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A World Premiere performance and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony open the Grand Junction Symphony’s 38th Season

Join the Grand Junction Symphony for a weekend of new music and one of the most well-known pieces of classical music ever written. The much anticipated 38th Season of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra begins Saturday, October 3rd at 7:30pm in the Avalon Theatre with a matinee performance on Sunday, October 4th at 3:00pm.

The weekend of performances sees the return of fiery percussionist Lisa Pegher, who performed with the GJSO in 2010 and joined CMU’s Best of the West Festival that same year. She will be performing a brand new percussion concerto, The Wounded Healer by Richard Danielpour, which was written specifically for Pegher and is making its world premiere with the GJSO.

The concert opens with Russian composer Mikhail Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla from his opera by the same name. Russlan & Ludmilla is based on a poem and tells the story of an evil sorcerer who casts a spell over their wedding celebration. Ludmilla vanishes and her father promises her hand and half his kingdom to the knight who rescues her. Russlan on this quest of rescue encounters knights, a wise wizard, and a sorceress before confronting the evil sorcerer in his magic garden. After all the challenges for Russlan, true love prevails.

Danielpour’s The Wounded Healer was composed in August 2014 . This 25 minute, five-movement work was written with the idea of embodying the many faces of the archetype of the Healer, who is known in various cultures to be a catalyst for physical and spiritual transformation. Each of the five movements in the concerto, The Prophet, The Trickster, The Martyr, The Shaman, and The Mystic, are associated with some form of healing and/or transformation. The Wounded Healer was brought to life thanks to the generosity of Karen Combs, a resident of the Grand Valley and longtime supporter of the GJSO, who has taken a keen interest in the career of Ms. Pegher.

Lisa Pegher is a multiple percussion solo artist, drummer and composer who is known for pioneering percussion as a solo instrument within the orchestral realm and beyond. She has made it her life’s work to present percussion to larger audiences by commissioning, collaborating, and creating new works and shows that bring percussion to the front of the stage. Lisa has been hailed by the Boston Globe as, Forcefully Balletic, by critic Marty Lash as a “gifted passionate artist, with a rockstar aura” and by New York City’s The Glass as “More than just a drummer–an alchemist of time, sound, and space, crafting visceral landscapes that penetrate the ears and mind”.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is perhaps the most widely recognized piece of classical music ever written. The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll, to appearances in film and television. Beethoven was thirty-eight years old when he completed this symphony, toward the end of 1807. But sketches of the work appear in much earlier notebooks, and the original four notes are present in the earliest jottings. The Fifth Symphony premiered on December 22, 1808 at a mammoth concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna consisting entirely of Beethoven premieres, and directed by Beethoven himself. The concert lasted for more than four hours. The Grand Junction Symphony first performed Beethoven’s 5th Symphony on October 5, 1983. Almost 32 years to the day of the performances this first weekend of October 2015.

All seating at the Avalon Theatre is reserved and tickets for World Premiere range from $20 to $40 for adults and only $5 for students with a valid ID. They can be purchased online at, by calling 243-6787 or visiting the Grand Junction Symphony office at 414 Main Street, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Tickets will also be available at the Avalon Theatre Box Office beginning one hour prior to each concert.

A very special thanks to Karen Combs for her continued support of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and for helping to expand contemporary symphonic music locally and nationally.

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