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Dare We Dance?

November 8, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Livestream Concert Event

United States


Phone: (775) 323-6393


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On the Program:

Claude DEBUSSY: Sacred and Profane Dances
Camille SAINT-SAËNS: The Swan-from Carnival of the Animals
Osvaldo GOLIJOV: Last Round
Jennifer HIGDON: Dance Card

Prepare for seduction and entrancement as the Reno Phil dares to dance on the stage of the Pioneer Center. The performance will be infused with motion as dancer Martina Young joins the orchestra for Saint-Saëns’ The Swan, featuring Principal Cellist Peter Lenz. Principal Harpist, Marina Roznitovsky Oster, will dazzle audiences performing Debussy as she balances the thin line between sacred and profane. Experience the passionate sound of tango and dance along at home with this electric and energizing concert event.

On Demand available through November 15, 2020

$25 per household


Please Take Note

  • This concert is livestream ONLY with two performance options on Saturday or Sunday
  • Approximate runtime is 1 hour with no intermission
  • Tickets are valid for one viewing device only
  • Inside the Music will begin streaming 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the concert


The Dare We Dance? concert is presented by Sandy Raffealli, In Memory of Jill Winter

Saint-Saens’ The Swan is graciously sponsored by Charlotte & Dick McConnell

Additional Concert Support provided by the City of Reno

Corporate Support:


Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Email Director of Development, Michael Hicks or call 775.323.6393


With Box Office Manager Amanda Marvel


By Chris Morrison
Sacred and Profane Dances

Claude Debussy

Born: August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: March 25, 1918, Paris, France

Claude Debussy was one of the most important and influential composers of his time. After more than a decade of studies at the Paris Conservatoire, his receipt of the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1884 allowed him two years of work in Rome. Visits to Bayreuth in 1888-89 brought him under the spell of Wagner’s music, which he later rejected, and the 1889 Paris World Exhibition exposed him to the music of Asian cultures. His famous, revolutionary Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, as well as the opera Pelléas et Mélisande and the orchestral work La mer, secured his reputation as one of France’s great composers. While his music – often described as Impressionism, although he didn’t like the term – is appreciated for its sensuous beauty, it is also noteworthy for its fluid sense of tonality and the use of unusual scales like the pentatonic and whole-tone. These innovations were influential to many major musicians, from Igor Stravinsky and Olivier Messiaen to Pierre Boulez and Bill Evans.

Danses sacrée et profane

Composed: 1904
Duration: 10 minutes

The increasing use of chromatic harmony in music of the late nineteenth century led to difficulties in performing such works on the standard pedal harp. So in the mid 1890s, Gustave Lyon, director of the Pleyel instrument manufacturing firm, started work on a “chromatic harp without pedals,” which had two rows of strings slanted across each other, one dedicated to the white notes of the piano and one to the black. Asked to write a work that would help publicize this new design, Debussy composed the Danses sacrée et profane, premiered at the Concerts Colonne on November 6, 1904.

Despite the considerable technical difficulties for the soloist, the two Danses are largely gentle and restrained in tone. The harp introduces the serenade-like main theme of the Danse sacrée, apparently derived from a keyboard piece by Portuguese composer Francisco de Lacerda. A languorous mood prevails in this dance, with only a couple of more passionate outbursts. After an elaborate final statement of the main theme, the music fades and a lazy waltz theme begins the Danse profane. This dance is in a kind of rondo form, in which the waltz theme constantly reappears, decorated differently each time as the harp embroiders the music with rising and falling arpeggios and other embellishments. The music builds to a final climax, then hushes as a pizzicato chord closes the work.

“The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals

Camille Saint-Saëns

Born: October 9, 1835, Paris, France
Died: December 16, 1921, Algiers, Algeria

Regarded by Hans von Bülow as “the greatest musical mind” of his time, Camille Saint-Saëns composed over 300 works, among the best-known of which are the “Organ” Symphony No. 3, the opera Samson et Dalila, and, perhaps most famous of all, The Carnival of The Animals. Saint-Saëns was also one of the most renowned pianists and organists of his day – Hector Berlioz called him “an absolutely shattering master pianist.” A musical prodigy, Saint-Saëns started piano lessons at age two, composed his first music a year later, played his first full-length concert as a pianist at ten (where he offered as an encore to play any of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas from memory), and entered the Paris Conservatoire at thirteen. From 1853 to 1876 he held a number of church organist posts, and taught for four years at the École Niedermeyer. As he continued his busy musical career, composing and touring as a famous piano virtuoso, he was also able to pursue a variety of non-musical interests: he spoke several languages, was an amateur astronomer and archaeologist, and wrote poetry, plays, and popular travel books.

“The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals

Composed: 1886
Duration: 3 minutes

After a concert tour that didn’t go well, in early 1886 Saint-Saëns settled for a time in a small Austrian village. He was supposed to be finishing his “Organ” Symphony No. 3, but found more fun in creating the lighthearted and humorous “zoological fantasy” Carnival of the Animals. However, because he had a keen desire to be recognized as a composer of serious, substantial music, shortly after his Carnival was premiered at a few private concerts, Saint-Saëns banned further public performances of it, and refused to have it published until after his death. Only in 1922 did it receive its first public performance, and now Carnival of the Animals is one of Saint-Saëns’s best-loved works. The vividness with which he evokes the lion’s roar, the hen’s crowing, the kangaroo’s leap, the mule’s bray, and the flights and songs of birds are sometimes supplemented by humorous verses by American poet Ogden Nash.

