Baylor Symphony Orchestra Set to Make Bass Performance Hall Debut in April

March 26, 2024
Baylor Symphony Orchestra

The Baylor Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, M.M., The Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies, music director of Baylor Symphony Orchestra and Campus Orchestra and associate professor of conducting, on stage in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

WACO, TX (March 27, 2024) The award-winning Baylor Symphony Orchestra will make its Bass Performance Hall debut on Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Known for its commitment to artistic excellence and a rich history dating back to 1944, the Baylor Symphony Orchestra will perform a varied and interesting program of music with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, M.M., The Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies and music director of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra at Baylor University. 

The concert opens with Maurice Ravel's La Valse, a one-movement symphonic poem and a tribute to the waltz, showcasing the orchestra's prowess and musical finesse. Internationally acclaimed soloist Richard Lin joins the ensemble for Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor. Concluding the evening, the Baylor Symphony Orchestra will embark on a harmonious and orchestral promenade through Ravel's famed orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, promising a musical journey filled with emotion and depth.

“Over the last nine years I have attended many Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra concerts and have enjoyed hearing and watching maestros Robert Spano and Miguel Harth-Bedoya at the podium in Bass Hall,” said Gary Mortenson, dean of Baylor’s School of Music. “It has been my dream to bring the Baylor Symphony Orchestra to this space and to hear them perform in a hall that has such deep personal meaning for me. Now on this occasion, my heartfelt thanks go to President Livingstone, Provost Brickhouse, the Board of Regents, the School of Music’s Board of Advocates and the many people who have supported and resourced the School of Music during my tenure as dean.”

The Baylor Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble fostering camaraderie, motivation and inspiration among Baylor University musicians, has a storied history under the batons of only three permanent conductors. Founding director Daniel Sternberg initiated the orchestra in 1944, passing the baton to Stephen Heyde in 1984, and in 2022, Miguel Harth-Bedoya assumed leadership. Over the years, the Baylor Symphony Orchestra has collaborated with distinguished performers, including luminaries such as Van Cliburn, Robert Shaw, Josef Gingold, Corey Cerovsek, Jacob Druckman, Lorin Hollander and Peter Schickele.

Miguel Harth-Bedoya is an Emmy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated conductor, and is described as a master of color, drawing idiomatic interpretations from a diverse and wide range of repertoire in concerts across the globe.  

Harth-Bedoya is celebrating more than 30 years of professional conducting experience. With a deep commitment to passing his experience on to the next generation of musicians, he teaches orchestral conducting at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Baylor.

“As I return to Bass Hall with the award-winning Baylor Symphony Orchestra, I am continually amazed by the exceptional talent and dedication of these student musicians,” said Harth-Bedoya. “Their passion and commitment to musical excellence elevate every performance, showcasing the extraordinary potential within Baylor's vibrant community of artists.”

Lin, the featured soloist for the evening, continues to ascend to international prominence following his Gold Medal prize at the 2018 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. He is hailed by critics as a force to be reckoned with in the classical music world. Described by the New York Concert Review as having “everything required to take the world by storm,” Lin's 2023–24 season includes solo appearances with orchestras worldwide and recitals across the United States, including performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Celebrating more than 100 years of musical excellence, the Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. Baylor’s School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees in performance, music education and academic majors, as well as doctoral degrees in church music. Degrees leading to the Bachelor of Music Education conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Visit the School of Music website to learn more.