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Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Universe Awaits’ to feature Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ on Feb. 17

An abbreviated introduction to the concert will also take place prior to the main performance on Feb. 17.

An artist's rendition of the planet Jupiter. (Photo courtesy of Cheyenne Orchestra Symphony)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. —​ On Feb. 17, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and Maestro William Intriligator offer the next installment of the CSO’s 2023–24 season, “The Universe Awaits,” at the Cheyenne Civic Center. The performance will include “Copland’s Quiet City,” featuring astrophotography by Judith Myers; Tan Dun’s “Crouching Tiger Concerto”; and the concert’s title piece, Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter.”

The February Masterpiece program will feature some of the CSO’s outstanding musicians as soloists. To open the program, principal trumpet player Derek McDonald and principal oboe player Gina Johnson will perform Copland’s “Quiet City,” a beautiful piece depicting a night scene. During the orchestra’s performance, photography of the stars and the night sky will be projected from above.

From left: Beth Vanderborgh, Gina Johnson and Derek McDonald with their instruments. (Photo courtesy of Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra)

“We are so grateful to local photographer Judith Myers for creating a beautiful slide show of night sky images that will take us all on a unique visual and sonic journey,” said CSO music director and conductor William Intriligator in a news release. “It will be a wonderful addition to the concert.”

The orchestra will then feature CSO’s principal cellist, Beth Vanderborgh, in Tan Dun’s “Crouching Tiger Concerto.” The music is taken from the 2000 film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The piece recreates the sounds of ancient Chinese instruments and has parts for the cello, several percussionists, piccolo and strings.

“It’s hard to describe how moving and powerful this music is,” Intriligator said. “When I conducted it with another orchestra once, it caused a sensation and audiences said it was one of their all-time favorite performances. So, I can’t wait for our audiences to be moved by it.”

Music was selected as the inspiration for CSO’s annual “Art in Music” program. LCSD1 students from grades 8–12 listened to Dun’s work and composed artwork based on it. The students’ work will be on display at the Cheyenne Civic Center starting Feb. 13 and can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday–Friday through March 1. During the “Universe Awaits” concert, the audience will we able to view a slideshow of the winning artwork onstage while “Crouching Tiger Concerto” is being performed.

The program will end with what Intriligator considers to be one of the “greatest of the greats”: Mozart’s final symphony, No. 41.

“Mozart never knew of this masterpiece by the ‘Jupiter’ moniker,” the maestro said, adding that it was given the name later because the music has a “greatness and quality that made some think of the Roman god Jupiter. … Mozart combines a variety of musical themes in such ingenious ways that some commentators have argued that this is one of mankind’s greatest achievements in any field.”

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17. The symphony orchestra is offering a concert preview at its “Lunch and Learn” event from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Laramie County Public Library. “Classic Conversations,” an abbreviated introduction to the concert, will take place prior to the main performance on Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Residents can watch the concert virtually for $25 if they are unable to attend in person.