The one exception he made to his lifetime ban on performances and publication was for “The Swan,” which was published in an arrangement for cello and piano in 1887. The elegant cello melody is said to represent the swan gliding gracefully along the water’s surface, and the rolled chords and rippling motion of the piano both the water’s movement and the swan’s feet propelling it below.

Last Round

Osvaldo Golijov

Born: December 5, 1960, La Plata, Argentina

Osvaldo Golijov was raised surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the “new tango” of Astor Piazzolla, and his own compositions exhibit a blending of genres and seamless integration of voices. Golijov has enjoyed collaborations with ensembles such as the Kronos and St. Lawrence String Quartets and artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, and Robert Spano. In 2000, the premiere of Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos (St. Mark Passion) took the music world by storm. Golijov has also received acclaim for groundbreaking works like his opera Ainadamar and the clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, as well his scores for the films of Francis Ford Coppola. His most recent work is Falling out of Time, a song cycle written for the Silk Road Ensemble. Golijov is Loyola Professor of Music at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1991.

Last Round

Composed: 1996
Duration: 14 minutes

Osvaldo Golijov has written the following about his Last Round:

“Astor Piazzolla, the last great Tango composer, was at the peak of his creativity when a stroke killed him in 1992. He left us, in the words of the old tango, ‘without saying good bye,’ and that day the musical face of Buenos Aires was abruptly frozen. The creation of that face had started a hundred years earlier from the unlikely combination of African rhythms underlying gauchos’ couplets, sung in the style of Sicilian canzonettas over an accompanying Andalucian guitar. As the years passed all converged towards the bandoneon: a small accordion-like instrument … which, after finding its true home in the bordellos of Buenos Aires’ slums in the 1920s, went back to Europe to conquer Paris’ high society in the 1930s. Since then it reigned as the essential instrument for any Tango ensemble.

“The title [of Last Round] is borrowed from a short story on boxing by Julio Cortázar, the metaphor for an imaginary chance for Piazzolla’s spirit to fight one more time (he used to get into fistfights throughout his life). The piece is conceived as an idealized bandoneon. The first movement represents the act of a violent compression of the instrument and the second a final, seemingly endless opening sigh (it is actually a fantasy over the refrain of the song ‘My Beloved Buenos Aires,’ composed by the legendary Carlos Gardel in the 1930s). But Last Round is also a sublimated tango dance. Two quartets confront each other, separated by the focal bass, with violins and violas standing up as in the traditional tango orchestras. The bows fly in the air as inverted legs in crisscrossed choreography, always attracting and repelling each other, always in danger of clashing, always avoiding it with the immutability that can only be acquired by transforming hot passion into pure pattern.”

Dance Card

Jennifer Higdon

Born: December 31, 1962, Brooklyn, New York

Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and frequently performed living composers. She received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, a 2010 Grammy for her Percussion Concerto, and a 2018 Grammy for her Viola Concerto. Most recently, Higdon received the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University, given to contemporary classical composers of exceptional achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition. Higdon enjoys several hundred performances a year of her works, and blue cathedral is one of today’s most performed contemporary orchestral works. Her music has been recorded on more than sixty CDs. Higdon’s first opera, Cold Mountain, won the prestigious International Opera Award for Best World Premiere, and its recording was nominated for two Grammy awards. Dr. Higdon holds the Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her music is published exclusively by Lawdon Press.

Dance Card

Composed: 2017
Duration: 24 minutes

“Get ready … you are about to hear 19,227 notes proceeding from these string instruments to your ears … they will go fast, they will go slow, and they’ll keep you on your toes!” – Jennifer Higdon

Commissioned by the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, and the Chicago Sinfonietta as part of its Project W (dedicated to performing and recording the music of diverse women in classical music), Dance Card is dedicated to violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. In an interview with the Windy City Times, Higdon explained the work’s title: “My grandmother talked about this, when men wanted to dance with you they had to fill out a card that listed what men the ladies would dance with. That is the idea. A collection of dances for a string orchestra.”

Dance Card opens with “Raucous Rumpus,” a fanfare for strings rather than the usual brass. The following “Breeze Serenade” features lyrical solos for the principal players of the string sections. “Jumble Dance” alternates measures of four and three beats, giving the dance what Higdon calls “a certain lopsided feel.” The contemplative fourth movement, “Celestial Blue,” is dedicated to Higdon’s father, who passed away months before she started writing Dance Card. It derives from of its materials for another memorial work she’d written for her younger brother, Andrew Blue Higdon, many years before. The lively final movement, “Machina Rockus,” is another “lopsided” dance with a nod to Russian music in honor of dedicatee Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, who had once told Higdon how much she loves Piotr Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.


