Conductor eager to direct Mozart, Copland works

Timothy Hankewich signed on to conduct the season opener for the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra because of two compositions on the program: Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Jupiter" symphony.

"I was going to have the opportunity to do both," he said.

The Lawrence Chamber Orchestra will open its 31st season at 2 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H. Guest conductor is Timothy Hankewich.Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $7 for students and $30 for family (two adults and students).Tickets are available at the arts center.

Hankewich, associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony and interim director of orchestral studies at Kansas University, will handle the baton at the chamber orchestra's concert at 2 p.m Sept. 22 at the Lawrence Arts Center.

The concert will open with Gustav Holst's "Brook Green Suite," a piece based on English folk songs and Sicilian dance melodies.

"The Holst is a beautiful partner to Copland," he said. "It's a different style but it's similar in flavor. It's pastoral, lyrical and very touching."

The centerpiece, though, is "Appalachian Spring," the best-known work by Copland.

"It's the musical equivalent to a Rockwell painting," Hankewich said. "It's very idealized and a nostalgic view of the past."

The chamber orchestra will perform the work in its original form, with 13 musicians. When the popularity of the piece grew after its debut, Copland reorchestrated it for a full orchestra.

"But I think the original chamber version is the best," Hankewich said.

The concert will conclude with "Jupiter," Mozart's last, most complex and longest symphony. Some scholars believe that Mozart was able to compose all of his works in his head and then put them down on paper. However, Hankewich said there is evidence that he wrote sketches for the "Jupiter" symphony to help him figure out its experimental harmonies and abundance of counterpoints.

"It's his strongest symphony because of its operatic character and complex melodies," he said.

Hankewich, who lives in Kansas City, Mo., has been on the conducting staffs of the Evansville Philharmonic and the Oregon Symphony. He has made guest appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonica and the Chinese Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Beijing.

A native of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, he has a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from Indiana University, a master's degree in choral conducting and a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the University of Alberta.


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