Composers Samuel Barber and Benjamin Britten share not only certain aesthetic predilections, but were both considered conservative and even reactionary by many of their contemporaries in the middle of the twentieth century. Their music is lyrical, dramatic, and romantic, and both composers had a great love of classical musical forms. Their harmonic language, whilst being modern, is often eclectic but still undeniably tonal. OFAM’s American Symphonia, under the direction of music director and conductor James Paul, will present a two-concert exploration of their music -- one night of works for chamber orchestra, and one night of chamber music. Both concerts will feature the vocal talents of soprano Maria Jette in songs by both composers as well as in a featured role on the first night as the soloist in Britten’s stunning Les Illuminations, a setting for voice and strings of poems by Arthur Rimbaud. Also featured will be oboist Tom O’Connor performing Samuel Barber’s final work, the Canzonetta for oboe and strings, a performance of Benjamin Britten’s early Suite for violin and piano by concertmaster Charles Rex, and contributions from other members of the American Symphonia.