April 15, 2023 @ 8:30 pm
Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
421 Montgomery St. Syracuse , NY 13202



Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)

I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante moderato
III. In ruhig fliessender Bewegung
IV. Urlicht (Primeval Light)
V. Im Tempo des Scherzo

Ms. Whyte & Ms. Semerdjian



Thanks to our sponsors for this performance!

In memory of Evelyn Brenzel & Ann Marie Cronin


Program Notes

At the heart of the last movement of his Second Symphony, Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) offers us one of the most memorable passages in 19th-century orchestral music. After a series of apocalyptic outbursts, the music dies down. Against a backdrop of distant fanfares, coming from different directions off-stage, a solo flute and a piccolo play what sound like bird calls, marked “delicately and fragrantly” in the score. The dynamic level so soft that, says principal flute Xue Su, it requires “extraordinary control” from the players. Not only does the sound evaporate; time seems to melt as well, since—despite ...

At the heart of the last movement of his Second Symphony, Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) offers us one of the most memorable passages in 19th-century orchestral music. After a series of apocalyptic outbursts, the music dies down. Against a backdrop of distant fanfares, coming from different directions off-stage, a solo flute and a piccolo play what sound like bird calls, marked “delicately and fragrantly” in the score. The dynamic level so soft that, says principal flute Xue Su, it requires “extraordinary control” from the players. Not only does the sound evaporate; time seems to melt as well, since—despite the clear 4/4 meter—the parts are written in what Xue calls a “mini-cadenza style with extra beats in the measure,” requiring flexibility without losing momentum.

Mahler might well have ended the symphony there, on a descent into silence, as he did his Ninth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde. But the Second is a work of hope, not despair or even resignation; and this moment of emptiness is in fact a turning point. Almost inaudibly, we hear an unaccompanied chorus intoning a chorale, its words drawn from the German poet Friedrich Klopstock and expanded by Mahler himself. From there, the symphony moves to the most breathtaking symphonic conclusion in the 19th-century canon.

Indeed, the Second serves as a conclusion to the 19th-century canon. Mahler composed the work, often called the “Resurrection Symphony,” over a fairly long period, between 1888 and 1894; and whether or not he intended to  produce a grand finale to the waning century, this work certainly serves that purpose, looking both backwards (the Beethoven Ninth is an obvious inspiration) and ahead. It’s massive in scale. At the time it was written, only a few symphonies could rival it for length; and it not only calls on a larger orchestra than any of its predecessors, but also requires an organ and chorus. More than any previous symphony, too, it takes advantage of the hall itself, employing a number of off-stage effects to create an unparalleled sense of space. No other symphony so fully envelops you in its own universe.

No other symphony is quite so eventful or so wide-ranging, either. The Second begins with a stinging tremolo and a series of slashing string gestures that leave you stunned, in the grip of a huge funeral rite. It’s a harrowing experience, building, at its center, to a wrenching series of increasingly loud and dissonant blows—a wall of sound that suddenly disappears, leaving in its wake a quiet tremolo on the violas before the symphony’s opening returns (technically, the recapitulation)—a moment of staggering surprise. Even if you don’t catch the references to the plainchant Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)—a melody already taken up by Berlioz and Liszt, and later by Rachmaninoff, among others—you’ll recognize this movement as evoking dread rather that grief. Only Mahler could have written something so harrowing. And only Mahler could have included, in the same movement, a second theme of such ethereal beauty—or could have followed it with a second movement in the form of a naïve folk dance (a Ländler). This Andante seems to inhabit a different world, a world that, in conductor Larry Loh’s words, is “innocent,” with the strong flavor of a lullaby.

The klezmer-inflected third movement brings us to yet another world. One of Mahler’s favorite sources of texts was Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a collection of German Folk Poetry published (and strongly edited, as was the custom) at beginning of 19th century. One poem he set recounts the story of  St. Anthony of Padua, who, on finding that no one comes to church, goes to the river to preach to the appreciative fish. In the traditional version of this legend, the townspeople are so struck by this miracle that they change their ways. The disruptive folk-retelling, however, centers on the fish—who listen attentively, but remain unchanged. Mahler recycles the music of the song as his Scherzo—and even though he leaves out the text, you can sense its sardonic spirit in the music’s constant motion, its mockery, and its extreme sound effects, including glissandos on the strings, squawky woodwinds, and the use of the rute (twigs or dowels tied together and used to hit a drum). Larry describes the movement as a “sinuous and spine-tingling devil’s dance”; and it’s easy to understand why, 80 years later, Luciano Berio used it as the foundation for the third movement of his Sinfonia, a work that tries to come to terms with the madness and social disruption of the 1960s.

