Department of Music

Program Notes: Orchestra Concerts - 10/15-16/2022

Program annotations for the Brown University Orchestra's October 15-16, 2022 concerts, directed by Mark Seto and presented in Sayles Hall.

Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) (2014, revised 2021)
Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980)


[brief pause]


Symphony No. 5 (1901-02)
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Part I:

1. Trauermarsch: In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt [Funeral March: With measured step. Strict.
Like a cortège.]

2. Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz. [Stormily. With greatest vehemence.]

Part II:

3. Scherzo: Kräftig, nicht zu schnell [Vigorously, not too fast]

Part III:

4. Adagietto: Sehr langsam [Very slow]

5. Rondo-Finale: Allegro giocoso. Frisch [Lively]

About the Program

Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) is music in the shape of a solar system, a collection of rococo loops that twist around each other within a larger orbit. The word “sinfonia” refers to baroque works for chamber orchestra but also to the old Italian term for a hurdy-gurdy, a medieval stringed instrument with constant, wheezing drones that are cranked out under melodies played on an attached keyboard. It’s a piece that churns and roils, that inches close to the listener only to leap away at breakneck speed, in the process transforming the ensemble turns into a makeshift hurdy-gurdy, flung recklessly into space. Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

- Missy Mazzoli

About the Musicians

Musicians are listed in alphabetical order except for string principals.

✣ principal on Mazzoli
✦ principal on Mahler


Renée Choi, concertmaster
Moonhee Kim, assistant concertmaster
Charles Loh, principal second violin
Kelly Jeong, assistant principal second violin
Eliana Alweis
Mark Appleman
Rebecca Bowers
Athina Chen
Sabrina Chiang
Barron Clancy
Jessica Ding
Ziqi Fang
Pauline Gregory
Christopher Jeong
Paul Jeong
Tiger Ji
Isaac Kim
Minchae Kim
Sarah Kim
Brian Lee
Bryce Li
Owen Lockwood
Meg Lorraine
Grace Ma
April Moon
Ethan Park
Kyoko Saito
Haley Seo
Michael Sun
Maya Taylor
Ryan Urato
Emily Wang
Daniel Xu
Amy Zhang
Henry Zheng
Lily Zhou


Chloe Kim, principal
Caitlyn Carpenter, assistant principal
Seowon Chang
Chai Harsha
Christopher Hong
Sunny Li
Kieran Lucus
Michael OuYang
Zoë Schwartz
Richard Tang
Annie Wu


Sean Yu, principal
Aaron Gruen, assistant principal
Lisa (Seo Hyun) Baek
Jimmy Cai
Leeah Chang
Lauren Cho
Elvin Choi
Alex Ding
Nicholas Huang
Sedong Hwang
Austin Jacobson
Avery Maytin
Torben Parker
William Suh
Hannah Zupancic


Tom Gotsch, principal
Camille Donoho, assistant principal
Seth Heye-Smith
Emma Venarde


Judy Lee✦
Erica Sahin
Faith Shim✣
Seehanah Tang
Chloe Zhao


Erica Sahin
Chloe Zhao


Vanessa Chang
Junnie Kim
Christopher Lee✣
Anna Ryu✦
Siyuan Su


Junnie Kim


Qingyang Cheng
Sungwon La✣
Yiyun Li✦
James Ro


Sungwon La


Bryan Kwon✣✦
Nitin Sreekumar
Susan Wood


Lizzy Bernold
Milan Capoor
David Gasper
Robin Hwang✣
Brendan McMahon
Zach Potts✦
Mei Tiemeyer✦ (obbligato horn)


Alice Cannon
Andrew Furst✣
William MacDonald✦
Jackson Moore
Chris Shin


Nicholas Cancellaro✣
Bradley Smith✦


Rami Najjar


Collin Brown


Ryan Sawyer


Tats Daniel
Srikrishnan Raju
Nicholas Vadasz


Ryan Lum


David Moon

photo of Mark SetoMark Seto leads a wide-ranging musical life as a conductor, scholar, teacher, and violinist. He is Director of the Brown University Orchestra and Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Music at Brown University, where he teaches courses in music history, theory, and conducting. He is also Artistic Director and Conductor of The Chelsea Symphony in New York City. 

Since Seto’s tenure with The Chelsea Symphony began in 2011, the ensemble has strengthened its commitment to new music by programming dozens of world premieres and establishing an annual competition for early-career composers; performed at Lincoln Center for the red carpet premiere of Mozart in the Jungle, the Golden Globe-winning Amazon Original series starring Gael García Bernal, Bernadette Peters, and Malcolm McDowell; and established a program to bring music to New York City correctional facilities, including Rikers Island. Recent highlights with The Chelsea Symphony and at Brown include an Earth Day concert at the American Museum of Natural History featuring Become Ocean by Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams, performances of John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1 in commemoration of Stonewall 50—WorldPride NYC, and collaborations with violinist Jennifer Koh and composer/pianist Vijay Iyer.

Seto's research as a musicologist explores issues of influence, nationalism, and cultural identity in fin-de-siècle Paris. His articles and reviews have been published in 19th-Century Music (University of California Press), Nineteenth-Century Choral Music (Routledge, 2013), Nineteenth-Century Music Review (Cambridge University Press), Current Musicology, and Nineteenth-Century French Studies. Working from manuscript sources in Paris, Seto prepared performance materials and conducted the western hemisphere premiere of La Nuit et l’amour by Augusta Holmès, one of the most significant women composers of the French Third Republic.

Seto holds a BA in Music from Yale University and an MA, MPhil, and PhD in Historical Musicology from Columbia University. He studied at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine, where he served as an assistant to music director Michael Jinbo for two seasons. His conducting teachers include Lawrence Leighton Smith and Shinik Hahm, and he has participated in workshops with Kenneth Kiesler, Daniel Lewis, Donald Portnoy, Donald Thulean, and Paul Vermel. He is a recipient of the Yale Friends of Music Prize and has been honored with an ASCAP Morton Gould award.


The origins of the Brown University Orchestra date back at least to 1858, the year a “Grand Concert…accompanied by the Orchestra of Brown University” took place in Seekonk, Massachusetts. The modern era of the BUO began in the winter of 1919, when the College Orchestra was established. Renamed the Brown-Pembroke Orchestra in 1940, it became the Brown University Orchestra in 1953. The orchestra’s current membership consists of approximately 100 student musicians from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The BUO has given concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, toured China and Ireland, and performed with such renowned soloists as Itzhak Perlman, Navah Perlman ’92, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Christopher O’Riley, Eugenia Zukerman, Pinchas Zukerman, Dave Brubeck, and Jennifer Koh. In 2006 Daniel Barenboim conducted the BUO during the first of his two residencies with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The BUO has hosted Samuel Adler, Lukas Foss, Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, Joseph Schwantner, Michael Torke, Peter Boyer, Nico Muhly, Joan Tower, John Harbison, Vijay Iyer, and other distinguished composers-in-residence, and won 7 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. BUO alumni include current and former members of the Cleveland Orchestra, New World Symphony, Nashville Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and Opera, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

In the fall of 2014, the BUO recorded two compact discs for Naxos: Manhattan Intermezzo, featuring pianist Jeffrey Biegel playing works for piano and orchestra by Neil Sedaka, Keith Emerson, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin; and Anthony Burgess: Orchestral Music, the first recording of orchestral works by the famed British composer-novelist. Both CDs were released in 2016, receiving rave reviews internationally. In March 2016, Manhattan Intermezzo topped the classical charts as the No. 1 best-selling Naxos recording worldwide.