The Wellesley Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra-In-Residence at MassBay Community College  (781) 235-0515
October 18, 2015 -- All Beethoven featuring pianist Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome

Tickets & Concerts  •  The Music  •  Max Hobart  •  Play with us!  •  About us  •  Young Soloist Competition  •  home

Egmont Overture - Piano Concerto No 1 in C - Symphony No 5 in C minor

Support The Wellesley Symphony!
Email us!
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust

  Like Us

    Shop for us

Donate Online!
Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome, piano

The Wellesley Symphony presents internationally acclaimed concert pianist Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C.

Ms. Fensom gained international recognition upon winning the International Competition in Senigalia, Italy, at age 15. Subsequently, she was invited to study at the Juilliard School of Music as a full scholarship recipient. She earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in piano performance at Juilliard, studying with legendary teachers Herbert Stessin for piano and Felix Galimir for chamber music.

Ms. Fensome was appointed Director of M. Steinert and Sons' Natick Piano Academy in September 2014.

Click here for more about Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome.

Email questions and comments to

Concert Program

If you were building a concert hall in 1900 and wished to memorialize the great composers, who would you choose? Those planning the new, great, hall could only agree on one, and that one was Ludwig Van Beethoven. When you visit Boston's Symphony Hall and look around the front of the stage you'll see the several blank plaques around the stage, but just one, at the center top, with his name on it. Click here for more information about Boston's Symphony Hall.

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) expanded the idea of classical music. A piano prodigy, and extremely talented improvisor, Beethoven certainly left his mark, leaving a legacy of music for the then new and highly expressive piano (completing the migration of keyboard music from the harpsichord, expanding the idea of string quartets and the violin itself, and of course his nine symphonies.

First, the Egmont Overture. Written as incidental music for the play "Egmont" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (could there possibly be a collaboration of two more brilliant individuals?). Goethe himself, a noted scientist as well as writer and statesman has been characterized as 'the last man to know everything.' Beethoven himself was not known for his all-around agreeability, and this meeting of the two giants doesn't appear to have been without friction: " Although known to be mutual admirers, it is evident from their own descriptions of that meeting that their personalities clashed. In a letter to a friend written a few months later, Goethe stated: "Beethoven's talent amazed me. However, unfortunately, he is an utterly untamed personality; he is not altogether wrong in holding the world detestable, but surely does not make it more enjoyable for himself or others by his attitude." Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra program notes

Egmont tells the tragic victory of the execution of Count Egmont who sacrificed himself to inspire his country to rebellion and then to liberty.

Beethoven's first piano concerto was completed in 1797 - and is not really his first, but his third piano concerto. In any case, please click here for an excellent commentary by Michael Steinberg.

The Fifth Symphony has the most recognizable opening in all of music and was soon recognized as a signal achievement with famed author E.T. Hoffman calling it "one of the most important works of the time". It's premiere was part of a four hour Beethoven-conducted concert which included his Choral Fantasy, Sixth Symphony, and Fourth Piano Concerto. Used as a symbol for victory by the Western Allies in World War II, and by the BBC to open its wartime broadcasts, those first four notes are the simple building blocks on a piece frequently praised as one of the most important musical pieces ever. -- per Wikipedia

Hailed as one of Boston's most versatile musicians, Max Hobart enjoys a highly respected position as a performer, conductor and teacher. Recently retired after 27 years with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hobart brings a rich perspective to his responsibilities as Music Director of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra.

While Assistant Concertmaster of the BSO under Erich Leinsdorf, Willian Steinberg and Seiji Ozawa and as featured soloist with the Pops under both Arthur Fiedler and John Williams, Hobart performed concerts at Symphony Hall, Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall and on frequent radio and television broadcasts as well as on numerous recordings for Phillips, DGG, Nonesuch and RCA. Concert tours have taken him throughout the United States and South America, Canada, Europe, Japan, the Soviet Union and China.

Prior to his arrival in Boston, Max Hobart was a violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, the National Symphony and the New Orleans Symphony. As Concertmaster, he served the Boston Opera Company and the Handel and Haydn Society under Thomas Dunn in addition to the BSO and Pops.

A frequent guest conductor throughout the region and beyond, Hobart has led performances with the Boston Pops, the Pops Esplanade, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Newton Symphony, the New Hampshire Philharmonic, the New York All-State Orchestra and the Port Au Prince Symphony in Haiti, among others.

Max Hobart's diverse musicianship is augmented by a calling to share his knowledge and inspiration with his many students. His teaching engagements have included terms at Boston University, Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center.