There’s another radical shift in direction as we move to the restrained fourth movement, what Larry calls a “quiet outcry.” Titled “Urlicht” (“Primal Light”), this movement also has its source in Des Knaben Wunderhorn. This time, however, the text, expressing simple faith in the face of humanity’s “greatest need,” is actually sung. Slow, sparsely orchestrated with magically shifting colors, and hovering at the quietest levels of sound (down to ppppp), it is surely one of the most poignant and beautiful movements in Mahler’s output. Even though it ends peacefully, however, its faith is not enough—at least not yet. Following a sustained chord on the strings that, according to Mahler’s directions, “vanishes completely,” the finale bursts through with without a break, uttering a towering cry of pain clearly modelled on the opening of the finale of the Beethoven Ninth. It’s only after a series of overwhelming struggles (including two gigantic percussion crescendos that, once heard, you’ll never forget) that we arrive at the flute/piccolo duet with which I began—and finally move toward the choral ending with its decisive resolution.

What does it all mean? At times, Mahler offered programs that charted out fairly detailed narratives for the score. More often, though, he rejected explanation, insisting that the work be presented entirely without the “false ideas” propagated by program notes: “Let the public have its own thoughts [without] preconceived ideas … instilled into it.” Larry has a similar perspective: “You can’t help but know the meaning of it—whatever that meaning is to you—while listening to it.” In any case, even on a blank-slate, first-time hearing, the trajectory is clear: Despite its circuitous route, this is a “darkness to light” symphony representing some kind of spiritual journey ending in illumination. As principal Second Violin Amy Christian puts it, “it’s music that cleanses your soul.” Larry finds himself transported, in a state of ecstasy—and you will, too.

I chose the word “spiritual” rather than “religious” intentionally. Obviously, the work is full of elements, both musical and textual, that have traditional religious resonance. But Mahler’s own beliefs are a subject of continued debate, and he doesn’t seem to have been an adherent of any particular religious doctrine. He was born Jewish, but was apparently not especially observant. And although he converted to Catholicism in 1897, he did so under pressure: In the anti-Semitic Vienna in which he lived, it was a pre-requisite before he could take on the leadership of the Court Opera. Throughout it all, he seems to have maintained a questioning stance shot through with ambiguities, ambiguities neatly encapsulated by his friend conductor Otto Klemperer: Mahler, he said, was “typically irreligious”—but “devout in the highest sense.”

In this context, it’s worth remembering that the “Resurrection” referred to in the finale is not the resurrection of Jesus. It’s the rebirth common to all Abrahamic—and many other—religions; moreover, it’s presented in a way that speaks to believers and non-believers alike. In other words, the Second is a humanist, rather than a specifically religious, work, and it joins a long list of choral masterpieces—like the Berlioz and Verdi Requiems, Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem, and especially the Beethoven Ninth—that unify their listeners in a way that transcends religious differences.

Is it any wonder that we chose this symphony to celebrate our tenth anniversary??

Peter J. Rabinowitz

Have any comments or questions? Please write to me at prabinowitz@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Donor Profile: John & Cheretta Clerkey

Cheretta and Johnny Clerkley’s story together began at Temple ten years ago. “We were in the same dorm, and we were in an intellectual heritage class together, and he would sometimes say things to me, but I was always like, oh he’s so obnoxious. Because back then I knew everything, right?” Cheretta laughs as she recalls her early interactions with Johnny Clerkley—now her husband—at Temple. “But then there was this fire drill and we got out of classes early. And I’m walking back to my dorm and I notice there’s someone behind me. And it was Johnny, and that was when we really met.”

A decade later, the Clerkleys are proud members of the Conwell Society, and enjoy giving back to the university they credit with bringing them together. The couple also credits Temple with planting the seeds of their considerable professional achievements and inspiring their involvement with a diverse community of alumni in the Washington D.C. community they now call home.

While Cheretta needed only a small loan in her senior year, her husband’s education was supported by several scholarships and work study. In addition, their experiences with students from so many backgrounds at Temple helped to solidify their philanthropic leanings.

“One of the things I love about Temple is that it doesn’t matter what your stature is in life—you can still work hard to achieve your goals and your dreams,” says Clerkley. “There is a whole community of people together who have different backgrounds and different experiences.”