Reno Phil Orchestra

Ruth Lenz*, Concertmaster
Olga Archdekin*, Acting Associate Concertmaster
Ellen Flanagan*
Alison Harvey
Sarah Coyl*

Calvin Lewis*, Acting Principal Second
Lucie Zalesakova, Acting Assistant Principal Second
Claire Tatman*
David Haskins*

Dustin Budish*, Principal
Kati Wentink, Acting Assistant Principal
McKayla Talasek*
Catherine Matovich

Peter Lenz*, Principal
Robin Bonnell*, Assistant Principal
Karen Stout-Gardner

Scott Faulkner*, Principal
Mark Wallace*, Assistant Principal

Marina Roznitovsky Oster*, Principal

*denotes contract player

Quartet A:
Violin 1: Ruth Lenz
Violin 2: Olga Archdekin
Viola: Dustin Budish
Cello: Peter Lenz

Quartet B:
Violin 1: Calvin Lewis
Violin 2: Lucie Zalesakova
Viola: Kati Wentink
Cello: Robin Bonnell

Bass: Scott Faulkner


Marina Roznitovsky_sized

Learn more about Marina Roznitovsky Oster. 

Marina Roznitovsky Oster teaches harp at the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. She is the principal harpist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic. She actively performs as a soloist and a number of her performances have been broadcast on National Israeli and U.S. television and radio.

Oster leads a large private studio and has created her own harp teaching method titled C-world. This book enables individual and group class setting, while providing a progressive learning approach to all beginners at the harp, from lap size to pedal harps.

As part of an ongoing determination to promote the harp, Oster produces an annual celebration of the harp called “Harp Plus,” at Nightingale Concert Hall. This production features standard solo repertoire and chamber music involving harp and often includes exciting world premieres. It also provides a public platform to showcase the University of Nevada, Reno harp ensemble and other harpists from the area with pieces involving a large ensemble, with 27 harps on the stage being the record so far.

In 2009 and in 2015, Oster represented Israel in the renowned International Harp Competition in Jerusalem and was featured on the Israeli News Channels. She earned her BM, MM and P.D. in harp performance and pedagogy at Indiana University, under the tutelage of distinguished professor Susann McDonald.

As a graduate student, Oster was the first prize winner in the music category of the 2006 National Society of Arts and Letters Competition in Bloomington, Indiana. She also performed on a worldwide tour with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.

Her determination to excel was rewarded with yearly recognitions of highest scholastic achievements, throughout her studies. In addition, she was a recipient of the American Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship award four consecutive times. She also received multiple awards from the Dunie Weitzman Conservatory, Indiana University, Barenboim-Said Foundation, The Bureau of Jewish Education and other organizations.

Oster was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Israel with her mother when she was six years old. She started musical training at the age of five with singing, piano lessons and dance. At the age of 12, she began studying harp under the instruction of professor Olga Moitlis, making her first harp concerto début just a year later. At 13, she was accepted as a harp and piano major at a specialized art school. She continued her extracurricular training at the Dunie Weitzman Conservatory under continuous scholarship. Harp proved to be her calling and passion in life and her main goal is to share this passion through teaching and performing.



L. Martina Young is originally from Los Angeles where she launched her solo concert career. Based in Reno, NV, she continues her dance making, teaching, and lecturing worldwide. A multi-year Fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts, her work has earned numerous awards including two Los Angeles Vanguard Awards and Nevada’s highest arts honor, the Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts. The solo dancer in Stevie Wonder’s music video Ribbon in the Sky and filmmaker Julie Dash’s award-winning film Four Women, Martina has danced with Israel’s renowned Batsheva Dance Company, Tony Award-winning choreographer Donald Byrd/The Group, and American Repertory Dance Theatre performing the works of the American modern dance pioneers. As an educator, Martina has served on the faculties of California Institute of the Arts, The College of William and Mary, and was former Director of Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno. She also enjoys regular teaching-artist residencies with Washoe County’s Damonte Ranch High School for the Performing Arts. Earning her doctorate in Comparative Mythology, Martina currently serves on the faculty of UNR’s Core Humanities Program and is a contributing lecturer for the launch of its 2020 Black Film Festival. The Swan Project—Martina’s investigations of the swan trope in literature, film, poetry, music, art, philosophy, alchemy, psychology, and dance—reflects what poet Seamus Heaney might translate as being on the swan road. Her 2018 performance work, Black Swans, an opera poem, is being re-imagined for performance by indigenous and non-indigenous Australian artists and will be hosted by the National Museum of Australia in 2021.

The Swan Project:
The Swan Project—Martina’s investigations of the swan trope in literature, film, poetry, music, art, philosophy, alchemy, psychology, and dance—reflects what poet Seamus Heaney might translate as being on the swan road. Her findings are also reflective of qualities she feels needs renewal in modern civilization. Martina’s 2018 performance work, Black Swans, an opera poem, is being re-imagined by indigenous and non-indigenous Australian artists, and will be hosted by the National Museum of Australia in 2021. LEARN MORE


November 8, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
November 15, 2020 @ 11:30 pm
Event Categories:


Livestream Concert Event
United States
(775) 323-6393


Reno Philharmonic
(775) 323-6393
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