This preview has been provided by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

Massenet’s “Meditation” from Thaïs
Haydn’s “La Passione” (Symphony n. 49)
Mozart’s “Prague” (Symphony n. 38)
Strauss’s “Oboe Concerto in D major”
  with Olivier Stankiewicz

Opening the concert with Massenet’s beloved “Meditation” from the Opera Thaïs, Artistic Director and Conductor Lorenzo Muti will then lead an intriguing progression of three great pieces from the 18th to the 20th centuries by composers intimately linked to Vienna and musically entwined as well.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), called the “Father of the Symphony”, was of incalculable influence on the last three hundred years of music. ​Haydn’s 49th symphony composed in 1768 is considered part of his “Sturm und Drang” period. “Sturm und Drang”, a slightly later term based on literature, connotes musical features of minor key modality, large leaps within the melody lines, pulsing rhythms, and wild shifts in tempo and dynamics; it is, in other words, a very dramatic style of the Classical period. Muti’s interpretations with The COT of Haydn have been widely praised by critics for nearly three decades.

​Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 was written in Vienna but premiered in Prague in 1787 (only 19 years after the Haydn). It may have been intended for a Viennese premiere, but Mozart instead had it performed during the string of concerts associated with the premiere of Figaro in Prague. Mozart (1756-1791) was mature in his compositional style by age thirty, and was becoming increasingly adventurous in large-scale pieces. His piano concerti and his opera redefined those genres, and he was also making a study of baroque music. While pure musical talent is obvious in so much of Mozart’s early music, the works from 1783 until his death show his capacity for invention, imagination, and the difficult work of musical creativity. This symphony is no exception – the first movement is, in fact, the longest single symphony movement from the entire century, longer even than the first movement of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony. It is in three movements instead of the conventional four, perhaps because of the extraordinary length of the first movement.

Richard Strauss (1864-1949) wrote his Oboe Concerto in 1945 toward the end of World War II, when in his 80s. His prodigious creativity in the 1940s – 22 major works in nine years – has led some to call Strauss’s last decade his “Indian Summer.” The impetus for the concerto came from the visit of John de Lancie, an American oboist who was principal for the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. De Lancie paid Strauss a visit while stationed with the Army in Germany at the end of the war, and noting the gorgeous oboe parts in many of his compositions asked Strauss if he had ever considered writing a concerto for oboe. Strauss flatly replied “No.” That conversation, however, spurred Strauss to write an oboe concerto, and upon the top of the manuscript he wrote, “Oboe Concerto 1945/ suggested by an American soldier/ oboist from Chicago.”

​In the Oboe Concerto Strauss creates something out of nothing, taking a very short motif, as Haydn often did, and using that as the genesis for extended musical thought. The initial theme played by the cellos – four notes, D-E-D-E – turns into the main musical idea of the movement, as Strauss employs the musical language of Haydn and Mozart, filtered through his 20th-century lens. And as Lorenzo Muti notes, the Strauss stands alone in the 300 years history of oboe concerti, as all before were elegant trifles–this is an oboe showcase!

Lorenzo while at Curtis heard this story of the composing of the concerto from the lips of de Lancie, one of the many personal experiences that Lorenzo Muti brings to the podium and shares with The COT audience. As conductor of The COT, Muti has been searching for an oboist of the stature of de Lancie for nearly 30 years. In the brilliant 25 year old Olivier Stankiewicz, he has found him at last. Lorenzo recently wrote “what Olivier can produce from his instrument is stunning, a musical epiphany and true revelation of what an oboe can create.” No wonder at 25 he is Principal Oboe of The London Symphony Orchestra and newly appointed Professor of Oboe at The Royal College of Music. The COT is excited to share this brilliant talent with the Triangle.

Mr. Stankiewicz will conduct an oboe Master Class sponsored by The COT on Friday, March 24th from 3-4:30 pm at The Auditorium of The Forest at Duke. This fascinating adventure in music is free and open to the public. Reception follows.

Carolina Theatre of Durham
Box Office 919-560-3030
$30.00. ALL students free.
Tickets available in advance or at the door


Free Concert Master Class
March 24th, 3-4:30 pm
The Forest at Duke
2701 Pickett Road
Durham, NC 27705
Reception Follows

Olivier Stankiewicz with a mouth and ear full of reeds will take them out and lead a Master Class for three select regional oboists at The Forest at Duke. These classes are invariably fascinating, but when conducted by perhaps the greatest oboist of the 21st century, The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle is creating a truly rare event – and it is free thanks to a generous orchestra benefactor and the staff of The Forest at Duke.

About Olivier Stankiewicz

Olivier Stankiewicz, whose extensive musical activity is characterized both by his remarkable curiosity and virtuosity, has constantly sought to expand his artistic scope and sources of inspiration.

Appointed principal oboe with the London Symphony Orchestra in May 2015, he has also performed with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and served with Toulouse’s Orchestra National du Capitole (ONCT) from 2011 to 2015.

Named “classical revelation” in 2013 by the French association ADAMI, Olivier Stankiewicz also took First Prize at the 10th International Oboe Competition of Japan, successively won the 2015 European and American Young Concert Artists auditions in Leipzig and New York, and the YCAT Auditions at the Wigmore Hall in London.

Olivier’s chamber music partners include Thomas Dunfort, Jean Rondeau, Amy Harman and the Castalian quartet. He has performed at the Prades international festival, the Brighton festival, and the Warsaw Opera. The Duo Widmung, co-founded with pianist Alvise Siniva, focusing in part on adaptations of vocal repertoire, has performed at Tokyo’s Toppan Hall and at the Wigmore Hall.

Olivier Stankiewicz comprehensive approach to musical performance has led him to study theory and conducting, in addition to oboe studies with Jacques Tys, David Walter, and Jean-Claude Jaboulay. Also in 2015 he was appointed Professor of Oboe at the Royal College of Music in London.

Olivier is preparing a CD with Alvise Sinivia (Duo Widmung). A fervent advocate of new music, he frequently commissions new works, experiments with sound painting, improvisation, and helped to found the WARN!NG Collective.


We are so confident in this orchestra, we provide any new-comer a complementary ticket because we know they will return as happily paying patrons. In the past ten years our audiences have grown from an average of 100 to an average of 600–an extraordinary statement about the quality of music created by this outstanding ensemble guided by the effervescent Lorenzo Muti. To emphasize its commitment to engaging young people with great classical music, the orchestra provides free seating at every concert to students of all ages.