Meadows at the Meyerson Concert, March 10

Event to honor philanthropist, arts advocate and alumna Emily Rich Summers

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 27th annual “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. in Dallas. The event will feature works focused on stories and legends by Sibelius and Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips. The event supports talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program.

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The annual spring concert also honors a community leader. This year, the honoree is noted designer, arts advocate and alumna Emily Rich Summers. The honorary chairs are Craig and Kathryn Hall, and the event chairs are Nita Prothro Clark and Suzanne Perot McGee. SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Algur H. Meadows Dean Sam Holland will provide remarks at the event.

The concert opens with a nine-minute work by Jean Sibelius, The Swan of Tuonela, one of four tone poems by the composer based on Finnish mythology. The beautiful, moody music evokes Tuonela, the land of death, where a mystical swan floats majestically on the river, singing, then fading into the distance.

The MSO then performs what is considered Rimsky-Korsakov’s most famous work, Scheherazade, based on tales of The Arabian Nights. The four movements evoke the sea and Sinbad the sailor; the fantastic narrative of the Prince Kalandar, a wandering mystic; the love story of a prince and a princess; and a Baghdad festival and shipwreck. The composer wrote, “All I had desired was that the hearer…should carry away the impression that it is beyond doubt an oriental narrative of some numerous and varied fairy-tale wonders and not merely four pieces played one after the other.” Enduringly popular with both audiences and critics, the work has been called “an exhilarating journey of love, intrigue and adventure” and “one of the most colorful, evocative and descriptive scores in all classical music.” (Classic FM)

“Meadows at the Meyerson is the highlight of our performance season in the community,” said Samuel Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School. “We are proud to share the talents of the incomparable Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Paul Phillips. We are grateful for the support this concert provides for the Meadows Scholars Program, and we see its impact every day in rising academics, artistry and diversity. It is a particular joy to recognize our alumna, the internationally celebrated designer Emily Summers.”

Event honoree Emily Rich Summers is the principal and owner of a nationally recognized residential and commercial interior design and interior architecture firm, Emily Summers Design Associates. She earned a B.F.A. in fine art at SMU in 1966 and continued graduate coursework at Meadows in art history from 1975 to 1980. Summers began her career in interior design in 1979. Today her firm is well known for its integration of interior design, interior architecture and art consultation.

From 2007 to 2017, Summers was listed in Architectural Digest’s AD100 directory of the world’s top 100 designers and architects. She is a founding member and past president of the Dallas Architectural Forum and has 40 years of involvement with the Dallas Museum of Art. She currently sits on the board of the Trinity Park Conservancy and is a lifetime member of the UT-Austin School of Architecture Advisory Council. President George W. Bush appointed Summers to the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation from 2002 to 2006. As a member of the Meadows School executive board, she is consulting on the current renovation of the Owen Arts Center. In 2015, Summers’ son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Elisa Summers, established The Emily Rich Summers Endowed Professorship of Art History in her name. The professorship is currently held by department chair and Guggenheim fellow Adam Herring, Ph.D.

The Meadows Scholars Program: Bringing the best and brightest to Dallas

The annual Meadows at the Meyerson concert provides important funding for the Meadows Scholars Program, inaugurated in 2008 to recruit the brightest and most talented students nationwide to the Meadows School of the Arts. It is targeted to applicants who are accepted to Meadows and who meet both stringent academic and artistic/leadership criteria. While such high achievers often receive SMU academic scholarship awards, many of them are still unable to afford full tuition. The Meadows Scholars Program offers an additional annual scholarship, plus an exploration grant that can be used any time during their years at Meadows for a creative project, providing a significant incentive for them to choose SMU and Dallas. Now in its twelfth year, the program has supported the academic careers of more than 200 students.

Ticket and sponsorship information

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. A $10 discount is available for Meadows subscribers. For tickets, contact the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787.

Patron and corporate sponsorships with special benefits and premium seating packages are available from $2,500 to $15,000.  In addition, Meadows recognizes those who either permanently endow a Meadows Scholar at $150,000 or who make a $30,000 commitment to fund a scholarship over four years. For more information, call the Meadows Development Office at 214-768-4189, email, or visit