ROCK SPRINGS — The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra will give a free public performance at 4 p.m. Sunday at Rock Springs High School.

The concert will include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, “Little Russian Symphony;” American composer Gwyneth Walker’s “Open the Door;” and the Dvořák Violin Concerto with UW Department of Music soloist John Fadial. Longtime University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra Conductor Michael Griffith, director of orchestral activities, will be on the podium.

“Open the Door” is an overture and a salute to the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming and in the world.

“The work starts hesitantly, growing in power and confidence as it progresses — as ‘the door’ opens,” Griffith says. “This is bright, contemporary, exciting and exuberant music.”

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 is from early in the composer’s career.

“Tchaikovsky was young when he wrote it and not yet suffering from the depression that permeated much of his later life,” Griffith said in a press release. “Instead, the second is joyful and exciting, and full of fun Ukrainian folk melodies.”

Dvořák’s Violin Concerto is a “powerful, melodic work, with a wonderful finale full of cross rhythms,” he adds.

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra also will perform music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Carlos Gomes.

The soloist for the Dvořák piece is Fadial, UW professor of violin. At 11, he performed for President Gerald Ford, and he has since appeared around the globe as chamber musician, soloist and pedagogue.

He has toured internationally for the U.S. State Department as a United States Artistic Ambassador, and has served as concertmaster of the Heidelberg Schloss-Spiele (Germany), and the Greensboro, N.C., Symphony Orchestra for 18 seasons. During the summers, Fadial serves on the artist faculty of the Eastern Music Festival as assistant concertmaster, violinist of the Eastern Chamber Players and director of the festival’s violin internship program.

As a recording artist, he was a semifinalist for the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance of 2007 for the CD “Where Does Love Go: Chamber Music of Mark Engebretson.” In 2009, he released a disc of the “Complete String Sextets of Johannes Brahms” with the Stanislas Sextet of Nancy, France, of which he is a founding member. Fadial performs on a violin from Naples, Italy, built by Giovanni Gagliano in 1781.

This is Griffith’s 31st year leading the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. This past summer, he conducted orchestras in Brazil and China; lectured at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole; led a conducting workshop in Brazil; and taught a class at Shanghai University for two weeks.

Closer to home, he has led the Fort Collins Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Opera Fort Collins, Denver’s Mercury Ensemble, Boulder’s Colorado Music Festival and the Powder River Symphony. Next month, he will conduct Strauss’ operetta “Die Fledermaus” for Opera Wyoming in Casper.

Griffith was a visiting professor at Finland’s Sibelius Academy; he is a past president of the Conductors Guild; a winner of an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Adventurous Programming Award; was twice elected a UW “Top 10” teacher; and studied at the world-renowned Pierre Monteux School in Maine, at Michigan State University and at the University of Colorado, where he earned his doctorate.

For more information, call Griffith at 307-766-3069 or email

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