Clerkley says that she and her husband remain inspired by Temple’s mission to make education affordable to its diverse student population, and support the university’s initiatives to do so. “It’s not just only for the elite. And that really resonates with me,” she says. “Education is something that we really truly believe can change the outcome of where you are today versus where you will end up… And I like that the President is really looking for ways to make sure that education is something that should be affordable and that everyone should have the right and access to education.”

Musician Spotlight: Ernest Muzquiz

Ernest joined the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in 1974. Next year marks his 50th year performing music in Syracuse! He has held many roles in addition to percussionist, including Assistant Conductor (’78-’88) and Youth Orchestra Conductor (’78-’94). One of his highlights was playing tympani on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with famed violinist, Itzhak Perlman. His highlights are hard to choose because “Maestro Loh produces such great music all the time,

it’s hard to pick one because I’m always so satisfied.” In his spare time he works at his music engraving company, enjoys reading, belongs to the Syracuse James Joyce Club, the Cazenovia Shakespeare Club, and a monthly wine club. Even with all his years of experience Ernie says, “In this business, it doesn’t get easier. You realize more and more how hard it is. I still maintain a daily practice schedule.”

The Orchestra

Peter Rovit, Concertmaster
Sonya Stith Williams, Associate Concertmaster
Edgar Tumajyan
Noemi Miloradovic
Susan Jacobs*

Amy Christian, Principal
Anita Gustafson, Assistant Principal
Laura Smith
Sara Silva
Linda Carmona
Noah Fields

Arvilla Wendland, Acting Principal
Carol Sasson, Acting Assistant Principal
William Ford-Smith
Szu Hua (Mia) Chen

Heidi Hoffman, Principal
Lindsay Groves, Assistant Principal
Gregory Wood, Assistant Principal
Walden Bass
George Macero

Spencer Phillips, Principal
Darryl Pugh*
Joshua Kerr
Marshall Henry

Xue Su, Principal
Kelly Covert

Kelly Covert

Eduardo Sepúlveda, Principal
The Philip R. MacArthur Chair
Patricia Sharpe

Allan Kolsky, Principal
John Friedrichs, Assistant First Chair

John Friedrichs

Rachel Koeth, Principal
Jessica Wooldridge King

Jessica Wooldridge King

Julie Bridge, Principal
Nancy & David Ridings Chair
Andrew Symington
Jon Garland, Assistant Principal
Tyler Ogilvie

John Raschella, Principal
Robert C. Soderberg Chair
Roy Smith

Benjamin Dettelback, Principal
Timothy Taylor
Malcolm Williamson

Brett Copeland

Patrick Shrieves

Michael W. Bull, Principal
Ernest Muzquiz
Laurance Luttinger

Arvilla Wendland

Spencer Phillips

*on leave

Donor List


Margaret Celano
The Feng Family
Harold Husovsky & Susan Stred
Alice & Michael Kendrick
John MacAllister & Laurel Moranz
Peter & Nancy Rabinowitz
David A.A. & Nancy Ridings
Estate of Robert Scheer
James & Marilyn Seago
Peter & Cherry Thun
Mary Ann Tyszko


William T. & Ruth S. Bradner Fund
Evelyn Brenzel
Craig & Kathleen Byrum
Paul & Maureen Drescher
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Margaret Celano
The Feng Family
Harold Husovsky & Susan Stred
Alice & Michael Kendrick
John MacAllister & Laurel Moranz
Peter & Nancy Rabinowitz
David A.A. & Nancy Ridings
Estate of Robert Scheer
James & Marilyn Seago
Peter & Cherry Thun
Mary Ann Tyszko


William T. & Ruth S. Bradner Fund
Evelyn Brenzel
Craig & Kathleen Byrum
Paul & Maureen Drescher
Robert & Vicki Feldman
Daniel & Karen Fuleihan
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John Jones
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Up to $99

Scott L. & Karen Abbott
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Renee Jensen
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Edward & Marilyn Kerwin
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Nathan & Lindsey Ludke
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Mark & Bettyan Rinefierd
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Mary Roberts-Bailey
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Julia Ross
Emil M. & Nancy Rossi
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Sherry Saben
John & Judy Sabene
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Hart Schwartz
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Nancy Skahen
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Steven Sledziona
Patricia Sly
Michael Small
Britton & Jennifer Smith
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Pete Souch IV
Peter & Kristl Spalding
Ryan Sparkes
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Jason St. George
Gretchen Stappenbeck

