Local virtuoso Auler to perform ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with city band

Port City pianist Robert Auler, above, will sit in Wednesday with the Oswego City Band.

OSWEGO — The Oswego City Band will be joined this week by a local maestro for a special performance of one of the most iconic pieces in the history of American music.

Robert Auler, internationally renowned pianist with performances on six continents, will lead the band for “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin at Breitbeck Park this Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.

Auler has drawn praise from publications such as the New York Times for his “extraordinary rhythmic clarity and expression.”  He also serves as music department chair at SUNY Oswego where he teaches applied piano and advanced music theory.

“Rhapsody in Blue” is often cited among the elite canon of American music for its lush orchestration, lively jazz sections and emotional crescendo. Gershwin famously completed the work barely a week before the first performance in February 1924 and its opening clarinet glissando is instantly recognizable even to listeners who can’t place it by name.

The Oswego City Band will also perform selections from “Wicked,” Stephen Schwartz’s take from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz.  Modern melodic works performed will include Rossano Galante’s “Journey to the Lion’s Castle” and Bernstein’s rhythmically charged “Slava.”

Oswego City Band concerts are sponsored by the city of Oswego with additional funding provided by the Music Performance Trust Fund and Oswego County Musicians Union, Local 267-441.

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