Symphony to close out 45th season


Acclaimed pianist Dror Biran will tackle Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3,” considered by many to be the world’s most difficult piano concerto, with the Central Ohio Symphony as it closes out its 45th season on Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gray Chapel auditorium on the Ohio Wesleyan campus.

Biran, professor of piano and music at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, returns to Delaware, having performed Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” to open the 41st season in October 2019. Symphony Executive Director Warren W. Hyer said he is “excited to have Biran back to play what most consider the ultimate piano concerto.” He added that when Music Director Jaime Morales-Matos programmed this work, he specifically requested that Biran be the guest artist, given his outstanding artistry.

The concert will also feature “Lichtweg/Lightway” by composer Jennifer Jolley. Jolley’s piece was originally written for band; this will be the world premiere of an orchestrated version of the music. The band piece was rearranged and adapted in part by Noah Goulet, a Delaware native who studied with Jolley while still in high school and who just graduated from the Peabody Conservatory in composition.

The work is part of the Symphony’s Play It Again project focusing on underserved composers, giving their works a second or third performance beyond the initial commission. Jolley is a curator of that project, working with Morales-Matos and Hyer to bring new works to the orchestra, and she will be at the concert to introduce her work to the audience.

Hyer laughed as he told how this premiere of “Lichtweg/Lightway” came to be. “We needed a piece for the May concert, and I asked Jennifer if she had a piece we could use. She thought I meant May 2025, not 2024! This was a quick turnaround for her and Noah to have this work ready in time for this concert.”

In addition to the Rachmaninoff and the Jolley, the orchestra will also perform “Francesca de Rimini,” a late work by Tchaikovsky based upon a noblewoman condemned to hell in Dante’s “Inferno.”

“The orchestra has never performed the Tchaikovsky piece, so in a way it too is a premiere of a sort,” said Hyer. “We take pride that this program fulfills our objective of bringing both new music and the traditional classics to our audience.”

This is the second year since the Symphony partnered with the Delaware County District, Sunbury Community, and Ashley libraries to provide tickets to young people. Any youth 18 and under can present their library card and get free admission to the concert, as well as a half-price ticket for an accompanying adult.

There will again be free shuttle service from the parking lots on South Henry Street at Selby Stadium to the rear lower door of Gray Chapel. The shuttle service, funded by a grant from SourcePoint, will begin one hour before the performance and end one hour after.

Season tickets or tickets for this concert only may be purchased at the Symphony office in Delaware’s Historic Jail, 20 W. Central Ave. in downtown Delaware, online at, or at the box office the afternoon of the concert.

More information about the concert and ticket availability is available on the Symphony website,, at the Symphony office at 20 W. Central Ave., or by calling the Symphony at 740-362-1799.

Submitted by the Central Ohio Symphony.

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