This year, Swarthmore is welcoming back Andrew Hauze ’04 as the college’s new Orchestra Director. Hauze is clearly eager to work with this year’s Orchestra; he has already completed this semester’s auditions and has plans to establish new traditions for both the fall and spring performances.
Hauze, who is concurrently studying at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, intends to reinstate the tradition of an annual concerto competition in which the winning student’s concerto will become the centerpiece of the spring performance. Hauze also hopes to integrate alumni who have continued their musical studies after graduation by involving them in each fall’s performance. This year, Hauze has invited Tamara Ryan ’06 who played the lead in last year’s opera “The Elixer of Love,” to sing with the orchestra during their selection of folk songs from the British Isles by Britten.
The pieces by Britten, which Hauze describes as “folk songs, pure and simple, with very brilliantly woven accompaniments,” are part of a program that explores several less conventional pieces. Further delving into the “different language” of folk music, the orchestra will be performing “Three Hungarian Dances” by Brahms. “The idea is to learn this language,” Hauze notes “and by the end of this, [the musicians] will lose their American accents.”
Also on the program is Haydn’s 101st Symphony, one that Hauze feels it is important to study as Haydn, though today overshadowed by his early contemporary Mozart, was by the end of his life “probably the most famous musician in the world… like a rock star.” The performance is slated for December 10, at 7:30 in Lang Concert Hall.
Reflecting on Swarthmore’s opportunities for student musicians, Hauze observes that Swarthmore has a “tradition of really supporting performance.” Swarthmore fosters “thinking performers,” and though the music department might seem small in the number of majors and minors, “in terms of involvement it is very large.” Hauze is glad to be back on campus, stating “It’s a thrill to be back… This place is just so comfortable.”