Petite Musique: Maria Hardning


April 30th, 2013

Omaha, NE — Fantastic Flute Fireworks are coming to a stage near you.


The final performance in UNO’s “Petite Musique” concert series is Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 pm. Maria Harding, principal flutist with the Omaha Symphony, will be joined by the Symphony’s pianist, Christi Zuniga. The recital will open with Martin’s “Ballade,” which Harding says reflects more than one meaning of the word, “ballad.”

“The middle section has actually kind of a dance quality to it, and a lot of interplay with the piano, kind of supporting the idea of a dance, that there’s a real partnership there.”

petite harding flute 043013The next work on the concert is Lowell Liebermann’s “Flute Sonata.” Liebermann is a living composer whose music is quite popular. Harding points out that Liebermann’s music is often less cerebral than his contemporaries.

“The chords that he builds or the melodies that he draws out are ones that just resonate with us on an instinctive level. I think the way he writes phrases, the rhythms are not unlike speech patterns.”

Harding and Zuniga with then play two of Dvorak’s four “Romantic Pieces,” originally for violin, followed by Ian Clark’s “Orange Dawn.” Clark is a flute player whose knowledge of flute technique allows him to find new ways to creatively express ideas.

“The alternative fingerings (are) used liberally to kind of give it that “otherworldly” that’s exactly the quality that it has.”

The final work on this recital is the third movement from the “Flute Sonata” by Thomas Briccetti, former music director of the Omaha Symphony. Harding says this work is fantastic way to end the concert.

“It’s a huge work, it’s pretty heavy, kind of contrary to the lightness of the instrument. It tries to be big and Brahms and pretty long piece, too.”

Maria Harding and Christi Zuniga perform on UNO’s final “Petite Musique” recital of the season this Thursday, May 2 at 7 pm. Harding and Zuniga will also hold a masterclass today at 5 pm. Both are at UNO’s Strauss Performing Arts Center, and more information is available at

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