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Nancy Chaput has been at the very middle of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra for three decades, at the heart of the woodwind section as flute principal. This Saturday, she stands front and center as the featured soloist in Christopher Rouse's winning Flute Concerto.
A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard Band and numerous solo appearances with the ECSO, Chaput and music director Toshi Shimada will get to join forces in Rouse's Celtic-flavored, alternately energetic and strongly spiritual work that has garnered raves since its 1993 debut.
Saturday's concert features two other works from the last century: Barber's Overture to "School for Scandal" and Shostakovich's powerful Symphony No. 5, one of the most frequently performed of the great Soviet-era symphonies. Written while the composer feared for his life after an official Stalinist condemnation of his music, Shostakovich's Fifth is full of emotion and enigma. San Francisco Music Director Michael Tilson-Thomas devoted an engrossing hour-long PBS special to examining its codes and meaning in "Keeping Score," which can be viewed online here.
Saturday's concert at the Garde Arts Center is a tribute to Shimada: all 20th century, all accessible, exciting and tuneful.
- MILTON MOORE
Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Saturday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $27-$60, $12 rush seats for for students and active military at the door; (860) 443-2876, gardearts.org.