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Guest conductor Matthew Brown and Young Artist Winner Rachelle Crowell join the Grand Junction Symphony for a weekend of concerts this January

January 12, 2016

The search for the Grand Junction Symphony’s new conductor continues as Brown Conducts Sibelius. Guest conductor and GJSO Music Director candidate Matthew Steven Brown leads the Grand Junction Symphony along with guest artist flutist and former Grand Junction Symphony Young Artist Competition winner Rachelle Crowell in a weekend of performances on Saturday, January 23rd at 7:30pm and Sunday, January 24th at 3:00pm.

Both performances will be held in the Avalon Theatre and will feature Colorado native Lee Actor’sOpening Remarks, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet, Gordeli’s Concertino for Flute and Orchestra, andSibelius’ Symphony No. 2.

Matthew Steven Brown recently has served as Cover Conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Musician-in-Residence and Conductor of the American University Symphony Orchestra, and staff conductor for the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra in Annapolis. He is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the International Conductors’ Festival in Kiev, Ukraine. As such, he is responsible for the vision and implementation of one of the world’s most exciting summer festival destinations for young conductors. Matthew graduated from the Peabody Conservatory in 2005 (MM) and earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music History from Southwestern University in 2002, graduating magna cum laude. Matthew lives in Maryland with his wife Ann, who is a pianist and college professor, and their three young children (the oldest child is in kindergarten). In addition to being devoted and loving parents, Matthew and Ann are avid gardeners of both food and flowers, and Matthew is an accomplished amateur carpenter.

Acclaimed for her glorious sound, engaging stage presence, and captivating performance style, flutist Rachelle Crowell celebrates a zealous career as a distinguished solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. A prominent young artist, Ms. Crowell also pursues numerous professional engagements including her position as principal flutist of the Loveland Orchestra, instructor of flute at Magnolia Music Studio, and principal flutist of both the Colorado State University Symphony Orchestra and Colorado State University Wind Symphony.  Ms. Crowell is currently working towards her Masters of Flute Performance, in which she was also awarded a graduate teaching assistantship. She recently graduated with highest honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned both a Bachelors of Flute Performance as well as a Bachelors of Music Education. Ms. Crowell won the Grand Junction Symphony’s Young Artist Competition in February of 2015 and was invited to perform with the GJSO as a part of her winnings.

Opening Remarks 
is a brisk, upbeat, 6-minute work for orchestra designed as a concert opener. It was commissioned by the Saratoga (FL) Symphony and was composed between August 2008 and February 2009.

Romeo and Juliet is an orchestral work composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and is based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Like other composers such as Berlioz and Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky was deeply inspired by Shakespeare and wrote works based on The Tempest and Hamlet, as well. It was written in 1869 and the Overture’s love theme has been featured in dozens of films, television shows and video games.

Concertino for Flute and Orchestra
is a virtuosic showpiece in one movement for the flute. It was written in 1958 by Georgian composer Otar Gordeli and was greatly influenced by American composer George Gershwin.

Jean Sibelius wrote his Second Symphony in 1901-02 and conducted the premiere himself on March 8, 1902, with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Sibelius is widely recognized as his country’s national composer and is often credited for supporting the rise of the Finnish national identity. In the words of guest conductor Matthew Brown, Sibelius’ Second Symphony is always going somewhere; headed for some great moment in the distance. Once that moment arrives, Sibelius allows the listener to revel in the sound, while at the same time preparing us to go even further. It is truly great music, from beginning to end.

Tickets for Brown Conducts Sibelius are $20, $30 and $40 for adults and only $5 for students with ID. They can be purchased online at, by calling 243-6787 or visiting the Grand Junction Symphony office at 414 Main Street. Tickets are also available one hour prior to each performance at the Avalon Theatre box office.

Brown Conducts Sibelius is sponsored by Ethos Financial Partners of Ameriprise Financial and by the office of Dr. Michael Neste – Family Health West.

Don’t miss your chance to see the potential future Maestro of the GJSO as Brown Conducts Sibelius. Saturday, January 23rd at 7:30pm and Sunday, January 24th at 3:00pm at the Avalon Theatre.

Rachelle Crowell

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