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Symphony Orchestra Concert serves as final performance for WVU’s Miltenberger


The West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra will take the stage on April 20, marking not only the end of a performance season, but the end of a storied career for retiring Professor of Piano James Miltenberger.

“The Symphony Orchestra couldn’t be more delighted to share the stage with Dr. Miltenberger for his farewell performance,” said Director Mitchell Arnold. “His impact on all of us, as a teacher or as a fellow performer, is immense.”

With a resume that includes soloist performances throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, many will remember Miltenberger as a performer. But to hundreds more, Miltenberger will first be remembered as the teacher and mentor behind their success. 

“Thousands of students and hundreds of faculty have passed through the School of Music during Jim’s tenure,” said Keith Jackson, the school’s director. “I get to speak to many of those alumni now and they always share memories that include ‘Doc.’ His impact is immeasurable and irreplaceable, he really embodies this institution.”

Along side WVUSO, Miltenberger will perform Piano Concerto “Homage to Beethoven” by Joan Tower.

“I am just extremely pleased that I was given this opportunity for a final faculty performance with our excellent WVU Symphony Orchestra,” Miltenberger said.

The program will also include “Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi and “Variations on a Theme by Haydn” by Johannes Brahms.

“Respighi pays homage to the history and spirit of Rome in a way that reaches deep inside us,” Arnold said. “It is remarkable how Respighi captures the sparkling energy of children playing in a park, the dark gravity of catacombs and finally, in perhaps the greatest orchestral build-up in the history of music, how he imagines a Roman army marching through the morning mist to arrive upon the city’s entrance in blazing sunshine.  There is very little in music as exciting as the last portion of this work!”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20 in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the Creative Arts Center. As with all concerts from WVU’s premiere ensembles, WVU students receive free admission with their student IDs. For general admission tickets, contact the WVU Box Office at 304-293-SHOW or visit Ticketmaster.