May 3, 2023

Berlioz and Gershwin On PSO Program

DIRECT FROM CURTIS: Violist Roberto Diaz, president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, is the soloist in a program of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rossen Milanov. (Photo by Charles Grove)

At concerts on Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 14 at 4 p.m., the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) takes audience members to Paris and on a tour of Italy through George Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, featuring renowned violist Roberto Díaz as soloist. Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the program which includes Westminster Choir College alumna Julia Perry’s Study for Orchestra. The concert takes place at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, on the campus Princeton University.

Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of soloist/directors such as Rudolf Serkin, Efrem Zimbalist, and Josef Hofmann. Former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he collaborates regularly with leading conductors on stages around the world. He has also worked directly with 20th- and 21st-century composers including Krzysztof Penderecki, Edison Denisov, and Ricardo Lorenz, and has had concertos written for him by Bright Sheng, Jennifer Higdon, and Roberto Sierra.

Gershwin’s symphonic An American in Paris is centered on an American tourist’s impressions of Paris in the Jazz Age; it is a treasured classic precisely because of its uniquely American character. French composer Berlioz’s Harold in Italy was inspired by Lord Byron’s narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and depicts the contemplative travels of a young man through Italy. Julia Perry studied voice, piano, and composition at Westminster Choir College from 1943 to 1948 before going on to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and composer Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence, Italy. She wrote Study for Orchestra in 1952.

Tickets start at $30; Youths 5-17 receive a 50 percent discount with an adult purchase. Visit or call (609) 497-0020.