MUSCATINE, Iowa–As Music Director and Conductor of the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra, Brian Dollinger, began preparing for the second MasterWorks concert of the year, his inclusion of Schubert’s Symphony Number Eight, often called his “Unfinished Symphony” because it has two rather than the traditional four movements, inspired him to title the concert Unfinished Business. A showcase of both classic symphonic pieces and a world premier, showing that the work of composing symphonies remains an unfinished business, Dollinger hopes to draw the community in with this meaningful concert Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Avenue in Muscatine.
Along with the genius of Schubert’s Symphony Number Eight and the intimate elegance of Wagner’s Siegfried’s Idyll, which he composed for his wife and had 15 musicians perform on the stairs of their house as a surprise as she woke up on her birthday, Dollinger wanted to include a more modern work. He explained: “when people think of classical music, they think of the ‘old dead guys’ like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Having brand new works being performed by living composers of our day is paramount to the vitality and longevity of the art form. Bringing music of these talented musicians to life, just as in the times of the ‘old dead guys’ assures the continuity and sharing of our culture for generations to come.”
For years, Dollinger worked with composer David Stern, and he felt performing the world premier of his Concerto for Cello would suit the occasion perfectly. In looking for a guest musician to feature for solo cello, Dollinger turned to his son, Constantine Janello. A cellist and recent graduate of the Robert McDuffee Center for Strings at Mercer University with honors who has continued his graduate studies in performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Dollinger believed his skills would perfectly suit the piece, and he welcomed the chance to perform with one of his family members. “I am very proud of all that he has accomplished and worked for and am equally eager to see where his musical training and journeys take him,” Dollinger beamed. “Whenever I get a chance to make music with my family, it is always the most special and memorable moments.”
Tickets for Unfinished Business cost $15 for patrons age 18 and older. People may purchase them through the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra’s website or at the door. Children under 18 and students with their school ID may attend for free.
As the weather cools and the nights lengthen, Dollinger encourages Muscatine area residents to cozy up with the Symphony for an outstanding evening of music. “The Muscatine Symphony is such a gem, and I think it is the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening; go out for dinner and a concert and find yourself fulfilled in so many ways.”
Suitable for all ages, Dollinger also considers this concert a chance to instill a love of music in the next generation of local musicians. “Share the experiences with your children and grandchildren–they will be energized and in awe of the instruments and may even be inspired to learn one themselves.”