UW Symphony Mixes 500 Years Of Music With Modern Technology

Oct 7, 2015

The new University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra season features music spanning five centuries. Symphony director Michael Griffith says he strives to provide programming that covers three key areas: the classics, contemporary works, and hidden gems.

"I very hard to satisfy the audience’s need both for hearing those pieces the have CDs of - that they’ve loved for 30, 40, 50 years - and remembering that Beethoven’s Second was nuanced, Shostakovitch's Fifth was nuanced, so what new pieces can we bring in that maybe in 50 or 100 years everyone will also say, 'Well of course I know that.'"

Griffith also says a new Tweet Seats option is being introduced this season, allowing tech-savvy audience members to use social media during performances.

"If you are of a generation that absolutely cannot be separated from social media, that’s fine," he says. "The back two rows of the auditorium we’re selling as Tweet seats. And if you want to be dropping little comments on Facebook about everything you heard – positive comments only, of course – you’re welcome to do so."

Griffith says if the Tweet Seats prove to be a success they may become a feature in more university performances. The new orchestra season opens Thursday, October 8 with a concert version of Gershwin’s opera, “Porgy and Bess” featuring baritone Robert Sims and soprano Louise Toppin. Tours of UW’s newly renovated Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts are also available before the concert starts.