New season ticket holders buy one, get one FREE. Email or leave a message at (781) 235-0515 for information.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at Walgreens (266 Washington St, Wellesley) Wellesley Books (82 Central St, Wellesley) •  Steinert & Sons
on-line (below), and at the Ticket Table at MassBay an hour before the concert.

Sunday, October 18, 3:00pm*

Subscription series*

All Beethoven! featuring pianist Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome playing Piano Concerto No. 1, the Egmont Overture, and the incomparable Symphony No. 5.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line

Pre-concert talk with Leslie Holmes at 2:15

Sunday, November 22, 3:00pm*

Celebrating the World of Wellesley.
The Wellesley Symphony welcomes cellist Sebastian Bäverstam for Elgar's Cello Concerto and Julia Scott Carey's "Weigala - A Lullaby". Also Rossini's "L'Italiana in Algeri" Overture and Brahms' Serenade No. 1.
Click here to purchase November tickets on-line

Pre-concert talk with Leslie Holmes at 2:15

Sunday, December 13, 3:00pm

WSO Family Holiday Pops featuring Megan Besciglia

The WSO Family Holiday Pops features soprano Megan Besciglia and Julia Scott Carey's "The Legend of Old Befana" with narrator. Also, selections from "Messiah", holiday favorites, our popular sing-along, and the winner of the WSO Two Front Teeth contest. And maybe Santa will drop by.

Sunday, February 7, 3:00pm*

Ring in the Bells with the Wellesley Symphony, featuring mezzo-soprano Rebecca Krouner.

The Wellesley Symphony welcomes mezzo-soprano Rebecca Krouner to sing "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring" by Frederic Delius, and Edward Elgar's "Sea Pictures" - A Cycle of Five Songs for Contralto. And presenting Kelly Farewell on our symphonic chimes in David Archibald's new work "Ringing Changes." The concert ends with Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 6.

Pre-concert talk with Leslie Holmes at 2:15

Sunday, March 13, 3:00pm

Wellesley Symphony Family Concert Celebrate Music in Our Schools Month at the WSO Family Concert, spotlighting musicians from the Wellesley Public Schools and the winner of the 2015 Young Soloist competition.

The program includes Victor Herbert's "Irish Rhapsody" and much more. Narrated and hosted by Brian Hagar-McKee. At 1:30 try the instruments at our instrument petting zoo, and at 2:15 enjoy the Show'n'tell with Leslie Holmes.

Sunday, May 1, 3:00pm*

Brahms, von Reznicek and Copland with the Wellesley Symphony featuring MaeLynn Arnold and Seth MacLeod

The Wellesley Symphony presents Emil von Reznicek's 'Donna Diana' Overture and Aaron Copland's "Red Pony Suite". MaeLynn Arnold and Seth MacLeod are featured in Johannes Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello.

Pre-concert talk with Leslie Holmes at 2:15

** Painting by Howie Green of the Wellesley Symphony. Mr. Green donated this picture, based on a picture by Mickey Goldin, to MassBay Community College in February of 2015. His work can be seen at
Play with us! -- Violinists / Violists / Cellists / Bassists

You'll love playing with us -- this season includes Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Brahms Serenade No. 1, Dvorak Symphony No. 6, plus Copland, Elgar, Rossini and many more. Click on 'Tickets & Concerts' to see the season.

Rehearsals are Wednesdays 7:15-10:00pm
MassBay Community College
, 50 Oakland Street, Wellesley Hills
just off Route 9, near Riverside and Woodland T stops.

Interested? Questions? You know someone who might like to play with us? Contact

"Max brings a rare level of musicianship and leadership to the orchestra. I learn at every rehearsal and concert!" - WSO violinist

Rehearsals have started and are Wednesday nights at 7:15, MassBay in Wellesley Hills. Click here for the rehearsal schedule.

Email questions and comments to
Our mailing address is: Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 81860, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
You can also leave a voice message at (781) 235-0515

The WSO counts on your individual support! Please send your tax-deductible contributions to the above address or you can contribute securely via this link.

Please indicate your name as you would like it to appear on the program. For further information, please call (781) 235-0515 or email

History of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1948 as the Wellesley Community Orchestra, the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra was the brainchild of Wellesley residents: BSO violinist Rolland Tapley and Mrs. William Vogler. Maestro Tapley served as music director and conductor for nearly thirty years, offering three or four concerts each season, including a Pops Concert and a Youth Concert. Performances were held in various locations in Wellesley, Littleton and Framingham. Mr. Tapley retired in 1973 and was succeeded by Robert J. Prins (1972-1991) and Michael Webster (1992-1993). Max Hobart has been at the helm since 1993. Since 1984 the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra has been orchestra-in-residence at MassBay Community College.

