More than 4,000 people viewed the opening night broadcast of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra’s SPSO Livestream! on YouTube.   SPSO is one of only a few orchestras in the region keeping the music alive and for audiences throughout the country.  The 2020-2021 Season of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra has been reimagined!  These one-hour concerts are streamed right into your home – LIVE – on YouTube at no charge.  Join us for an innovative way to experience our music-making for the next performance Saturday, November 7, 7:30 p.m.

Titled DREAMS & PASSIONS, this concert welcomes you to escape into your dreams as the SPSO musically paints the surreal sounds of the music of French Impressionist Claude Debussy.   Critically-acclaimed Violinist Robyn Bollinger makes her SPSO debut featuring the sultry sounds of tango master Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.   Discover your inner passion and get your tango on!  We all need a little time to dream, escape, and indulge

There are very few defining moments in musical history that drastically altered the future of music.  Certainly, Beethoven’s Third and Ninth Symphonies, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and Debussy’s Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun, which premiered 22 December 1894.  In a single twelve-minute work, the sounds of twentieth century were ushered in, and Claude Debussy created a completely new sound of music with this tone poem that was inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem of the same name written almost two decades earlier.

For Debussy, music was rooted in memory.  In a letter to a pupil, Debussy wrote: “Collect impressions.  Don’t be in a hurry to write them down.  Because that’s something music can do better than painting: it can centralize variations of color and light within a single picture.”  This very statement became Debussy’s credo, mirroring statements from the impressionist and post-impressionist painters.  The concert also includes Debussy’s intimate La Plus que lente (“The more than slow”), which is quintessential Debussy with its perfumed atmosphere and exaggerated sense of reality – another dream state.  The result sounds like a lazy waltz that could certainly never be danced to in reality, but only in an imaginary world.

Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires relates directly to Vivaldi’s masterpiece – meaning for solo violin and string orchestra.  Composed in a late-night recording session in 1970 for his own ensemble, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires are associated with the seasons occurring simultaneously in Vivaldi’s Italy.  This arrangement for solo violin and string orchestra, remove bandoneon and electric guitar, and Piazzolla’s “new tango” emerges as one of the most exciting newer works for virtuoso solo violin.  Piazzolla’s electrifying blend of fire and passion with the traditional tango coupled with modern harmonies and edgy textures produced over 750 works – from intimate to theatrical, from violent to sensual, and from witty to melancholy.  By 1985, Piazzolla was hailed as the musician who revitalized one of the quintessential genres of Latin music, and a true revolutionary figure for tango.  While he died of a stroke in 1992, the popularity and excitement of his music is still growing.

Proclaimed as “daring, versatile, charismatic, and passionate, Violinist ROBYN BOLLINGER is recognized for her musical creativity, rich tones, and technical mastery. She came to national attention with her 2014 residency on PRI’s “Performance Today” and several appearances on NPR’s “From the Top.”  She was the recipient of a prestigious 2016 Fellowship from the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship Fund for her multimedia performance project, “CIACCONA: The Bass of Time,” which she began touring nationally in 2018.

Having made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut at age twelve, Ms. Bollinger has since performed with orchestras, in recital, and at festivals nationally and internationally, among them the Boston Pops, Japan’s Phoenix Hall, Oji Hall, and Tokyo National Arts Center, the Grand Tetons Music Festival Orchestra, and the music festivals of Aspen, Lake Champlain, Maui, Marlboro, and Rockport. Ms. Bollinger also performed in Boston with the Grammy-nominated string orchestra, A Far Cry, of which she is a member, as well as with Chameleon Arts Ensemble, the Lydian Quartet at Brandeis University, Mistral Music, and in concert for Boston’s Music For Food concert series.

From July 2013 to May 2017, Ms. Bollinger played a 1778 Joseph and Antonio Gagliano violin on generous loan from the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute Instrument Bank. As of May 2017, she now performs on a beautiful 2017 violin made by the world-renowned luthier Samuel Zygmuntowicz, on loan from a private collection.

“If ever there was a time for music, it is now,” explains Music Director Allan R. Scott.  “We are not trying to duplicate or replicate the concert hall experience but innovate the experience of our music-making.  The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra was created for these very difficult times.  Our music-making exists to literally save lives and to promote the spiritual and emotional well-being of our people.  Despite the very different format, we will strive to continue to make lives better through music,” says Maestro Scott.

Following safety guidelines from public health officials, concerts will be performed without an audience in the concert hall at the performing arts center at Dock Academy in Souderton.  “SPSO is grateful to have the continued support of Dock Academy,” says SPSO President Kiran Padgaonkar.  “This partnership helps bring the artistic excellence of the Symphony’s music-making to people in the safety of their homes.”  The safety of our musicians is also critically important.  Musicians will be appropriately socially distant and all safety measures in place in accordance with recent studies on orchestral performances for musicians.

Hosted by Grammy Award-nominated Philadelphia Composer Kile Smith, the live broadcast features legendary American composers Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber.  Nearly two dozen of the 65 players of the SPSO will bring music of American legends to the opening SPSO LIVEstream! on Saturday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m.  Titled Music for A Quiet City, the performance features music that allows us to heal, remember, reflect, and hope.  Copland’s Quiet City depicts the stillness of our streets, and Barber’s emotional Adagio for Strings captures our heartbreaks and sorrows as we remember those suffering or who have been lost during the pandemic.  The performance leaves us with the true American spirit of possibilities and a better tomorrow through Copland’s enduring and popular Appalachian Spring.

How? –

The SPSO LIVEstream! concerts can be viewed at no charge on a smart phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computers, smart televisions, and televisions connected to the internet – or anywhere you have access to YouTube.  Most televisions offer YouTube as an app or can be attached to another computing device to watch on the big screen.

While nothing can replace the experience of attending a live performance, the live stream offers an exciting and new way to enjoy a concert.  Each stream will be multi-camera shoot offering close-up shots of musicians, front-side views of Maestro Scott, and visuals that are not possible by sitting in the auditorium.  Host Kile Smith will also lead backstage interviews during intermission.  We are excited to present the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra in a more personal, up-close manner.

While there is no charge, there will be an option available online to make a donation to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra is the regional professional orchestra for Montgomery and Bucks Counties and surrounding regions and features several performances throughout the year of the great masterworks of symphonic music with world-renowned guest artists.   The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1972 as the North Penn Symphony Orchestra.  It was created to provide performances of the highest caliber to entertain and educate audiences, and to enhance, enrich, and expand the cultural lives of the residents of the North Penn area.  In 2008, the Board of Directors rechristened the orchestra the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra to reflect its new regional focus, professionalism, and vision.



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