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Live simulcast of Philadelphia Orchestra to take place Friday

The Philadelphia Orchestra will provide a high-definition Internet2 simulcast of their Friday afternoon Kimmel Center performance for Lehigh musicians in Baker Hall.

Lehigh University students will have the opportunity to participate in the live, interactive concert of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Global Concert Series. The world-renowned orchestra will provide a high-definition Internet2 simulcast of their Kimmel Center performance at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Baker Hall in the Zoellner Arts Center.

The performance, which is free and also open to members of the general public as well as the Lehigh community, will feature an all-Beethoven program, including the Coriolan Overture, an orchestral arrangement of the String Quartet No. 14, and culminating with the well-known Symphony No. 5. Guest conductor Peter Oundjian will lead the ensemble.

The interactive components of this performance will allow members of the audience to participate in live interviews with the conductor and musicians via email and text messaging.

"The Philadelphia Orchestra performance is an exciting and unprecedented opportunity to not only watch some of the country's best musicians in a high definition concert-like environment, but to be part of a unique fusion of advanced networking and video technology for the arts," says George Motter, senior instructional technologist for Lehigh's Library and Technology Services.

Lehigh will receive real-time, HD audio and video live from Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center via Internet2, a national high-performance, next-generation research and education network, Motter explains. Each concert will also feature entertaining and informative introductions and performance close-ups.

Attendees of the concert will be provided a rare perspective, says Katherine Blodgett, director of media relations for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

"They'll have an up-close view that even members of the live audience in Verizon Hall don't have," she says. "And then, when you have the added content and the ability to communicate with the conductor and musicians, it does present a unique experience and learning opportunity."

Lehigh is one of a small number of colleges and universities partnering with the Philadelphia Orchestra in simulcast events at this point, she adds.

"It's a fairly select group, although we do hope to expand our audience after January and through the end of our concert year," she says.

"A window for future artist-to-audience relationships"

The use of this technology has many implications for the future of audience development for the orchestral medium, says Silagh White, administrative director of ArtsLehigh, the university wide program that links arts, learning and life.

"Learning in this environment have the potential to nurture not only the next generation of artists, but to present a window for future artist-to-audience relationships," says White,

"This event demonstrates the high quality of the Philadelphia Orchestra's musicianship, and their evolved sense of audience relations,” White adds. “While experiencing music live has a unique psycho-acoustic treasury, watching this telecast enables the audience to experience music differently. As they see the musicians respond to the interactive components of the event, student artists will understand how music history, performance practice and knowledge of the orchestral repertoire are part of public speaking skills that may be required of the future musician, in addition to developing their technical music skills."

Eugene Albulescu, Ronald J. Ulrich Chair in Orchestral Studies and associate professor and newly named director of the Lehigh University Philharmonic, sees a great benefit to his students through participation in the concert.

“Savoring the high-tech innovations of Internet2 while learning essential skills from a top world orchestra is an extraordinary opportunity," he says. "We hope they take a very detailed look at orchestra sections, thanks to the close-up environment, and the large
screen—with particular attention to issues of ensemble cohesion, color, blend and sectional unity. We hope students will be well-fueled by this experience, to practice and to prepare their own concert, which is coming up over the weekend of October 19-20.”

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007

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