Press Release: Orchestra shines brightly in Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night

September 17, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. – Look, how brightly the universe shines as the Omaha Symphony’s latest Symphony Joslyn program highlights every section of the orchestra, from strings and woodwinds to brass and percussion. Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night will open the series on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m., at Joslyn Art Museum.

Led by guest conductor Vladimir Kulenovic, the concert will feature Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), which utilizes the full ensemble of strings. The program also includes Tomasi’s brass and percussion-heavy Fanfares Liturgiques, Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and two clarinet and orchestra pieces, Weber’s Concertino in E-flat Major, featuring Omaha Symphony principal clarinet Carmelo Galante, and Mendelssohn’s Concerto Piece No. 1 in F Minor, also featuring Galante and assistant principal clarinet Zachary Stump.

Schoenberg’s lush, hyper-romantic Transfigured Night was inspired by an 1896 Richard Dehmel poem concerning two lovers walking together in the woods on a clear winter’s night. Despite the women confessing an unplanned pregnancy by another man, her current lover assures her their love is strong enough to unite them. Schoenberg originally conceived the piece for a string sextet, then later string orchestra. The contrapuntal richness and tonality that Schoenberg achieves in every bar of the music is a highlight of this concert.

Drawn from his 1956 opera Don Juan de Manara, Tomasi’s Fanfares Liturgiques’ score consists of only brass and timpani/percussion instruments. Tomasi deploys them skillfully throughout four movements, showcasing the brilliance and power of the ensemble.

Vladimir Kulenovic is considered among the finest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. Currently the music director of the Lake Forest Symphony on Chicago’s North Shore, he has overseen unprecedented growth in the orchestra’s 60-year history, including a Grammy nomination for its first ever CD recording. Kulenovic has also served as the associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assistant conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, resident conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic, and the principal conductor of the Kyoto International Festival in Japan.

Carmelo Galante is the principal clarinet of the Omaha Symphony, and former principal clarinet of the Lincoln (Nebraska) and South Bend (Indiana) symphony orchestras. He has performed at the Sebago Lake Chamber Music Festival in Maine, the Chenago Musicfest in New York, the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin, and the Omaha Chamber Music Society.

Zachary Stump is beginning his first season as the assistant principal clarinet of the Omaha Symphony. Previously, he was a member of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Ohio Valley Symphony. He has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, and the New World Symphony, and in 2017, Stump was principal clarinet of the New York Symphonic Ensemble during their summer tour of Japan.

Symphony Joslyn concerts explore the unique connections between art and music. The highlighted work paired with this concert is August Night at Russell’s Corners, a 1948 oil on canvas by George Copeland Ault. The frozen silences of the empty streets of Woodstock, New York, conveyed a complex psychological remoteness that captured Ault’s attention, and found its way into this dramatically lit painting. Toby Jurovics, Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art, will deliver preconcert talks about this piece at 1 p.m. and 1:25 p.m. in Gallery 10.

Tickets to Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night are $35. Joslyn Art Museum members may purchase single concert tickets at 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 or 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.

The Omaha Symphony, led by Music Director Thomas Wilkins, 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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