2010-11 Season

The Opole, Philharmonic of Poland

Monday, February 7, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Bondurant Auditorium, Preston Hall
Boguslaw Dawidow, Music Director and Conductor

The history of the Opole, Philharmonic of Poland can be traced back to the years immediately following World War II. One of Poland’s leading Orchestra’s, the Opole, Philharmonic of Poland was founded in 1947 and became the resident Orchestra of Opole. In 1952, a major Performing Arts Center was built in the city of Opole as permanent home to the Opole, Philharmonic of Poland. In June of 1969, the Orchestra was awarded by the Ministry of Culture of Poland the State Award for Arts Excellence in honor of the great Polish Composer Jósef Elsner.

The Opole, Philharmonic of Poland has performed with most outstanding piano, violin, and vocal soloists in the world. Since 1960, the Orchestra has participated regularly in prestigious Polish cultural events such as the Festival of Contemporary Music in Wroclaw, the Chopin Festival in Duszniki, the Moniuszko Festival in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poznan Musical Spring, and the International Festival of Oratorio and Cantata Music in Wroclaw. Since 1973, the Opole, Philharmonic of Poland has annually appeared as resident Orchestra of the Opole Days of Oratorio Music Festival. The Opole, Philharmonic of Poland has toured extensively abroad to countries as far reaching as Spain, France, Holland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South America, Hungary, Japan and most recently to Italy and Germany where the Philharmonic performed music of contemporary Polish composers to great critical and popular acclaim.

In September of 1999 Boguslaw Dawidow was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Opole, Philharmonic Orchestra. Under Maestro Dawidow’s leadership, the Opole, Philharmonic of Poland has hosted a continually growing number of world-famous musicians, winners of international piano, violin and conducting competitions. The Opole, Philharmonic of Poland was the only Polish Orchestra invited to participate in the Gala Concert in Rome to mark the 80th birthday of Pope John Paul II in May 2000. In the Winter of 2011 under the Direction of Maestro Dawidow the Opole, Philharmonic of Poland will undertake for the first time an transcontinental tour of the United States of America.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 8pm
Bondurant Auditorium, Preston Hall

Tickets go on sale March 16th. Pricing will be $15 for the general public, $7.50 for children, and free with RU ID. Please contact the ticket office in the Bonnie at (540) 831-5420 for more information.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current director, Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band, and record label.

The building that houses Preservation Hall has housed many businesses over the years including a tavern during the war of 1812, a photo studio and an art gallery. It was during the years of the art gallery that then owner, Larry Borenstein, began holding informal jam sessions for his close friends. Out of these sessions grew the concept of Preservation Hall. The intimate venue, whose weathered exterior has been untouched over its history, is a living embodiment of its original vision. To this day, Preservation Hall has no drinks, air conditioning, or other typical accoutrements strictly welcoming people of all ages interested in having one of the last pure music experiences left on the earth.

The PHJB began touring in 1963 and for many years there were several bands successfully touring under the name Preservation Hall. Many of the band's charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early twentieth century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson. Band leaders over the band's history include the brothers Willie and Percy Humphrey, husband and wife Billie and De De Pierce, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, and in the modern day Wendell and John Brunious. These founding artists and dozens of others passed on the lessons of their music to a younger generation who now follow in their footsteps like the current lineup.