Thu February 1 | 7:30 PM


Cello Concerto

This concert celebrates incredible creativity with Dvořák’s unique use of the cello and the world premiere of First Symphony composer Michael Djupstrom’s first-ever symphony.


February 1, 2024 7:30 PM


Cello Concerto

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Oliver Herbert, cello
Michael Djupstom, composer

Rossini | Overture to William Tell

Michael Djupstrom | Dreams of Flight

Dvořák | Cello Concerto

One of the greatest artistic achievements of the Romantic era, Antonin Dvořák’s Cello Concerto is both exhilarating and profound, and showcases the cello in ways previously not thought possible when it was composed. Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to William Tell may be best known in this country for its use in The Lone Ranger and is a masterpiece through and through. In between, we’ll witness the world premiere of composer Michael Djupstrom’s First Symphony, as the final work in our four-year project investing in the future of orchestral music.


  • Sunday, Jan. 28: Composition Master Class with composer Michael Djupstrom
    6 PM | The Studio, Hult Center
  • Monday, Jan. 29: Symphony Happy Hour, hosted by Conducting Fellow Rodrigo Gonzalez-Jacob
    5 PM | 5th Street Market Eateries
  • Tuesday, Jan. 30: Cello Master Class with cellist Oliver Herbert
    4 PM | The Studio, Hult Center
  • Thursday, Feb. 1: Guild Legacy Pre-Concert Talk with Francesco, Michael Djupstrom, and Oliver Herbert
    6:30 PM | The Studio, Hult Center

This concert will be broadcast on KWAX 91.1 on Friday, February 16, 2024, at 10 am.


  • Listen to the below Spotify playlist, curated by Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, for a preview of the concert's program as well as other pieces by First Symphony Project composer Michael Djupstrom or performed by guest cellist Oliver Herbert.
  • Read our First-Timers Guide to brush up on orchestra vocabulary and find out what to expect from a concert at the Hult Center
  • Learn more about the First Symphony Project

About Michael Djupstrom

Michael Djupstrom

Composer and pianist Michael Djupstrom's work captured first prizes in the international composition competitions of the UK’s Delius Society, the American Viola Society, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, and has received awards from prominent institutions including the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Charles Ives Fellowship, Charles Ives Scholarship), Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (Pew Fellowship), New Music USA, S&R Foundation (Grand Prize, Washington Awards), Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, Music Teachers National Association, Académie musicale de Villecroze, and the Sigurd and Jarmila Rislov Foundation, among many others. In 2017, the MacDowell Colony awarded him one of its prestigious artist residencies for the composition of his String Quartet No. 2.

Recent commissions have come from the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Tanglewood Music Center, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program, Music From Angel Fire, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, International Opera Theater, Lyra Society, Lotte Lehmann Foundation, and the Cavatina Duo, among others.

Djupstrom’s chamber music is presented regularly across the USA by ensembles including the Dover Quartet, Network for New Music, Dolce Suono, Lyric Fest, Brooklyn Art Song Society, Music from Copland House, ensemblenewSRQ, Definiens Project, Sound Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Juventas, Sounds New, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and his works have been performed and broadcast in the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, Austria, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Taiwan, China, and Japan. In recent seasons, his special interest in Romanian classical music led him to present at the 2017 George Enescu Festival of McGill University and to pursue advanced language study in summer 2019 with the assistance of a Romanian government scholarship; in November 2019, he presented a recital highlighting contemporary Romanian and American works at the annual Meridian Festival in Bucharest. A 2020 grant from the S&R Foundation aims to share this passion for Romanian music through the creation of a new concert series at the Hanifl Center for Performing Arts in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

As a pianist, Djupstrom has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia-based new music ensemble Relâche. His passion for chamber music has led to concerts for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music, the British Library, S&R Foundation, Brooklyn Art Song Society, Astral Artists, Yale University, and many other presenting organizations. His festival appearances include Hong Kong’s “Intimacy of Creativity,” Music From Angel Fire, Tanglewood, Brevard, and the Académie musicale de Villecroze; he has performed in major metropolitan cities throughout the world, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington DC, Houston, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Madrid, Bucharest, Tokyo, Shenzhen, Montréal, and Aix-en-Provence. He has recorded for American Public Media's popular "Performance Today" radio program, Radio Television Hong Kong's Radio 4, and the Equilibrium, American Modern, and Meyer Media labels.

