Warwick Potter conducts The University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra in a program celebrating American composers. The UQ Chorale will collaborate with invited secondary schools in a performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. Liam Viney is the soloist in Gershwin's ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue. Works by Adams, Barber, and Copland complete this rhythmic tour de force. 

A free pre-concert lecture will be given by Vincent Plush at 1:00pm. 

Presented as part of the 4MBS Festival of Classics 2019


Purchase Tickets Now



The University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra

The University of Queensland Chorale

Ambrose Treacy College

Canterbury College

Mt St Michael's College

Conductors – Dr Warwick Potter & Shing Him Chan

Piano Soloist – Liam Viney

Soprano Soloist - Miles Le Goullon


1) The Chairman Dances (foxtrot for orchestra) – John Adams (1947-)
2) Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin (1898-1937)
3) Chichester Psalms – Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
4) Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 – Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
5) Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo – Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

I. Buckaroo Holiday
II. Corral Nocturne
III. Saturday Night Waltz
IV. Hoe-Down

The Australian visits this year of two of the contemporary icons of American concert jazz – Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, followed by his saxophonist brother Branford, touring this month with the ACO – remind us that jazz is the signature sound and identity of American music. The fusion of symphonic music with ‘syncopated music’ (i.e. jazz) can be recognized in music of the early 20th century, but many historians maintain that American music burst onto the concert stage on 13th February 1924. That afternoon, on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the renowned band leader Paul Whiteman presented ‘an educational event’ in the Aeolian Hall entitled “Experiment in Modern Music”. Whiteman wanted to show his standing-room-only audience – among its number were John Philip Sousa, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Fritz Kreisler and Leopold Stokowski – that jazz should be regarded as a serious and sophisticated art form. The climax of the program was a new work composed and played by the 34-year-old George Gershwin. The ‘king of Broadway’ had barely five weeks to create his Rhapsody in Blue. The piano part was largely improvised, and the notorious clarinet glissando at the opening was a joke on the part of the clarinettist. The work was a sensation and set Gershwin off as a composer who had successfully married the Broadway stage and the concert hall. In so doing, it opened the door for successive generations of ‘serious’ American composers – from Aaron Copland, to Leonard Bernstein, to John Adams, to the Marsalis clan – to draw on jazz elements in their own works. A century later, we see that George Gershwin’s Rhapsody had given voice to a new music of ‘the American century’.




Purchase Tickets


Grey St &, Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Queensland Performing Arts Centre