symphony no. 2, in D, op. 59
Baber’s Second Symphony was written for the Chamber Music Celebration at Morehead State University in the summer of 1987. Baber had been on the faculty for the summer festival the previous summer, where a number of his chamber works were played. As a result, MSU commissioned a symphony for chamber orchestra to be played the following year.
The first performance was conducted by Manfred Blum both in 1987 and for the festival in 1988. He subsequently conducted the work as a guest conductor at the Hochschule in Cologne.
Since the Chamber Music Celebration was designed for professional orchestra players on summer break, the Symphony requires a high level of playing, but it is quite accessible for good student ensembles. It is scored for woodwinds, horns, and trumpets in pairs; strings; and one percussion player.