By Randi Bjornstad

You might think of the Eugene Symphony’s Feb. 2, 2024, concert as something of a delicious sandwich, because it features not only two much venerated musical slices on each end — Antonin Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor (1894-95) and Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to William Tell (1829) — with a filling between of a never-before-experienced world premiere of a brand-new symphony by a young U.S. composer, Michael Djupstrom.

The Dvořák piece is important, according to the Eugene Symphony, because it “is both exhilarating and profound, and showcases the cello in ways previously not thought possible when it was composed.” It will be played here by guest cellist Oliver Herbert.

Likewise, the Rossini overture is beloved in part because of its familiarity to American audiences as the theme song for a popular, long-running television show, The Lone Ranger.

Composer of world premiere Symphony No. 1, Michael Djupstrom

Djupstrom’s Symphony No. 1 is the last of four world premieres of first symphonies by young composers, part of a four-year project commissioned by Eugene Symphony and Santa Rosa (Calif.) Symphony — both led  by Francesco Lecce-Chong as music director and conductor.

One of the reasons for the project is the determination to preserve past musical gems as well as “bringing new creations for classical music lovers to enjoy for generations to come,” Lecce-Chong said.

Djupstrom already has achieved many honors and awards for his musical prowess, including an impressive list of commissions to create new works that have been performed by both in the United States and abroad.

Previous participants in the First Symphony Project were Matt Browne, Gabriella Smith, and Angélica Negrón.

Eugene Symphony plays concert of old and new

When: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024

Where: Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, One Eugene Center (7th and Willamette streets), Eugene

Tickets: $10 to $71, available at the Hult Center box office, 541-682-5000, or online at or