posted November 14, 2002

Hew Lewis to Perform with Grand Rapids Symphony

Huw Lewis, professor of music and college organist at Hope College, will perform with the Grand Rapids Symphony on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 22-23, at 8 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids.

He will be featured as a guest artist on the "Organ Symphony," written by Camille Saint-Saëns, and Francis Poulenc's "Organ Concerto." Additionally, the program features the world premiere of "Dream Window," written by Symphony musician Alexander Miller.

The performance led by Associate Conductor John Varineau is the fourth of 10 concert pairs in the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series performed during the 2002- 03 Symphony season. Tickets are $10 to $52, and can be purchased through TicketMaster or in person at the Symphony office.

"Upbeat," a free pre-concert conversation with Alexander Miller and Symphony Violinist Diane McElfish, will take place at 7 p.m. in DeVos Performance Hall.

Saint-Saëns' "Symphony No. 3 in c minor" is often referred to as his "Organ Symphony," and was written in 1886 for the London Philharmonic Society. The musical work's last movement, in particular, features a delivery of all that an organ can produce in power and inspiration. The "Organ Symphony" was also featured in the 1990s movie hit, "Babe."

Poulenc wrote the "Organ Concerto" after a close friend and fellow composer was killed in an auto accident. Poulenc was confronted with the frailty of life, and his compelling composition includes a variety of moods, from the soft and tender, to the sharp and clamorous.

Miller's "Dream Window" is his sixth composition written for the Grand Rapids Symphony. Miller says his work "attempts to depict the struggle between mammalian and reptilian instincts of the human brain while in subconscious state. It consists of a peaceful beginning, a middle filled with heroics, hidden secrets, a trauma, a triumph and a restful, almost weeping ending."

Lewis has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1990, and his tenure has included service in the past as chair of the department of music. In addition to playing for all formal college functions, he teaches organ and theory, and is responsible for coordinating the music theory program.

He previously spent 16 years as director of music at historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Detroit, where he also founded and directed the St. John's Bach Society. He also served as choirmaster at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.

Lewis was born into a musical family in Wales and received much of his formal training in the British Isles, studying at the Royal College of Music in London and at Cambridge University.

Individual tickets are $10-$52 and may be ordered by calling TicketMaster at (616) 456-3333 or on-line at ticketmaster.com, or they can be purchased at outlets including Marshall Field's and select D&W Food Centers. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a TicketMaster service fee. Tickets may also be purchased without a service fee in person at the Grand Center Box Office, Van Andel Arena and Symphony office, 169 Louis Campau Promenade, Suite One, or at the door the day of the concert. Students and senior citizens (age 62+) may purchase tickets half-off at the door the day of the concert.

The concerts in the series are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.