Karen Botterbusch Featured Flute Soloist

The Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra will bring the music of John Rutter, Gustav Mahler, and Tchaikovsky to life as it opens the 2011-2012 Music, Gettysburg! concert season September 11, at 4:00 pm in the Gettysburg Seminary Chapel. Karen Botterbusch will be featured soloist on the flute and the concert will mark the anniversary of the 2001 attacks with a powerful and passionate orchestral program.

The concert falls on the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, the Director of the GCO, Dr. Norman Nunamaker, is dedicating the performance of Mahler's Adagietto to the victims and first responders of that event. Across the nation many musical organizations will be doing similar commemorative performances and, Nunamaker said, “the GCO is proud to join this list of orchestras.”  According to Nunamaker “the Adagietto is one of the most  expressive compositions ever written and it is fitting to perform this work at this time. Plus, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Mahler's untimely death in 1911.” The Adagietto is a slow movement of the Mahler Symphony No. 5 and is frequently performed as a separate entity.

Botterbusch, a long-time resident of Gettysburg and known to all area music-lovers and audiences for her many local performances, will perform solo on music by Pergolesi and Tartini. On many occasions she has performed for Music, Gettysburg!  as both a soloist and ensemble member. Karen plays flute and piccolo with the Harrisburg and York Symphony Orchestras as well as the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet Orchestra, as well as being the Principal Flute in the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra. She earned her Bachelors Degree, with honors, in Music Performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the Principal Flutist and the Principal Piccolo player with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She has been a soloist with the Harrisburg Symphony as well as our local GCO. Karen has been on the faculties of Elizabethtown, Wilson, and Messiah Colleges and maintains a studio in her Gettysburg home. Many of her students have won accolades for their performances with the District, Regional, and State Bands and Orchestras.

Karen, her husband Duane, and daughter Diana Curtis have all been founding members of the GCO, all in their 15th year with the ensemble. She will perform concertos by two Italian composers, Pergolesi and Tartini.  Both concertos date from the 18th century; the Pergolesi was written in the early part of the century, around the same time Vivaldi was writing. The Tartini comes from a later date, but still before the works of Mozart and Haydn were famous. As such, the style of Tartini is closer to that of his Austrian colleagues, with more balanced phrase structures and other “classical” traits.

The other works on the program include the always popular Suite for Strings by Englishman John Rutter. This composer has made his mark in the choral field, especially with his compositions and arrangements of Christmas music.  No other composer, living or dead, has so many works performed every Holiday Season!

Gustav Mahler died in 1911 and the GCO will observe this centennial with the Adagietto form his Symphony No. 5. Mahler was one of the great composer/conductors, and had been the director of some of the most significant musical organizations in history. After an apprenticeship in Prague, Leipzig, Budapest and Hamburg, he received the coveted position as Director of the Vienna Opera in 1897 where he remained for ten years. Composing was done in the summer months, to off-seasons for conducting. In 1907 he was offered a position with the New York Metropolitan Opera Company, where he was so successful that the New York Philharmonic also hired him as their conductor. In 1911 he returned to Vienna and died shortly thereafter. His compositions were long ignored until Leonard Bernstein conducted a series of his symphonies in the 50’s and 60’s.  His Symphony No. 5 stands as an outstanding example of his compositional skill and the Adagietto is noted for its sparse instrumentation—using strings and harp—but for its expressive qualities, requiring much from these instruments.

The final work on the program is the monumental Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky. This work was written at the same time as his 1812 Overture and its interesting to note that the composer commented that even though the Serenade was a stronger, more interesting work, it would undoubtedly not receive the audience accolades of the more noisy Overture! With musical aficionados, however, the Serenade is a favorite.

The Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra is currently in it’s fifteenth year of operation. One of its objectives is to include as many Adams County musicians, both as members and soloists. Presenting “Gettysburgian” Karen Botterbusch is another sign of its success in this mission.

Music, Gettyburg! is a premier free concert series featuring the finest regional, national and international musicians hosted by the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. The seminary chapel is located at 147 Seminary Ridge on the west edge of Gettysburg. For more information about this and other concerts remaining in the Music, Gettysburg! schedule, please call 717-334-6286 ext 2197 or email or visit the web site at .  For further information about the GCO concert please call 717-334-5508. 


Posted: 9/8/2011 9:46:55 AM by John Spangler | with 0 comments

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