Media Contact: Kara Gavin 734-764-2220

Music to thaw the ice: U-M Life Sciences Orchestra plays free concert on Jan. 24

Nordic composer Sibelius featured during his 150th birthday celebration

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Winter in Ann Arbor pales in comparison with the cold, snowy darkness of Finland or Norway at this time of year.

But the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra will try to melt some of the Nordic frost on Sunday, Jan. 24 with a concert featuring two Scandinavian composers.

The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public with general admission seating. No tickets are required.

The centerpiece of the concert will be Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, one of the warmest works written by the Finnish composer. The work is a fitting tribute to the composer’s 150th birthday celebration. He began composing it while visiting the sunny Italian seaside.

Also featured: Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, which includes many musical moments well-known beyond classical circles, and the Coriolan overture by Ludwig van Beethoven, which premiered in a castle in a slightly less northern region, in what is now the Czech Republic.

LSO 116

The concert is free and open to all

The LSO is made up of medical, health and science faculty, staff, students and alumni from across U-M, and is led by music director Roberto Kalb with assistant conductor Jacobsen Woollen.  

Kalb will give a brief pre-concert lecture about the works on the program at 3:15 p.m. in the lower level of Hill Auditorium. He holds the Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director position with the LSO, made possible by a gift from its namesake, the first U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and a longtime supporter of the LSO.

Omenn will open the concert with brief remarks. 

Kalb and Woollen are both graduate students in the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s nationally known orchestral conducting program, from which the LSO has drawn its conductors for its entire 15 years of blending science and music.

The orchestra is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to the U-M Health System. The LSO gives members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. Founded by students and staff from the U-M Health System, the orchestra made its concert debut in January 2001.

For more information on the concert or the LSO, visit  or, send e-mail to, or call (734) 936-ARTS.

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