Young Russian Conductor Vasily Petrenko Leads Russian Masters Program, January 29-31
Piano virtuoso Stephen Hough will perform Tchaikovksy’s Piano Concerto No. 1
Baltimore, Md. (December 23, 2008) — Vasily Petrenko leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Piotr Illych Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring British pianist Stephen Hough on Thursday, January 29 and Saturday, January 31 at 8:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Friday, January 30 at 8:00 p.m. at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. Anatoly Kiadov’s tone poem Kikimora and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor round out this Russian Masters program. See below for complete program information.
One of the most popular concerti for the instrument, Tchaikovsky’s sweeping First Piano Concerto typifies Russian, Romantic-era expressionism. The inventive orchestral writing meets one of the great virtuoso piano parts of the repertoire, ideal for spotlighting international phenomenon, British pianist Stephan Hough. Mr. Hough’s exquisite technique and lauded style have earned him several prestigious awards, including the esteemed MacArthur Fellowship in 2001.
Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony is the second in his “War Trilogy,” so named because Symphonies 7, 8 and 9 were composed during the grim height of World War II (1941-1945). In contrast to the heroic nationalism depicted in Symphony No. 7, Shostakovich’s Eighth offers a complex depiction of the violence and banality of wartime heroics and the terrible human toll they exacted. The finale concludes with a wistful dream of future peace, led by the English horn’s poignant elegy for the dead.
The slow first section of Liadov’s tone poem describes the mystical antics of the “Kikimora,” who, according to Russian lore, are female demons or poltergeists who haunt the homes of Russian peasants and city-dwellers alike. The first, slower section provides a musical journey through the magical childhood of Kikimora, while the faster scherzo section portrays their unceasing malicious activity.
Vasily Petrenko, conductor
Vasily Petrenko is the principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. During the last few years, Mr. Petrenko has had considerable success in a number of international conducting competitions including the Fourth Prokofiev Conducting Competition in St Petersburg (2003), First Prize in the Shostakovich Choral Conducting Competition in St Petersburg (1997) and First Prize in the Sixth Cadaques International Conducting Competition in Spain.
Mr. Petrenko is equally at home in symphonic and operatic repertoire. On the symphonic front, he has previously worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Swedish Radio, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and NDR Hanover. Return engagements included working with BBC Wales, Cadaques and Castille y Leon Orchestras in Spain. In the 2008-2009 season, he conducts a BBC Prom with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Union Youth Orchestra and debuts with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Budapest Festival Orchestras.
Operatically, he has worked in recent seasons with the Reisopera in The Netherlands on three productions (Le Villi together with Messa da Gloria, I due Foscari and Boris Godounov) and will be conducting the Opera de Bastille in the 2010-2011 season in Eugene Onegin.
Stephen Hough, piano
Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of his generation. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, joining prominent scientists, writers and others who have made unique contributions to contemporary life. He is also the 2008 winner of Northwestern University School of Music’s Jean Gimbel Lane prize in Piano Performance.
Mr. Hough has appeared with most of the major American and European orchestras and plays recitals regularly in the major halls and concert series around the world. Recent engagements include performances with the New York, Los Angeles and London Philharmonics, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, London Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic in a worldwide televised performance with Sir Simon Rattle and a United States tour with the Russian National Orchestra, led by Vladimir Jurowski.
An exclusive Hyperion recording artist, many of Mr. Hough’s catalogue of more than 40 CDs have garnered international prizes, including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’or, Monde de la musique, multiple awards from Gramophone Magazine and several Grammy nominations. His 2005 live recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos with the Dallas Symphony and Andrew Litton became the fastest selling recording in Hyperion’s history, while his 1987 recording of Hummel concertos is Chandos’ best-selling disc to date. At the Classic FM Gramophone Awards in September 2008, his recording of the complete works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns received the Golden Disc award for being voted the most popular recording of the past 30 years.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Classical Concert Series: Tchakovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1
Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Friday, January 30, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Chesapeake College/Wye Mills Campus, Todd Performing Arts Center
Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —JMSH
Vasily Petrenko, conductor †
Stephen Hough, piano
Liadov: Kikimora ‡
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8
† Denotes a BSO artist debut
‡ Denotes a BSO premiere
Tickets for concerts in Baltimore range from $20 to $68, and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444 or 410.783.8000 or www.BSOmusic.org.
For tickets to the concert at Chesapeake College, call 410-827-5867 or visit www.chesapeake.edu/generalinfo/pac/pac_tickets.asp.