(Above: Eugene Symphony music director and conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong)

By Randi Bjornstad

The Eugene Symphony continues its C3 series — it stands for creativity, connection, and community — with its May 19 concert, offering a program that honors friendship in various musical forms by three distinctly different but contemporaneous European composers, Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Edward Elgar (1857-1934), and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937).

It starts with Don Quixote, German composer Strauss’ musical hats-off to the friendship between the mad but idealistic Don Quixote and his loyal but earthy sidekick, Sancho Panza.

It continues with the Enigma Variartions, English composer Elgar’s series of musical portraits, in which he pays pays homage to various family members and friends.

The finale for the evening is another expression of affection, this time the feeling of symphony musicians for the Eugene community, by way of a video in which they play French composer Ravel’s Bolero in different locations throughout the city.

Eclectic virtuoso cellist Joshua Roman appears with the Eugene Symphony in its May 2022 concert

The evening features guest cellist and composer Joshua Roman, who has been described as “expert in musical styles from Bach to Radiohead.”

Now 38 years old, Roman became principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony when he was only 22. He became a TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) senior fellow in 2015, and his live performance of J.S. Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello logged 1.8 million views.

As usual, the in-person concert starts at 7:30 p.m., but there also will  be several pre- and post-concert activities to make a complete evening of the May 19, 2022 concert experience:

  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — “Conduct Us Stations” in which people of all ages can wield a conductor’s baton and get a sense of what it’s like to direct an orchestra.
  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — A photobooth will be available to create instant memories of family and friends enjoying a night at the symphony.
  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Postcard stations where people can write messages about their experiences with music and musical performance and address them to special people in their lives. No postage is necessary — the symphony will take care of mailing the cards after the concert.
  • 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Music director and maestro Francesco Lecce-Chong and guest cellist Joshua Roman will give the Eugene Symphony Guild’s Pre-Concert Talk.
  • Post-Concert Chat — On stage immediately after the performance, symphony executive director Scott Freck will moderate a discussion about the concert with Lecce-Chong, Roman, and Tim Cogswell, the orchestra’s principal percussionist.

Eugene Symphony’s May Concert

When: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2022

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

Tickets: $10 to $68, available at eugenesymphony.org or hultcenter.org or at the Hult Center box office, 541-682-5000

Information: eugenesymphony.org