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Rice’s Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra Returns to Carnegie Hall for World Premiere and More (Oct 28)

(HOUSTON – SEPTEMBER 21, 2016) – Two years ago, when Rice University’s Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut under the leadership of music director Larry Rachleff, the Huffington Post was blown away by their “energy, artistry and a very distinctive Shepherd sound.” Now Rachleff and the orchestra return to the New York venue’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on October 28, for a program of modern and contemporary music showcasing the world premiere of In Terra, a new work by award-winning faculty composer Pierre Jalbert, alongside Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride, and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with distinguished faculty artist Jon Kimura Parker as soloist. While on the East Coast, the same forces also offer a preview of this program two days earlier, at the Fisher Center on Bard College’s Hudson Valley campus (Oct 26).

Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School and the Elma Schneider Professor of Music, said:

“The Shepherd School is incredibly proud to be returning to New York and the renowned concert stage at Carnegie Hall. Having this performance opportunity affirms the Shepherd School’s position within the highest echelon of collegiate-level orchestral programs. Moreover, the honor speaks to the exceptional level of our students and faculty.”

Since its founding at Houston’s Rice University in 1975, the Shepherd School of Music has built a reputation as one of the nation’s finest university-level music programs, assembling a pre-eminent group of artist-teachers and attracting the most promising young musicians in training from around the world. The Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra is justly celebrated as one of the nation’s premier student ensembles, and this season the school becomes the first U.S. conservatory to participate in the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program. The school is well known for offering exceedingly comprehensive and far-reaching orchestral career preparation.

The school’s Director of Orchestras and Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Music is conductor-educator Larry Rachleff, who has been hailed as “a take-charge maestro who invests everything he conducts with deep musical understanding” (Chicago Tribune). Renowned for his rich rapport with or­chestral musicians, Rachleff is also music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, former music director of the San Antonio Symphony, and highly sought-after as a guest conductor.

Composer Pierre Jalbert (b. 1967) is professor of composition and theory at the Shepherd School, where he has taught since 1996. His many honors include the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s 2007 Stoeger Award, and a 2010 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which states:

“Jalbert’s music immediately captures one’s attention with its strong gesture and vitality. Rich in instrumental color and harmonically engaging, its narrative is dramatically compelling yet always logical in its flow.”

Besides serving as professor of piano at the Shepherd School, pianist Jon Kimura Parker is also “an insightful, energetic soloist” (New York Times). Since taking first prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch at Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Royal Philharmonic and André Previn, shared the stage with Jessye Norman at the Berliner Philharmonie, and premiered new works by Peter Schickele and Jake Heggie.

About Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music

Founded in 1975, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston is one of the nation’s youngest major university level music programs. In just 40 years, it has become one of the most prominent music schools in the country, attracting an international student body of 300 music majors. The school’s illustrious faculty of artist-teachers is dedicated to the highest possible cultivation of the talents and skills of each individual student. Shepherd School alumni include Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners; they have debuted on the stages of Carnegie Hall and have appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera. They hold positions in prestigious orchestras across the globe, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Graduates of the Shepherd School Opera Program have sung in several of the world’s foremost opera houses and recital halls. Recent alumni are members of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, the Houston Grand Opera Studio, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, the Utah Opera Ensemble Program and the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program. The school makes an enormous impact on the cultural life of Rice University and the greater Houston community by welcoming 85,000 visitors who attend more than 500 events each year.

Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music presents:

Oct 28, at 8 pm
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)

Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra
Larry Rachleff, music director


SMETANA: Overture to The Bartered Bride
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Jon Kimura Parker, piano)
PIERRE JALBERT: In Terra (world premiere)
LUTOSŁAWSKI: Concerto for Orchestra

Plus, preview of program:

Oct 26, at 8 pm
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Bard College (Fisher Center)

Tickets, priced at $20 and $30, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website,

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© 21C Media Group, September 2016

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