As a music educator, Djupstrom has taught composition at the Curtis Institute of Music, theory and orchestration for Boston University, ear training for the University of Michigan, and piano at Settlement Music School. He has been a guest teacher and presenter at Rice University, Westminster Choir College, Montana State University, Rowan University, Shasta Community College, National University of Music of Bucharest, International School of Brussels, Paris Conservatory, and Yichao Music Training Center in Shenzhen, China.

Djupstrom received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, where he studied with composers Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Susan Botti, Karen Tanaka, and Eric Santos. Djupstrom pursued further studies in Paris with Betsy Jolas, whom he later worked for as assistant. He also holds an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a student of Jennifer Higdon and Richard Danielpour. He lives in Philadelphia.

About Oliver Herbert

Oliver Herbert

Oliver Herbert is a cello soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician with a rapidly growing international presence. The recipient of a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Oliver’s natural musicianship and connective performances are carving a unique path in the world of music.

As a soloist, Oliver’s collaborations include appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, Erfurt Philharmonic, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has worked with conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Juanjo Mena, and Alexander Shelley.

Driven by the living quality and relevance of the works he presents to audiences, Oliver sees his role as a cellist as being a conduit for magical musical messages. His work is fueled by a passion for music ranging from past centuries to the present, with concerto performances spotlighting works from C.P.E. Bach to Haydn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Ibert, Elgar, Barber, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Lutoslawski, and Vasks, among others. Current collaborations with composers include premieres of a new solo work by Chelsea Komschlies as well as a piece for cello, percussion, and electronics by Andrew Moses. His recent projects include performances of the complete Bach Cello Suites at Capital Region Classical and the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas at Guarneri Hall in Chicago.

Oliver’s recital engagements have brought him across the United States to venues such as the Ravinia Festival and Kravis Center, as well as on tour to Greece, Germany, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. His programs are known for combining beloved with lesser known works, contextualizing them with equal advocacy and commitment. With an interest in capturing the essence of historical repertoire, Oliver is developing his collaborations with fortepiano and harpsichord and performs occasionally on a 1776 five string piccolo cello.

As a chamber musician, Oliver appears regularly at leading festivals and venues such as the Rheingau Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Marlboro, La Jolla SummerFest, Verbier Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Bridgehampton, Caramoor, CMS Palm Beach, and the Ravinia Festival. During his two summers at Marlboro, Oliver had the opportunity to work closely and perform with legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida, the festival’s director.

Oliver’s debut in 2018 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony led to a re-engagement in the following season featuring Haydn’s D Major Cello Concerto. A recording of the performance was subsequently released by Warner Classics as part of highlights of MTT’s final season as music director. In June of 2020, Oliver released his debut album with pianist Xiaohui Yang, Frame of Mind: Fauré and Janáček, featuring the two cello and piano sonatas of Gabriel Fauré, as well as Leoš Janáček’s Pohádka (Fairy Tale).

Oliver’s awards include the Verbier Festival’s Jean-Nicolas Firmenich Prize in 2017, as well as top prizes in the Lutoslawski International Cello Competition, Klein Competition, and Stulberg Competition. He has been featured on PBS’s Now Hear This, NPR’s From the Top, the popular online interview series, Living the Classical Life, and more.

Born in 1997 in San Francisco, Oliver is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Colburn School, where he studied with Carter Brey, Pamela Frank, Clive Greensmith, and Peter Wiley. In 2023, he begins the Professional Studies programme at the Kronberg Academy, working with Frans Helmerson. Oliver plays on a Guadagnini cello that belonged to the great Italian cellist Antonio Janigro, on generous loan from the Janigro family.

Health & Safety

The health and safety of Eugene Symphony audience members, musicians, and staff members has been and will always be our top priority. We strongly welcome and encourage patrons who wish to continue wearing masks while attending performances to do so. We want all of our attendees to feel comfortable and accepted in your choice. You take care of you, we'll take care of the music and ensuring that your experience attending a Eugene Symphony concert remains exceptional.

For the most up to date health and safety protocols for our concerts, visit our Eugene Symphony Safety page.

LOCATION: Hult Center for the Performing Arts

Thank you to our First Symphony Project Donor Circle!

First Symphony Project Supporter

Thank you to the following households for their firm belief in supporting new music and for their generous support of the First Symphony Project. Learn more about this project.

Jack & Jack Dondeana Brinkman

Elaine Twigg Cornett & Zane Cornett

Roger Saydack & Elaine Bernat

Donald Gudehus & Gloria Page

Francesco Lecce-Chong and Chloe Tula

National Endowment for the Arts

First Symphony Project Supporter

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