fort Lee High School Auditorium,
3000 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ. TBSO’s first presentation is Brahms’s most popular
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, cited as a personal favorite by the composer himself. Award-
winning guest cellist Michael Katz will then grace us twice, first with Lalo’s beautiful Concerto
for Cello followed by Fauré’s affecting Elegy for Cello and Orchestra. In conclusion is
Beethoven’s remarkably durable, tremendously appealing Symphony No. 5.
          Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) composed Variations on a Theme by Haydn in B flat
Major, Opus 56 after exploring Haydn’s music and discovering a setting of a melody known as
the “St. Anthony Chorale.” That melody, the foundation of Brahms’s Variations, was later
revealed to not to be written by Haydn, but most likely by one of his students. The stately
melody that begins the work proceeds through eight rich re-imaginings before an explosive
return in the grand finale.
          A Frenchman of Spanish decent, Édouard Lalo (1823-1892) was a better and more
thoughtful composer than historians usually allow. Aside from his most celebrated Symphonie

Espagnole, the only other concerto-type work to have earned any kind of reputation is the
Concerto for Cello in D minor performed this evening. A favorite of student cellists, it is
nevertheless wonderfully colorful in a master's hands. And Israeli cellist Michael Katz is indeed
a master hailed by the press for his bold, rich sound and nuanced musicianship.
Katz will also perform Elegy for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 24, by Gabriel Fauré (1845-
1924), another interesting French composer. The Elegy is a prime example of Fauré’s ability to
distill anguish into a short, but touchingly effective musical statement. The choice of a cello, with
its baritonal human timbres, is the perfect voice for so personal a statement.
          Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is widely
recognized by the ominous four-note opening—often interpreted as “fate knocking at the door.”
The hallmark motif has had tremendous appeal well beyond the realm of classical music.
During World War II, for instance, Allied forces used it to signal a victorious moment, as its
rhythm—short, short, short, long—matched that of the letter V in Morse code. In the mid-1970s,
American musician Walter Murphy released “A Fifth of Beethoven,” a popular disco adaptation.
It has also been featured in numerous films and television commercials, promoting everything
from liquor to an internet browser.
          Ticket prices are $25 for general seating, $20 for seniors and students, and children under
17 are admitted free of charge. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at Main
Violin Shop, 523 Summit Avenue, Fort Lee, NY. For information and advance complimentary
tickets, call 201-704-7584 or 413-446-6266 or contact bergensympho@gmail.com.


Fort Lee High School

3000 Lemoine Ave, Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Directions to Parking:

Parking is available on site. More parking is available on streets.

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