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Muscatine Symphony Orchestra Opens Season with A Night of Firsts

The Muscatine Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will open its 2018-19 MasterWorks season with guest conductor and pianist Rei Hotoda on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Hotoda, wife of MSO’s conductor and music director Brian Dollinger, frequently performs with the MSO, including a well-known performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue broadcast on Iowa Public Television. The performance features the first pieces several well-known composers wrote.

The concert will begin with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s overture to his first opera, Apollo et Hyacinthus, which he wrote at age eleven. In this brief opening work, you can hear true “Mozartian” style and a youthful innocence.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s first keyboard concerto will follow. Hotoda, will perform Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052. In true Baroque fashion, she will perform the concerto as a soloist and conduct the orchestra.

The evening will culminate with the first symphony written by another giant of symphonic repertoire, Felix Mendelssohn. His Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 11, proves an energetic work influenced by the great composers he admired – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and von Weber. Mendelssohn’s first full-orchestra work, written at age fifteen, demonstrates the sound for which he would come to be known and pays homage to the style and structure of Mozart and the detailed counterpoint of Bach.

Maestro Dollinger programmed the 2018-19 season to include a world premiere, a professional historical actor, collaborations with local music students, art projects with elementary school students, and vibrant guest artists and conductors.

“A Night of Firsts” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Central Middle School auditorium, 901 Cedar St. Tickets cost $15 for adults. Students may attend for free. A free reception with Hotoda will immediately follow the concert. HNI Corporation, the HON Company, and Allsteel generously sponsored this concert. For more information, visit,, and

To purchase a subscription for the orchestra’s 2018-19 MasterWorks season, leave a message at the MSO office at (563) 288-6195 ext. 1608.


Tess Abney is a freelance writer who was born and raised in the Quad Cities. She spends most of her time attempting to successfully raise three boys. In her free time, writing is her passion. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.

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