Dana Symphony Orchestra set to play at Powers

The Dana Symphony Orchestra will perform tonight at the home of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

The concert, conducted by Stephen L. Gage, will open with Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festive Overture. In 1879, the University of Breslau conferred a Doctor of Philosophy degree upon Brahms. The composer was flattered and sent a postcard of thanks to the faculty. However, it was made clear that the University expected him to express his gratitude in musical form, resulting in the composition.

A chamber ensemble within the larger orchestra will accompany mezzo-soprano Erika Walker on the second and fifth movements of Gustav Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder.”

Walker, a senior vocal performance student from Canfield, won the 2017 Dana Young Artist Contest. She participated in the South Korean tour with the Dana Chorale in May and appeared in YSU’s production of Menotti’s “The Medium” last spring and “Cosi fan tutte” in 2016.

Walker, who will graduate in December, is an Opera Western Reserve Young Artist and will be seen in the chorus of “Lucia di Lammermoor” on Nov. 10 at Stambaugh Auditorium.

The second half of the program will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67. Scholars have argued about the inspiration for the work with theories ranging from it being a response to the composer losing his hearing to being a politically motivated musical reaction to the ongoing war (1803-1815) between Napoleon’s French Army and Beethoven’s beloved Austria.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. today at Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens and free for anyone with a valid YSU ID.