Archive Page 2

HFO and David Commanday Honored

MARCH 22, 2011




In a press release dated March 18, 2011, The Illinois Council of Orchestras announced the winners of its 2011 awards:

The Illinois Council of Orchestras is pleased to announce the 2011 recipients of its annual awards for excellence in the field of music performance and for support of musical organizations. An awards panel that included judges from the Illinois Council of Orchestras Board of Directors and from independent arts organizations reviewed nominations representing orchestras, youth orchestras, and chamber ensembles from throughout Illinois.

The Heartland Festival Orchestra was named Professional Orchestra of the Year, and HFO Artistic Director David Commanday was named Professional Orchestra Conductor of the Year.

The Illinois Council of Orchestras has over 158 member organizations from throughout Illinois, and

Its Press Release continues:

The Illinois Council of Orchestras was founded in 1974 with a mission:

• to encourage, promote, and assist orchestras throughout the State of Illinois

• to promote an exchange of information among members, including providing consultants and speakers

• to hold educational conferences for member organizations, including musicians, staff: boards, volunteers, and audiences.

Presentation of the ICO Awards will take place during March through July 2011 at local concerts and other events of the winning orchestras.

HFO President Jim Kidder commented:
Working with David Commanday, board members, volunteers, musicians, and audience members during the past two seasons has been a tremendously gratifying experience.  These awards are a validation of a new vision for the orchestra experience, and we are all tremendously grateful for the wonderful recognition.

HFO Administrative Director Laura Evancho made this statement:
These awards honor our many communities which have strongly supported the Heartland Festival Orchestra since its creation in 2009.  This recognition of excellence, coming so early in the existence of the HFO, underscores the high value of fine music in the lives of people here.  Even more, the orchestra’s support of area charities in our partnership program has further endeared the HFO to the people of Central Illinois.  All connected with the orchestra are justifiably proud that Maestro David Commanday and the HFO were selected for these prestigious awards.

Artistic Director David Commanday commented:
I am deeply grateful for and honored by the recognition the HFO and I have received from our peers in the Illinois Council of Orchestras.  This is an affirmation not merely of personal achievement, but of the team which created and sustains the Heartland Festival Orchestra.  Outstanding musicians, visionary staff and board members, and a generous audience and community all deserve recognition and credit for these awards.  These honors will always be a source of great pride for me and the HFO.


Happy Birthday Beethoven!

Beethoven’s String Quartet No.6 performed by the Alban Berg Quartet in Vienna.




Nutcracker Coming Dec 11 & 12

We are proud to be providing the music for the Peoria Ballet‘s Nutcracker presented on December 11th and 12th at the Peoria Civic Center.

Get tickets for the 11th at 7:30pmGet tickets for the 12th at 2:00pm

A recent article in the Peoria Journal Star

Interview of Academy Director Rebekah von Rathonyi on WCBU 89.9’s “Out and About”

A message from our Artistic Director David Commanday:

“The Heartland Festival Orchestra and I are thrilled to collaborate with the Peoria Ballet as we make LIVE music part of the Nutcracker this holiday season. We will bring Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to life in this all-new production. I have been the conductor for countless Nutcrackers in my career – none will be more special or more meaningful to me than this one”

Rehearsing amongst the pews

Rehearsing Nov 21st at Epiphany Roman Catholic Church in Normal

Bach, Beethoven, and Beyond in Rehearsal


Bach, Beethoven, and Beyond: Previews

Bach, Beethoven, and Beyond
October 30, 2010 – 7:30 PM
Five Points Washington
360 N. Wilmor Rd.
Washington, IL
tickets: $29 adults and $7 children / students
get your tickets online at

J.S. Bach Concerto for 2 Violins in d minor

Beethoven’s First Symphony

Lukas Foss’ Renaissance Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

This piece is difficult to find online. Here is what I came up with: the first is a link to an Music Sampler of a CD which includes the Renaissance Concerto. From this link you can get 30 second samples of the four movements.

Here’s the link Amazon CD Sampler

To supplement here is a review of the piece by Andrew Lindemann Malone, Rovi, which was found at this link:

Renaissance Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

“Twentieth century composers from Igor Stravinsky to Alfred Schnittke and everywhere in between explored material from the Renaissance and Baroque periods in their own compositions. When Lukas Foss was asked by flutist Carol Wincenc to compose a concerto for flute, he settled on the sound of Renaissance music as both a target and a point of departure. The resulting concerto uses transcriptions, evocations, and extensions to create, as Foss describes it, “an homage to something I love, a handshake across the centuries.” The precariousness of this concerto’s balance between ancient pipings and the thoroughly modern sound of Foss make it both a little unsettling and quite riveting. While a normal Renaissance suite might have opened with a sarabande, Foss’ “Intrada” is, as he describes it, “part flute cadenza, part chorale, and part circus music.” The flute-cadenza passages seem to be composed entirely of period-appropriate ornamental trills and runs, without an intervening melody; these mix with a jaunty processional melody in the winds, then a sonorous brass chorale delivered by trumpets from high perches on opposite corners of the stage to evoke music played from atop town walls. A “Baroque Interlude (after Rameau)” follows, which transcribes that master’s harpsichord piece “L’enharmonique,” from Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin, for flute, harpsichord, and full orchestra. The scoring is thin and open, as high notes in flute and harpsichord and pizzicato plucking mingle with precise timpani taps. The somewhat distorted melody becomes chirpy in Foss’ flute transcription, leading to a coda featuring a couple of jokey delays. The third movement is titled “Recitative (after Monteverdi),” and the flute part is freely adapted from a recitative from Orfeo. In a move away from Orfeo, the flute is supported by soft dissonant washes in the strings, echoed in canon by an offstage ensemble. Occasionally, the orchestral flute imitates the soloist as well. The textures are dreamlike, and the slowly shifting harmonies become almost hypnotic. This mood is dispersed quickly by the spirited canon which begins “Jouissance,” derived from a madrigal by Melville. Soon, however, this yields to a flutter-tongued flute cadenza, which in turn yields to strange evocations of Galilei, Gesualdo, and Peri. After these have left the stage, the flutist reenters over eerie glissandos in the strings and leaves the stage as well, its music dropping from forte to pianissimo and then to mere key-clicks as the soloists walks off. Foss’ response to Renaissance music is individual and inventive.” ~ Andrew Lindemann Malone, Rovi

See you at the concert!

Today is concert day!

We are surely in for a treat tonight. See you at Five Points Washington at 7:30 for Songs from the Heart!

Check out our last few blogs to read David Commanday’s thoughts on the concert and to see some preview videos of the pieces that you will hear tonight.

You can still get tickets for the concert by visiting our website