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Wood River Orchestra Members to Perform Mendelssohn Octet
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Saturday, October 28, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

An octet featuring members of the Wood River Orchestra will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s “Octet for Strings” Monday night at the new synagogue in Elkhorn.

The free concert will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, at the Wood River Jewish Community’s new synagogue at 95 Badeyana Drive near the Elkhorn Golf Clubhouse and Grille. Those wishing to attend should email info@wrcorchestra.org.

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy wrote “Octet for Strings” when he was 16. It’s considered an unabashedly exuberant work brimming with the zeal of a confident young German man whose name means “happy” or fortunate.”

Mendelssohn, the grandson of a renowned Jewish philosopher, would go on to write the “Wedding March,” also known as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and the melody for “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Monday’s concert will feature four violins, two violas and two cellos, providing the orchestra’s string section and opportunity to play chamber music together.

The octet was principal second violinist Andy Moffat’s idea and will include Moffat, Stephen McDougall Graham, Heidi Bynum, Lynne Heidel, Rudy Kremer, Carlos Konstanski, Richard Inouye and Brad Hershey.

“It’s a really exciting side project,” said Moffat.

The performance also represents a new collaboration with the Jewish community in establishing a new venue for the arts in the valley. That initiative was started by longtime Wood River Orchestra violinist and recently retired president Lynne Heidel, who hopes it will be the first of many such collaborations.

Principal second violinist Andy Moffat, who happens to have a dog named Felix, said it’s astonishing that Mendelssohn was capable of producing something so vibrant at such a young age.

“No doubt the precocious young man himself was playing first violin at its premier!” he added.

In addition to the octet, three of the group’s members will perform two movements of an unfinished string trio by Russian composer Alexander Borodin. Borodin, who doubled as a doctor and pioneering chemist, was one of a prominent group of composers in the 1800s known as The Five that produced a uniquely Russian kind of classical music.

He also founded the School of Medicine for Women in Saint Petersburg.

COMING UP:

The Wood River Orchestra will perform the first of four main concerts planned for the year at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Center at Hailey’s Community Campus. The free concert will feature works by 19th century Austrian composer Franz Schubert.

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