BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – 3 local orchestras are coming together this weekend in tribute to a pioneer of symphonic music in Greater Binghamton.
The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra is hosting the Wallenberg Festival in partnership with the Binghamton Community Orchestra and the Binghamton Youth Symphony.
All 3 groups trace their lineage back to Fritz and Marianne Wallenberg who founded the Binghamton Symphony and Choral Society in 1955 and the Youth Orchestra in 1961.
Interest in the Wallenbergs’ legacy piqued recently with the discovery of more than 150 reel-to-reel audio recordings that had been made between 1958 and 1978 when Fritz was conductor of the Binghamton Symphony.
Saturday evening’s program begins with the Youth Symphony under the direction of Barry Peters followed by the Community Orchestra under the baton of Evan Meccarello.
Following the intermission, the Philharmonic will perform and then the concert finishes with 2 pieces in which the professionals will be joined by the Youth Symphony, bringing 120 musicians on stage together at the Forum.
Music Director & Conductor Daniel Hege says, “I think it’s always important to understand one’s roots. To know where you’ve come from because you need to know where you’re going to. And that’s one of the steps along the way. There are a lot of people in Binghamton who remember the Binghamton Symphony and the Choral Society that Fritz and Marianne Wallenberg founded.”
Hege says the program consists of recognizable pieces, none longer than 15 minutes.
And he suggests it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of free tickets this season for anyone 17 and under, courtesy of Visions.
The Wallenberg Festival takes place Saturday at 7:30 at the Forum Theatre in downtown Binghamton.
There will be a pre-concert chat at 6:30 in the recital hall by Katherine Wallenberg Rabinowitz.
For tickets and more information, go to binghamtonphilharmonic.org.