John Stawarz
Stephen Stehman
Dr. & Ms. Richard & Kathleen Steinmann
Barbara Jill Stellman
Gail Sterling
Nancy Stewart
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Andrew Swartz
Frank & Virginia Sylvester
Kevin Tampone
Colleen Theisen
Austin Thomas
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Daniel & Suzanne Todero
Donnarae Togni
Kenneth & Danielle Toscano
Kathy Townsley
George Treier
Bernardo Trindade
Gitta E Trippany
Robert Troy
Anthony Trupiano
Mary Tucker
Charlene Urtz
Faith Van Voolen
Shane Ventura
Kameshwar & Kashi Wali
Evan & Elizabeth Walker
Daniel Wallace
David & Mary Walsh
Connie Walters
Barbara T. Walzer
Loretta Wasielewski
Diane D. Webb
Tracy Wenndt
John Western & Patricia King
Mildred Wheeler
M.V. & Ellen Whitaker
Hamilton & Mary White
Kathleen Wiegandt
Linda Williams
Kristin & Steve Wilson
Mr. Robert Wilson

Eugene A Wirkus
Randy & Denise Wolken
Martin & Jennifer Wong
Christine Wood
Gregory & Rita Wood
Martin & Susan Woodruff
Terri York
Joyce Zadzilka
Thomasine Zajac & Kara Jones
Carla Zamudio
Carol & Horace Zellar
Shanshan Zhang
Jeremy & Karen Zhe-Heimerman
Neal & Betty Zulauf
In Memory of Ken & Helen Barrett
Robert & Marsha Chopko
In Honor of Walden & Emily Bass
Rachel Bass
Paul & Vivian Mosbo
In Memory of Robert R. Blair
Richard Blair
In Memory of Naomi Bray
Nancy Skahen
In Honor of Linda Carmona
Tiberio & Rose Chavez
Willie & Ulli Dunn
Mike Rozmarin & Holly Edwards
Eugene A Wirkus
In Honor of Linda Carmona & Chris Rozmarin
Joseph M Schlesinger
In Memory of Carmen Costa, Jr.

Donna Costa
In Memory of Ann-Marie Cronin
Evelyn Brenzel
In Memory of Isabel Cummings
Raymond Cummings
In Memory of Sidney T Dana MD
Carol Brodsky
Elaine Rubenstein
In Memory of Leslie Davis
Barbara Davis
In Memory of Anthony DeAngelis
Patricia DeAngelis
Rose & Philip Weaver
In Memory of Kit Dodd 
Becky Dodd
Patricia C. McGuire
Mark Phelps, Mary Cay Phelps
Julie Powell
Jim & Winki Seitz
In Memory of Jane Enos
Holly Pratt
In Memory of Donald E. Fallace
Maria Lourdes Fallace
In Honor of Vicki & Robert Feldman
Adam & Mia Feldman
In Honor of Vicki Feldman
Dan & Terry Miller
In Honor of Annette Friedrichs
Liverpool Library Staff
In Honor of Sally Gould
Sally Webster
In Memory of Gerald Groff
Rocco & Roberta Mangano
In Honor of Lindsay Groves
Robert & Beth Oddy
In Honor of Mary Ellen Higgison
Eileen Clinton
In Honor of Susan Jacobs
Marilyn Frankel
Irwin & Beth Goldberg
Lynn and Marvin Koss
Dianne Apter and Tom McKay
Myron & Lois Schaffer
Donna & Jessica Scrimale
Faith Van Voolen
Barbara T. Walzer
In memory of Susan Jones
John F. Jones

In Honor of The Longtime Commitment of Fred
Klemperer & Susan Jacobs
Dr. Jeffrey Krishner & Lorraine Rapp

In Memory of Harvey Kaiser
A Harmony of Harps
Robert & Suzanne Congel
Steven & Kathleen Effler
Fred & Christine Klemperer
Elizabeth Lyons
Eric & Judy Mower
In Memory of Edward M. Lewis
Beverly Lewis
In Honor of Liverpool Schools Music Teachers
Holly Pratt
In Honor of Larry & Jen Loh
Darrel & Michelle Mullins
In Honor of Carolyn Bernstein & Doug Lyon
Marc & Holly Bernstein
In Honor of George & Maureen Macero
Lynda & Terry Wheat
In Memory of Anne C Maier
Martha S Maier
In Memory of Betty Mann
In Memory of Peg Mascaro
Catherine Cudworth
In Memory of Gertrude Mathews
Veronica Amsterdam
Robert & Kathleen Burt
Kathleen Hackett
William & Katherine Halsey

