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The Hartt School presents the Hartt Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, October 1, at 7:30 PM in Millard Auditorium, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.  This concert of orchestral masterpieces is the first Symphony concert conducted by Hartt’s newly appointed Director of Orchestral Activities, Hartford’s beloved Edward Cumming.  Concert patrons are invited to join Maestro Cumming and the Hartt community for a reception celebrating his recent appointment following the performance.  Admission is $20, with discounts for seniors, students, and groups.  Please call the University Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587 or visit www.hartford.edu/hartt for more information.

This opening concert consists of a program crossing three different centuries, and features Dvorák’s Carnival overture, which Maestro Cumming explains was “never intended to be an overture, but has become one due to its bright and festive nature;” Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London,” which was a huge hit with English audiences at the end of the 18th century, and is filled with surprises and good humor; and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, “his greatest symphony, which the composer called a hymn to man's ‘...mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit,’" said Cumming.

The Hartt Symphony Orchestra provides orchestral instrumentalists with exceptional performance experience, including several concerts each year, as well as performances with the Dance, Theatre, and Vocal Studies Divisions.  The orchestral literature consists of a balance of standard and contemporary repertoire.  Recent performances have included Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.


About Edward Cumming: 

Edward Cumming recently completed his ninth and final season as Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, hailed for its remarkable artistic growth during his tenure.


Working with young musicians has played a prominent role throughout Edward Cumming’s career.  While Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, he served as Music Director of the nationally-acclaimed Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, one of five orchestras invited to the biennial National Youth Orchestra Festival in 1998 and 2002.  From 1993 to 1996, Cumming was founding Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Institute in residence at California State University, Fullerton, and Conductor of Orchestras at the Orange County High School for the Arts.   During his tenure as Resident Conductor of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, he was Assistant Professor of Music at the University of South Florida.

In Europe, Mr. Cumming has led La Orquesta Ciudad de Granada (Spain), the South Bohemian State Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the BBC Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and most recently, the Sinfonica di Roma.  In the United States, he has conducted the Philharmonic orchestras of Los Angeles, Rochester and Buffalo, as well the San Diego, Oregon, San Antonio, Santa Barbara, and Detroit symphony orchestras, and the Boston Pops.  In Asia, he has conducted the Singapore Symphony, and most recently made his Israeli debut with the Be’er Sheva Sinfonietta.  In June 2010, he made his South American debut with the Filarmónica de Bogotá, conducting Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande on short notice.

Mr. Cumming studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, where he received a Doctorate in Music in 1992.  As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, he was awarded the prestigious Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts.  In May 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Trinity College.

The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts school of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre.  Founded 90 years ago, Hartt has been an integral part of the University of Hartford since its charter merged the then Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Art School, and Hillyer College to create the University in 1957.  2010 marked Hartt’s 90th year of providing world class performing arts education to students in Greater-Hartford and around the world.  With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions a year, performance is central to Hartt’s curriculum.  For more information about The Hartt School, visit www.hartford.edu/hartt. 

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