Shostakovich – Festive Overture in A major
It was 1954, the 37th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia. Vassili Nebolsin, the conductor at the famed Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, found himself without a suitable new work to open the commemorative concert. Within days of the performance, he turned to Dmitri Shostakovich…
Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
Few pieces in the classical repertoire begin as dramatically as Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. And from beginning to end, this beloved piece is a virtuosic showstopper. Small wonder it remains one of the most popular pieces of classical music around the world.
Maurice Ravel – Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite
Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite began as single movement piano duet, called Sleeping Beauty’s Pavane, composed in 1908. Two years later, Ravel composed four more duets, and the combined work, titled Mother Goose, was performed in Paris shortly thereafter.
Richard Strauss – Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
Richard Strauss originally considered writing an opera based on the legend of Till Eulenspiegel, the Medieval prankster who shrewdly and gleefully exposes the corruption and hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie and the church. “I have already put together a very pretty scenario,” the composer wrote in a letter in 1894, “but the figure of Master Till does not quite appear before my eyes.”…
Joaquín Turina – La Procesión del Rocio, Op. 9
Although he began to study medicine to please his family, Joaquín Turina soon abandoned all study except music. He established a reputation in Seville as a pianist and composer while still in his early teens…
Carl Maria von Weber – Oberon: Overture
Growing up on the road with his father’s traveling theater company, Carl Maria von Weber had an unusual childhood by almost any measure. Still, by the age of 13, he had already written his first opera…
Samuel Barber – The School for Scandal: Overture
Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Barber began playing piano and cello at the age of six, and by nine he made up his mind to become a composer. He wrote his first opera at ten…
Lucas Galon – Circus Cycle: Biriba’s Circus
Lucas Eduardo da Silva Galon has emerged as one of Brazil’s most exciting young composers. A multi-instrumentalist and conductor, he is currently a professor of music…
Escalante-Macaya – Ineluctable… El Tiempo
Carlos Escalante Macaya studied music at the School of Musical Arts in the University of Costa Rica. While still an undergraduate, his Sonata for Violin and Piano won second place in a prestigious composition competition.
Dorman – Mandolin Concerto
Born in Israel in 1975, Avner Dorman brings a fresh, welcome voice to the concert hall. Mr. Dorman studied with composer John Corigliano at the Juilliard School, where he earned his doctorate in composition.