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DECATUR – Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra conductor Sergey Bogza enjoys the opportunities he has been given since joining the local symphony last summer.

“There's much freedom as a conductor,” he said.

Bogza will be conducting the last concert of the season, “Masterworks V,” Saturday, April 22, at Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

The symphony will perform two pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven. Nestled in the middle will be the 1972 symphony by Einojuhani Rautavaara, “Cantus Arcticus,” as well as a piano solo by Silvan Negrutiu, a Millikin assistant professor.

Bogza separated the two classic pieces with modern music and sounds of nature. He said Beethoven's music is consider structured and precise.

“It is fun, but it is logical and in a sequence,” Bogza said. “Ironically, Beethoven was a lover of nature.”

The concert will include intricate symphony compositions with the free-flowing music associated with sounds typically heard outdoors. Prerecorded bird sounds will be mixed with the sounds of the instruments.

“It is music mixed with technology,” Bogza said. “Like being in two places at once.”

Bogza's choice of concert pieces for the season finale was designed to celebrate spring as well as entertain. Recordings of wild birds, such as crane and swans, are mixed into the sounds coming from the symphony.

“Some of the sounds are supposed to be imitated by the musicians,” Bogza said. “It goes further to meld the music and nature.”

Since he began as the conductor for the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Bogza has wanted to provide audiences with familiar works as well as something new.

Bogza will be concluding his first year as conductor of the “Masterworks V”symphony. He has already begun working on next year's season and promises the symphony will provide a wide range of entertainment.

“My hope was to create a season that has something for everyone,” he said.

Collaboration will the be the hallmark of the 2017-18 season.

The symphony will join other artists, including ballet troupes, guest soloists and others. From the beginning of his career with Millikin, Bogza has wanted the symphony to provide a variety of music, not only for the audience but also for the musicians.

“It is important to collaborate with other ensembles,” he said.

Details about the upcoming season will be revealed during Saturday's concert.

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"Together Decatur" Columnist and Food and Drink Reporter

“Together Decatur” columnist and food and drink reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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