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Orchestra concerts feature Jazz Ensemble

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12, 2009, 8 p.m. Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

The Princeton University Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Pratt, will present concerts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. The performances, which focus on works about "bad boys," will feature the University Concert Jazz Ensemble, directed by Anthony D.J. Branker.

"This is a mini-festival of music that tells three famous stories of boys behaving badly, from Fritz in 'The Nutcracker,' to an apprentice who bites off more than he can chew, to a 14th-century prankster German peasant," Pratt said.

The concert will open with the two ensembles sharing the stage to perform the suite from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" in its original version, interspersed with the swing version arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn for the Ellington band.

After intermission the orchestra will move to two of the great 19th-century tone poems, each featuring an immortal rascal.

Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is based on a poem by Goethe. The story is well known from the 1940s Disney treatment in "Fantasia," featuring Leopold Stokowski, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mickey Mouse.

The concert will conclude with Richard Strauss' telling of the tale of a 14th-century German folk hero, "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks." In this piece, Till wreaks havoc with the stuffed shirts of his day -- clerics, academics and others -- falls in love, is finally caught by authorities and meets his demise.

Tickets are $5 for students, $15 for senior citizens and $18 for others. They are available on the Richardson website or by visiting the Richardson box office or the Frist Campus Center ticket office.

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