Know Your Symphony – 53rd Annual Series of Lecture and Discussion Sessions

Since 1964

The RSO League and Penn State Continuing Education have organized ‘Know Your Symphony,’ a series of engaging, entertaining and educational lectures focusing on the upcoming concerts of the Reading Symphony Orchestra. For countless numbers of people over the past 53 years, these lectures have shed light on some of the ’mysteries’ of classical music. Guest speakers bring their own insights and expertise to the works to be played by the RSO that week. Often these speakers will be members of the RSO, well-known local personalities or even the Orchestra’s Music Director, Andrew Constantine. Indeed, debunking of myths surrounding classical music is one of the Music Director’s passions. While holding firm to the belief that great music has the power to move us in ways we sometimes can’t understand, our aim in these lectures is to demonstrate that great art comes from great people often living very ordinary lives. And also that, as the RSO goes from strength to strength along the path to its 104th year, the performances given and the music played have as great a power as ever to strike a chord.

Purpose of Lectures

The purpose of these lectures is to highlight the themes that should be listened for at the concert and provide information about some of the events surrounding the composition of the music and the life of its composer.

Location, Date & Time of Lectures

These lectures will be held at The Highlands, 2000 Cambridge Avenue, Wyomissing, PA, beginning at 7:30pm on the Wednesday night preceding each RSO Classical concert (Saturday night). We thank The Highlands for its hospitality and all of our speakers for their presentations. The date and lecturer for each lecture are given below.

Parking for Lectures

Upon entering The Highlands property, follow the EVENT PARKING signs to the designated parking area.


The fee for the entire series of lectures is $25.00. For individual lectures, the fee is $5.00 per lecture.

Scheduled Lectures

September 18, 2019
Andrew Constantine, Music Director
Reading Symphony Orchestra

October 23, 2019

Dr. Johannes Dietrich, Professor of Music
Lebanon Valley College

December 4, 2019

Daniel Brye, Violist
Reading Symphony Orchestra

January 22, 2020
Dr. Daniel Immel, Professor of Music Literature
Kutztown University

March 4, 2020
David S. Gross, Executive Director
Reading Symphony Orchestra

April 29, 2020
Dr. Graham Bier, Music Director
Reading Choral Society


Each Classics Concert features the RSOvertures, a pre-concert candid discussion led by RSO Assistant Principal Cellist, Peter Brye. A very influential leader of the RSO, Mr. Brye is also the Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra Music Director Emeritus, founding and leading the RSYO for 27 years.

For each of the RSOvertures of the season, Mr. Brye will discuss various aspects pertaining to the evening’s performance, such as methods, compositions, preparation, composer, etc. The RSOvertures is free to all attending the concert, and is held on the stage of the concert hall, from 6:45pm-7:15pm, with the concert beginning at 7:30pm.


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