Oregon Symphony to Premiere Work By Willamette University Professor

The performances of my Sinfonia Romanza with the Oregon Symphony, originally scheduled for March 13-16, have been postponed. The conductor, James DePreist, was severely incapacitated this past week with spinal problems. It is unclear, at this time, when the piece will be premiered. The new times will be posted as soon as the rescheduling process is complete. (03/09/04)

The Oregon Symphony, under the direction of Maestro James DePreist, will present the premiere performance of Sinfonia Romanza by John Peel, the Irene Gerlinger Swindells Professor of Music and Composer in Residence at Willamette University, March 13-15 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland and on March 16 in Smith Auditorium at Willamette University.

The performance is part of the subscription concert that includes works by Mozart, "Horn Concerto #4," and Tchaikovsky, "Symphony #4."

Tickets for the Portland performance range from $17 to $76 and may be reserved by calling 1-800-228-7343 or 503-228-1353. The March 13 and 14 performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The March 15th performance begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. March 16th Willamette University Smith Auditorium performance range from $17 to $35 and may be purchased at Ticketwest, located in area Safeway stores.

After completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, John Peel pursued graduate studies in music composition at Columbia University and Princeton University where his teachers included Milton Babbitt, Benjamin Boretz, J.K. Randall, Claudio Spies and Charles Wuorinen.

Peel's works range from solo and chamber pieces to symphonic and operatic compositions. Major ensembles that have commissioned and performed Peel's music include the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Riverside Symphony, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the American String Quartet, Collage, Music Today, the New Arts Trio, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and Parnassus.

He has received awards and grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Heinz Foundation, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, Meet-the-Composer and the American Music Center.

Recent major performances include the opera-oratorio Voces Vergilianae, commissioned by Willamette University for the dedication of the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center and the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, premiered in New York's Lincoln Center with the Riverside Symphony and violinist Joseph Lin.

Recordings of Peel's music are available on the Vienna Modern Masters label (with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic) and on Americus Records (with soprano Susan Narucki).

A professor of music at Willamette since 1990, Peel teaches music composition, music history and aesthetics and has created New Music at Willamette, a series of concerts, residencies and lectures dedicated to presenting the finest performers and composers of our time.