Waltham Symphony Orchestra Season Opener Celebrates Waltham Public Library
On Sunday October 4, the Waltham Symphony Orchestra led by Patrick Botti kicks off its 2015-2016 season with a premiere concert in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Waltham Public Library.
The program features an original work by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee, a longtime Waltham resident and devotee of the library that served as a valuable resource for her as a young girl beginning her music education. For the library, commissioning an original work of music is a signature event and fitting commemoration for 150 years of providing Waltham residents with valuable resources for study and reading enjoyment.
“Time Passes By was an opportunity for me to express my close personal associations with the library. I performed in my very first piano recital in the hall at the library and my violinist mother, Isabelle Goolkasian, presented many recitals in Sears Gallery. Also, as an Armenian, my father being a survivor of the 1915 Genocide, I have expressed my ethnic musical language in the music in this year of commemoration. The ticking of the “Waltham Watch Clock” separates a series of folk-like dances,” Ms. Rahbee explained.
Janet Welch, President of the Friends of Waltham Public Library said, “The Friends are extremely honored that Ms. Rahbee composed Time Passes By for our 150th anniversary. The premiere performance of the composition came to be as a part of a collaboration with the Waltham Symphony Orchestra and with funding from the Jones Partnership Fund. It is a great example of the cross-organizational work that makes Waltham a wonderful city to live in."
Kelly Linehan, Director of the Waltham Public Library added, "How appropriate to memorialize our 150th Anniversary year with a commissioned musical piece composed by Watch City native Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee, aptly titled Time Passes By. I look forward to listening to the premiere performance with the rest of our community. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the library staff, we are grateful to the Friends of the Waltham Public Library, the Waltham Symphony Orchestra and the Jones Partnership Fund for their continued support and promotion of the Waltham Public Library.”
The program will also include a performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Piano, No. 17 with Pianist Thomas Stumpf, and works by Wagner and Saint Saens.
Maestro Patrick Botti of the Waltham Symphony Orchestra, in keeping with the WSO mission of youth education and outreach, hopes families will attend so people of all ages may experience and enjoy world-class music right in the heart of Waltham, as we highlight the importance of the Waltham Public Library in the community,
The concert is free and will take place in the auditorium at John F. Kennedy Middle School, 655 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 3 PM.
More information about the life and work of composer Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee is featured on her website and below.
More detailed information about the concert can be found on the Waltham Symphony Orchestra website.
For additional details about the Friends of Waltham Public Library, the history of library, listing of 150th anniversary sponsors and events visit The Friends of Waltham Public Library website.
About the Composer, Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee
Longtime Waltham resident, Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee is a first-generation Armenian-American born into an Armenian family with strong musical and commercial ties to the city. Her mother, Isabelle Yeshilian Goolkasian, was a highly talented violinist who gave solo recitals in the Sears Gallery of the Waltham Public Library. Her father, Pete Goolkashian, was a survivor of the 1915 Armenian Genocide who became a pharmacist before opening and operating his drug store, Hall Drug, on Moody Street for many years.
The Waltham Public Library had a profound influence on Dianne’s young life, serving as focal point for her musical education. A student of Waltham piano teacher Helen Smith Cousins, Dianne performed her first piano recital at the library at the age of seven. Over the years, the library’s books on harmony and composition became her composition teachers because the family could not afford lessons on these subjects.
Upon graduation from high school, Dianne won the Waltham Music Club Scholarship, enabling her to pursue her degree in piano studies at Juilliard, followed by advanced studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Composer of numerous works for piano solo, orchestra, instrumental ensembles, percussion, and voice, her pieces are performed throughout the world. She currently resides in Belmont where she teaches piano privately when not giving workshops, lectures, and master classes internationally.
“Time Passes By (Op. 234): Ten Short Eastern Musical Tales" by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee
On October 4, 2015, the Waltham Symphony Orchestra will premiere the first musical piece commissioned by the Friends of Waltham Public Library, in recognition of the library’s 150th Anniversary.
Ms. Rahbee discussed how the piece consists of a group of Armenian inspired short folk melodies and dances that honor the longtime presence and traditions of Armenian culture in the western suburbs of Boston, particularly appropriate as 2015 also marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as well as elements representing a ticking watch, reflecting the Watch City’s history.
She explains, “Time Passes By was an opportunity for me to express my close personal associations with the library. Having lived in Waltham until the age of 18, now being 77, I used the wonderful music books at the library to teach myself composition until I went to study music at the Juilliard School. I was given many musical scores that were about to be discarded by the library which I still use to this very day. I performed in my very first piano recital in the hall at the library and my violinist mother, Isabelle Goolkasian, presented many recitals in Sears Gallery. Also, as an Armenian, my father being a survivor of the 1915 Genocide, I have expressed my ethnic musical language in the music in this year of commemoration. The ticking of the “Waltham Watch Clock” separates a series of folk-like dances.”