Guest conductor Kraemer has been planning Westmoreland Symphony's 'Holidays' for months
Matthew Kraemer says he is in the middle of a season that begins “sometime in August, sitting on a beach with a drink in my hands.”
It is then that he begins to work his way through scores and availability of arrangements that will lead to his work directing Christmas concerts.
Besides the visit from Kraemer, the associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in New York, the concert will include performances by soprano Kate Amatuzzo of Erie and the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County, made up of 60 students from area high schools.
The choir will be directed by Marc Tourre, retired vocal instructor from Greater Latrobe High School.
The Greensburg show is one of “15 to 20” Christmas concerts Kraemer does in his work with the Buffalo orchestra, the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and the Erie Chamber Orchestra.
There are other jobs, too, such as this one and an earlier appearance in Hamilton, Ontario.
“It can be overwhelming,” he says of the holiday shows. “But it's like I am reaching for a tried-and-true friend every year when I get my 20-pound ‘Nutcracker' score.”
Kraemer is a busy conductor. Besides his Christmas concert schedule, his work in Buffalo is made up of 12 Pops concerts and one classical series a year, educational outreach and family concerts and a five-week summer series.
His work in Erie makes him something of a geographical colleague of Daniel Meyer, artistic director of the Westmoreland Symphony, who also leads the ensemble there.
The most difficult part of the holiday concerts, Kraemer says, is finding and blending new music with holiday favorites. The new pieces this year will be “Merry Christmas” and “Somewhere in My Memory” from John Williams' “Home Alone” soundtracks.
The show will include the big-band-flavored “Christmas Overture” by Jeff Tyzik, a busy composer and conductor.
“We're in a great time for new music right now,” Kraemer says. “There are a lot of great composers out there doing things.”
But, never fear: The concert will include favorites such as selections from Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” and the cantering favorites of Sergei Prokifiev's “Trioika” and Leroy Anderson's “Sleigh Ride.”
Some of those favorites become quite close associates, he says. Leroy Anderson's ever-popular “A Christmas Festival” is one of those arrangements that become a life-saver, he says,
“You're sitting there realizing rentals of arrangements cost a bit, and there it is, staring you in the face,” he says. “It becomes a work you know so well you end up conducting it without a score.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tickets on sale Friday for Tim McGraw show
- Natrona Heights native Paul Luc content to live the simple musical life
- Parrotheads rejoice: Jimmy Buffett coming to First Niagara on Aug. 13
- Cohen’s latest shows ongoing artistic growth
- Etheridge, Smashing Pumpkins tickets on sale soon for Munhall shows
- Texas Tenors view chance to perform as a gift
- Synod Hall concert mixes basic bluegrass with benefit
- Kanny: Country and western rocks the PSO
- Music legends Dick Dale and Merle Haggard plan W.Pa. shows