Press Release: Grieg’s familiar Peer Gynt Suite brings a mischievous folk character to musical life

Program also includes Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 in C Minor, Bartók’s Divertimento

Grieg’s familiar Peer Gynt Suitebrings a mischievous folk character to musical life

Program also includes Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 in C Minor, Bartók’s Divertimento

OMAHA, Neb., March 18, 2019- Trolls, goblins, Norwegian fjords, and a fairy tale antihero are the stars in the Omaha Symphony’s latest Symphony Joslyn program, Grieg’sPeer Gynt Suite, Sunday, March 24, 2 p.m., at Joslyn Art Museum.

Led by guest conductor Jayce Ogren, Grieg’s best loved work headlines a program that also includes Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 in C Minor, Bartók’s Divertimento, and Joan Tower’s Chamber Dance.

Written for Henrik Ibsen’s drama Peer Gyntand based on the Norwegian fairy tale Per Gynt, Grieg’s music sets the mood for the adventures of the titular Peer Gynt, a useless braggart who constantly gets into trouble. The play follows Peer as he stumbles from one incident to another, traveling across his native Norway through Europe, falling in love with a girl high above his station, losing his mother (the only person who supported his lazy ways), cavorting with Arabian maidens and a troll princess, and nearly being killed by the Troll King for refusing to become a troll himself, before realizing as an old man how he had wasted his life.

Like the play, Grieg’s music is steeped in Norwegian folklore and melodies. The composer extracted two suites from his incidental music, which are today among Grieg’s most popular works, and both will be performed on this program. The atmospheric “Morning,” which greets the day as the sun rises over the North African desert, and especially “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” the eerily threatening music that builds to a crashing crescendo, are well-known in popular culture.

Mozart’s dramatic Serenade No. 12 in C Minor will open the program, played by eight of the Omaha Symphony’s virtuosic wind musicians. Serenades typically functioned as light entertainment music for aristocratic soirees, so Mozart’s dark and defiant Serenade No. 12 may have been somewhat of a surprise. The opening movement is filled with rising arpeggios in a minor key, while the second movement moves into lighter territory. But the rest of the serenade dabbles in the minor, although it ends cheerfully in C Major.

Symphony Joslyn concerts explore the unique connections between art and music. The highlighted work paired with this concert is Composition Five—The Wind, an oil on canvas painting by Raymond Jonson. Jonson composed a series of paintings after moving to New Mexico in 1924, desiring to paint the beauty of the desert landscape while seeking to capture the dynamic forces of nature. The result was some of his finest works, pieces that use cubist angularity and fragmentation to construct expressive, textured evocations of natural forms and processes. Joslyn curators will deliver preconcert talks about this piece at 1 p.m. and 1:25 p.m. in Gallery 10.

Jayce Ogren has established a reputation as one of the finest young conductors to emerge from the U.S. in recent seasons. He has appeared with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and the Portland Symphony, among many others. Ogren is also an opera and contemporary music conductor, as well as a composer. During 2017, he was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, collaborating with stage director Michael Counts on an inter-disciplinary studio class that fuses classical music and immersive theater.

Tickets to Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite are $33. Joslyn Art Museum members may purchase single concert tickets for $28.80 each (a 20% savings). Joslyn members must call Ticket Omaha to reserve advance single tickets or show a Joslyn membership card if purchasing tickets at the door the day of the concert. All other tickets can be purchased by visiting www.omahasymphony.orgor by calling Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606. Student Rush tickets are available one hour prior to the concert. Any student with a valid student ID may purchase up to two Student Rush tickets for $10 each.

Season tickets to the Omaha Symphony’s 2019-20 season are currently on sale. Season subscribers receive one concert on their series free, as well as a discount on other concerts not included in their season ticket package. For more information, visit

The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to MasterWorks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movies, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphony’s nationally recognized education and community engagement programs touch the lives of over 40,000 people each year. For tickets or information regarding the Omaha Symphony, call 402-345-0606 or visit


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