Acclaimed pianist to perform with Quincy Symphony Orchestra Saturday in Morrison Theater

Brian Woods at Koerner Hall

Brian Woods performs at Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada. | Photo courtesy of Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association

QUINCY — The Quincy Symphony Orchestra, led by Bruce Briney, will present the Pines of Rome Concert as its 75th anniversary season finale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in Morrison Theater in Quincy Junior High School.

Acclaimed pianist Brian Woods will join the orchestra to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2.” Accepted as one of the greatest works in the piano repertoire, this music has been described as an “epic work of genius” and a “towering piano masterpiece” by Classic FM digital radio. Its familiar melodies are featured in movies, plays, and modern music. 

A native of St. Louis, Woods has enjoyed success at the Verona International Piano Competition, The American Prize and the Artist Presentation Society Auditions. He maintains an extensive concerto repertoire and has performed with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, the Southeast Missouri Symphony and the Southern Illinois Symphony. Past seasons have included solo recitals in Toronto, Washington D.C., Chicago and Dublin, Ireland. Woods holds degrees from Vanderbilt University, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Shenandoah University. Find out more at

The symphony orchestra will also perform Respighi’s “Pines of Rome”, an homage to the Eternal City. The music presents four impressions that capture the imagination including the raucous play of children, the somber catacombs, and the nocturnal serenity of the Janiculum, Rome’s beautiful hilltop park. Here nightingales serenade the audience, one of the first examples of added recorded sounds to an orchestra performance.

For the final movement, “Pines of the Appian Way,” Respighi employs his favorite format for closing: beginning quietly and slowly expanding to an imposing crescendo.

The QSOA has been at the forefront of championing new music each season.  That innovation continues with Roger Zare’s new overture commemorating the organization’s 75th anniversary. “Luminous Synchrony” recalls the way the dark Illinois landscape comes alive with hundreds of blinking red lights.

Zare’s compositions have been performed across the United States and around the world. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Southern California. Zare is a visiting assistant professor of music at Appalachian State University and previously taught at Illinois State University.

The $1,000 grand prize drawing for the annual QSOA raffle will be held after the concert’s intermission. Raffle proceeds support the orchestra, chorus, youth orchestra, youth chorus and in-school symphony concerts for thousands of children. The grand prize, the second prize of a Symphony Getaway Package, and the third prize of two QSOA season tickets will be awarded. Raffle tickets are $10 each or 12 for $100 and may be bought at the concert or in advance from any orchestra, chorus, Encore! or Symphony Board member. The raffle is sponsored by HomeBank and Southern Air.

Concert tickets will be available at the door or in advance from Sturhahn Jewelers, County Market or Hy-Vee. Tickets are $15 for seniors and $18 for other adults. Thanks in part to support from the Tracy Family Foundation and the Community Foundation, children 18 and under are admitted free to all QSO concerts.

This performance is made possible by concert sponsor Mercantile Bank, music sponsor Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu & Mitchell, media sponsor WGEM, and grants from the Marion Gardner Jackson Charitable Trust, the Tracy Family Foundation, the Stillwell Foundation, the Katherine Broemmel Endowment for the Arts through the Community Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.  The 75th anniversary season sponsors are Blessing Health System and Knapheide Manufacturing Company. 

Visit or call the symphony office at 217-222-2856 for more information.

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