William & Audrey Marcus
Michael Kadey
W. Hawley & Joan Scott
In Honor of Tasha Cooper & Tom Mattern
Jeffrey Cooper & Peggy Daub
In Memory of Ross Melvin
Cliff & Marie Buckley
Karen Carpenter
Ruby Goronkin
David & Geri Joor
Fred & Christine Klemperer
Gelene Lewis
Leon & Patricia Nardella
Neal & Betty Zulauf
In Memory of Carl Monz
Clara Monz
In Memory of Marcia Murphy
R. Patrick & Margaret Corbett
In Honor of Ernest Muzquiz
Thomas & Patra Maloy
In Honor of Susan Olinsky
Kent & Madeleine Calhoun
In Memory of George Oplinger
Judith Dehn Oplinger
In Honor of Julia Pilant
Patricia E. Freyberger
In Memory of Donna Perricone
Barbara Genton

In Honor of Darryl Pugh
Henry Tisdall
In Honor of Peter Rabinowitz
Elizabeth Jensen & Robert Turner
In Memory of Lee Reitano
Kristin & Steve Wilson
In Memory of Ernest S. Rose
Stanley & Jean Estrin
Patricia Sharpe
In Memory of Dr. Lorne Runge
Ellen Runge
In Memory of Dr. Robert Scheer
Chadd & Nicole Baker and Family
Carolyn Gordon
Marlene J Holstein
Mary Rose Kott
Ronald & Mary Jane Monsour
Judy Friedman
In Memory of Caryl Simonds
Len & Judi Simonds
In Honor of Harold Smulyan
Susan, Lisa, & Betsy Smulyan
In Honor of Xue Su
Ed & Louise Stevens
In Honor of Symphoria Musicians
G. Burton & Susan Harbison
Mrs. Sherwin Radin
In Memory of Dr. Edwin Yarwood
Ann Zinsmeister
In Memory of Gerald Zampino
Anthony & Kathy Joseph

Board of Directors

Mary Ann Tyszko, President
President & CEO, SRCTec (retired)

Anna Putintseva, Secretary
Partner, Bousquet Holstein

Frank Messere, Treasurer
Dean Emeritus, School of Communication, Media and the Arts, SUNY Oswego

Violet Bundi
Attorney, Interfaith Works

Amy Christian
Symphoria Musician (Violin)

Kelly Covert
Symphoria Musician (Flute/Piccolo) & Corporate Giving & Annual Fund Manager

Caragh Fahy
Owner & President, Madison Financial Planning Group

Vicki Feldman
Community volunteer and expert volunteer fundraiser

Kimberly Flomerfelt-Puc
Certified Legal Nurse Consultant

Jon Garland
Symphoria Musician (Horn) & Director of Operations

George Kilpatrick
Host, Inspiration for the Nation

Allan Kolsky
Symphoria Musician (clarinet)

Robert Lieberman
Managing Partner, RAV Properties

Shelly Thompson-Liedka
Vice President & Commercial Banking Manager, M&T Bank

Wale Oguntola
Nephrologist, St. Joseph’s Health Hospital & Crouse Hospital

Jackie Penfield
Senior HR Consultant, OneGroup

Peter Rabinowitz
Professor, Hamilton College

Martha Sutter
Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Teaching Professor of Voice, Syracuse University

Marcus Webb
Program Manager, Entrepreneurship at Columbia Technology Ventures

Gregory Wood
Symphoria Musician (Cello)

Symphoria Staff

Pamela Murchison
Executive Director
Email: PMurchison@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Jon Garland
Director of Operations
Email: JGarland@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Sabrina DeVos
Orchestra Manager
Email: SDeVos@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Nicky Radford
Symphoria Stage & Youth Orchestra Manager
Email: NRadford@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Emily Bass
Box Office Manager
Email: EBass@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Arvilla Wendland
Personnel Manager
Email: AWendland@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Ben Dettelback
Email: BDettelback@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Katie Kaczorowski
Director of Development
Email: KKac@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Lara Mosby
Senior Manager for Advancement and Community Engagement
Email: LMosby@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Kelly Covert
Corporate Giving and Annual Fund Manager
Email: KCovert@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Noah Fields
Marketing Assistant
Email: NFields@ExperienceSymphoria.org

Paul McShee
Youth Orchestra Music Director
Email: PMcshee@experiencesymphoria.org

Becky Dodd
Youth Strings Conductor