The Florida State University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Alexander Jiménez, is featured on a compact disc released this month by Naxos. On the cd are works by Ellen Taafe Zwilich for piano and orchestra with soloists Jeffrey Biegel, Red Gainsford, and Heidi Louise Williams. The recording has been available on the www.naxos.com since June. The disc includes Millenium Fantasy for solo piano and orchestra, Peanuts Gallery for piano and chamber orchestra, and Images for duo piano and orchestra.
As per the Naxos web site:
“Among America’s most admired, awarded and frequently performed composers, Ellen Taafe Zwilich, who celebrated her 70th birthday in 2009, remains young at heart. Performed here by virtuoso pianist Jeffrey Biegel for whom it was written, Millennium Fantasy is based on a folksong that Zwilich’s grandmother sang to her as a child. Images drew its inspiration from a number of paintings held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., including the Alice Bailly self-portrait reproduced on the cover of this disc. Zwilich, herself featured in Charles M. Schulz’s famous Peanuts® comic strip, returned the favor with a delightful series of musical portraits of Schroeder, Linus, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Peppermint Patty and Marcie.”
In 2007 the FSU Symphony Orchestra collaborated with Zwilich performing Peanuts Gallery and recording it for television broadcast on PBS. The 30-minute show reached over two hundred markets cross the U.S. and was named Best Performance of 2007 by the National Educational Television Association.