Leslie Holmes, WSO President

Soloist, narrator, teacher, writer, and Wellesley College alumna, Leslie is an exciting performer rich with experience on radio, stage and in the classroom. Her vibrancy and expertise draw voice students from all over Boston, and she thrives on developing young artists who benefit from her dynamic experience. Leslie is also on the Board of Boston Singers Resource, Hosts the Cabaret Open Mic at the Amazing Things Arts Center, and is on the Advisory Board of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists and the Maud Powell Society.

The Wellesley Symphony Orchestra
Music Director
Max Hobart
Assistant Conductor
David Archibald
Board of Directors
Leslie Holmes
College Liaison
Dante DeGruttola
Vice President
Jan Schwaner
Young Soloist Competition
Dianne Mahany
Elaine Wu
Tim Hill
Susan Chudd
Penny Post
Database, Web Site
Chris Ten Eyck
Carol Davidson
Douglas Olsen
Associate Directors
Norman Abbot
Julian Marsh
Jennifer Belli
Sandra O'Connor
Wil Breden
Bill Costley
Honorary Board
Julia Scott Carey
Virgina Eskin
Bayla Keyes
Laura Carlo
John Finney
Thomas Oboe Lee
Ron Della Chiesa
John Harbison
Ned Rorem
Phyllis Curtin
Robert Honeysucker

The Wellesley Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition

In November each year, the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra conducts its Young Soloist Competition. The Competition is generously hosted by the Dana School of Music, whose Music Building on 103 Grove Street in Wellesley provides a friendly atmosphere and well-appointed rooms for musicians and their accompanists to warm up and to perform for the judges. (The audition room has two pianos.)

The 2015 competition will be held on Saturday, November 14 2015. Click here for the 2015 audition application. Contact

Each participant selects a concerto movement suitable to be performed with the WSO at our March family concert at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Auditions should be about 10 minutes long, and each participant is responsible for making arrangements with an accompanist. In addition to performing with the orchestra the following March, the winner receives a $500 award.

Applications are available both on this website and from Dianne Mahany at It is important to apply early; for the past several years, all slots have been filled almost 2 weeks before the published application deadline, and a waiting list has been put in place.

We have a wonderful group of participants each year, including about 35 young musicians up to the age of 18 (the youngest in recent memory was 8 years old). We welcome all orchestral instrumentalists and pianists to our competition. (It is always very difficult for the four judges-including Max Hobart, our Music Director, and David Archibald, our Assistant Conductor-to make a selection. We have occasionally chosen a runner-up.)

(NOTE: Applications for the WSO Young Soloist Competition are posted here on or before Labor Day each year. If you have any questions about the competition at any time, please contact Dianne Mahany by email at or by telephone at 978-443-5212.)

2014 Competition Winner - Hana Chang

Our 2014 competition's winner was a wonderful 12 year-old violinist named Hana Chang. Hana auditioned and won playing the first movement of the Mendelssohn Op. 64 Violin Concerto in E Minor. Ms. Chang performed with the orchestra at the WSO Family Concert on March 15, 2015.

Ms. Chang lives in Lexington, Mass., and began playing violin at the age of 4 under Klaudia Szlachta. She currently studies with Professor Yuri Mazurkevich (through New England Conservatory Preparatory School) and Miguel Pérez-Espejo Cárdenas. Besides violin, Hana also studies viola with Peter Sulski. She made her first solo appearance at the age of 7 with the NEC Baroque Chamber Orchestra conducted by Aldo Abreu. She continued to have solo performances with the orchestra for the next 2 years. In January 2014, Hana was a soloist with the Lexington Symphony in their Orchestrating Kids Through Classics program. She has been invited to perform with them again in 2015.

Ms. Chang also enjoys playing in chamber groups. She has participated in NEC chamber groups and has attended the Lexington Chamber Music Center directed by Randy Hiller. She currently plays in an NEC string quartet coached by Judith Serkin. In the summer of 2014, Hana attended the Meadowmount School of Music where she studied violin under Ivan Zenatý and viola under Patricia McCarty. In past summers, she has attended Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Course and Festival for Young Musicians (Belgium), where she played with Ivry Gitlis and Maxim Vengerov; Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy & Festival (Japan); and the NEC Festival Youth Orchestra.

Hana would like to say a very special thank you to Mr. Roger O'Neil for sponsoring all her violins throughout the years.

October 18, 2015*
November 22, 2015*
Rossini, Elgar, Brahms
December 13, 2015
Holiday Pops!
February 7, 2016*
Elgar, Dvorak
March 13, 2016
Family Concert
May 1, 2016*
Reznicek, Copland, Brahms
Ticket Prices - Adult: $25, Senior/Student: $20, Children under 12: free, MassBay Students/Staff/Faculty: free with Massbay ID