Jackson, Michigan

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Romantic Spectacular - Second Subscription Concert

JSO’s 2nd season concert to be “emotionally charged”

Music written by two of the world’s most celebrated composers will be showcased Nov. 12 at the Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s second concert of the 2011-2012 season. On the program are Johannes Brahms’ majestic Piano Concerto #2 and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s romantic Fifth Symphony. Both works are passionate and emotional, which is why audiences find them to be so memorable.

The concert, titled Romantic Spectacular, will feature guest artist Arthur Greene, an award-winning pianist and educator, who has performed with the JSO on three earlier occasions. Greene, who studied at Juilliard, has performed with symphony orchestras in Philadelphia, San Francisco, the Czech Republic, Tokyo and the Ukraine, to name just a few. He has played recitals in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Moscow Rachmaninoff Hall, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Lisbon Sao Paulo Opera House, Hong Kong City Hall and concert houses in Shanghai and Beijing. (For more details, see biography below.)

The program starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Potter Center Music Hall on the Jackson Community College campus, 2111 Emmons Road and is sponsored by Spring Arbor University.

Brahms, who was German, and Tchaikovsky, a Russian, were contemporaries during the musical era of “Romanticism.” Brahms wrote the demanding piano concerto between 1878 and 1881 and performed it himself at the premiere in Budapest in 1881. Tchaikovsky was the conductor for his complex symphony when it premiered in St. Peterburg in 1888.

“This Brahms’ concerto is an amazing combination of a monumental structure, like a European cathedral, and Brahmsian warm, personal one-on-one intimacy,” Greene said. “Nothing is more romantic than the cello solo at the beginning of the slow movement — too bad the pianist doesn't get it! It is one of the most difficult piano concertos, but the difficulties are not the essence. The last movement is full of sunshine and Viennese charm. It is my favorite piano concerto.”

JSO Music Director Stephen Osmond has equal praise for the Fifth.

“The Tchaikovsky has more emotional swings than any piece I know,” Osmond said. “The intensity of each movement is exhausting as a listener as well as a performer. As Tchaikovsky states in the following quote, there really are no words to describe what his music expresses so clearly.”

I should not wish symphonic works to come from my pen which express nothing, and which consist of empty playing with chords,rhythms and modulations … ought not a symphony – that is, the most lyrical of all musical forms – express everything for which there are no words, but which the soul wishes to express, and which requires to be expressed? — P. Tchaikovsky

Individual tickets to this second concert of the season are $18, $27 or $32, depending on seating. If you missed the first concert in October, but still want season tickets, the JSO is offering a subscription to the remaining four concerts at a discount. “Mini-series” subscription packages, which include concert tickets and several “perks,” are available for $55 (section C), $85 (section B) and $100 (section A). Buyers will receive many of the same extra benefits as full-season subscribers, including the JSO meal/entertainment card, which offers two-for-the-price-of-one discounts at area restaurants.

Ticket holders are invited to attend the complimentary and highly acclaimed pre-concert lecture series hosted by Dr. Bruce Brown, JSO’s Composer-in-Residence. Called Backstage Glimpses, the lectures take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Federer Rooms off the main floor lobby in the Potter Center. BSG is sponsored by Allegiance Health.

To order tickets, call 782-3221, ext. 118; visit www.jacksonsymphony.org; or stop by the orchestra’s downtown office at 215 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson.

NOTE: The Jackson Symphony Orchestra is a community resource providing performances of the classics and popular music, a community music school with private and group instruction and numerous educational programs for students of all ages. The organization owns a 30,000-square-foot facility in the heart of downtown Jackson which not only serves as an administrative, rehearsal, and recital performance space for the orchestra but also is home to the Jackson Youth Symphony, the Jackson Chorale and Children's Choir, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and JSO Community String Ensemble. The orchestra primarily performs at the world-class Music Hall of the Jackson Community College Potter Center and other venues in town including several churches, the County Fairgrounds and Michigan Theatre.

Arthur Greene, an award-winning pianist and educator, is chair of the Music Department at the University of Michigan. He was a Gold Medal winner in the William Kapell and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions, and a top laureate at the Busoni International Competition. He performed the complete solo piano works of Johannes Brahms in a series of six programs in Boston, and recorded the Complete Etudes of Alexander Scriabin for Supraphon. He has performed the 10 Sonata Cycle of Alexander Scriabin in Sofia, Kiev, Salt Lake City, and other venues. With his wife, the violinist Solomia Soroka, he recorded the Violin-Piano Sonatas of William Bolcom, and the Violin-Piano Sonatas of Nikolai Roslavets, both for Naxos. He gave the Ann Arbor premiere of John Corigliano's Piano Concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Kiesler conducting, in February 2006.

Greene, who studied at Juilliard, has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, Utah and National Symphonies, the Czech National Symphony, the Tokyo Symphony, the National Symphony of Ukraine. He has played recitals in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Moscow Rachmaninoff Hall, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Lisbon Sao Paulo Opera House, Hong Kong City Hall and concert houses in Shanghai and Beijing. He has toured Japan 12 times. He also was an Artistic Ambassador to Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia for the United States Information Agency.

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