Winter Concert, January 16, 2011

The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society
P.O. Box 5550, Kailua-Kona, HI 96745

21. December 2010

Kamuela Philharmonic Announce Winter Concert, January 16, 2011

The celestial sounds of the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra will once more fill Kahilu Theater in Waimea on Sunday, January 16, 2011, when the orchestra performs Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” The concert will begin at 4:00 pm, and admission is free. Since space is limited, audience members are advised to arrive no later than 3:30 pm.

Gustav Holst, an English composer, conductor and music educator, came from a musical family. He studied piano, violin and trombone (later his primary instrument) as a child. Holst started composing when he was 12 years old, and produced nearly 200 compositions during his lifetime, primarily operas, ballets, choral hymns and songs. Edvard Grieg, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss were strong musical influences in his early works. With his friend and fellow student Ralph Vaughn Williams, he shared an admiration for English folk music, and for the compositions of Maurice Ravel. An interest in Hindu spiritualism led Holst to compose works set to translations of ancient Sanskrit texts, and after a trip to Algeria, to the suite Beni Mora. The combination of these influences helped Holst develop his own musical style, which was characterized by haunting melodies and unusual use of meter.

During a trip to Spain in 1913, Holst was introduced to astrology by a friend, and developed a lifelong passion for reading astrological fortunes. From 1914 to 1916 he composed “The Planets,” an illustration of the ideas and emotions astrology associated with each of these heavenly bodies. It premiered as a piece for piano and organ in 1918. The suite has seven movements, each named after a planet and its astrological character: Mars, the Bringer of War; Venus, the Bringer of Peace; Mercury, the Winged Messenger; Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity; Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age; Uranus, The Magician, and Neptune, the Mystic. Once Holst scored his composition as an imaginative and colorful suite for a large orchestra, showcasing the influence modern composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky were having on his music at the time, it became very popular. The orchestral suite premiered in 1920, and after a 1924 recording (then a new technology) by the London Symphony Orchestra with Holst conducting, it became his best-known work. Except for “Saturn,” his favorite movement, Holst did not consider the piece among his best, and felt it overshadowed some of his finer compositions.

Dr. Madeline Schatz, the Kamuela Philharmonic’s conductor and artistic director, with the assistance of oboist David Masunaga, painstakingly assembled the large orchestra she plans to use for this concert (83 musicians) by calling on players from near (Kona, Waimea, Hilo) and far (Oahu, Maui, Molokai, California and Colorado). The help of a generous large donor has made some of the logistical aspects involved in staging a major orchestral work such as “The Planets” possible, and everyone involved is very excited to be part of such a large undertaking.

Your donation to our calabash, while viewing these images at your leisure in our lobby before or after the concert, would be greatly appreciated. Because the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, any donations placed in our calabash, done via our website or mailed to us at P.O. Box 5550, Kailua-Kona, HI 96745, may be tax deductible. For more information about the Kamuela Philharmonic and our programs, please visit our website at Your help in assisting us to continue providing live, high quality orchestral music to Big Island audiences is appreciated, and we look forward to seeing you at our concerts.

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