Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony
Concert part of the BSO's conversational Off the Cuff series
Baltimore, Md. (January 11, 2011) - Music director Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony to be performed on Friday, January 21 at 8:15 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, January 22 at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as part of the BSO's Off the Cuff series. Alsop walks the audience through a time of political unrest in 1930's Russia that ultimately influenced Dmitri Shostakovich's epic Symphony No. 5. In this program, the Fifth symphony, allegedly subtitled, "the creative reply of a Soviet artist to justified criticism," vividly portrays Shostakovich's triumph over adversity. The BSO's Off the Cuff series offers a fresh take on classical music by exploring the lives of the composers, making the performances fun and engaging for music enthusiasts of any level. Please see below for complete program details.
Dmitri Shostakovich his fifth symphony at a time when he feared for his life. For the majority of his career, Shostakovich worked to balance his brilliant artistic ability and the regulatory dimensions imposed on him by the reign of Joseph Stalin. Millions of Soviet citizens, including many Soviet artists, lost their lives between 1934 and 1938 in a time known as the Stalinist purges. After the vehement disapproval Stalin conveyed for Shostakovich's 1934 daring new opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Shostakovich was convinced that he was doomed the Soviet fate. In place of death however, the composer existed as an outcast in society until 1937 when he was given the opportunity to redeem himself. Shostakovich wrote a piece unlike any of his previously composed, a suitably exultant symphony for Leningrad's celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The new work is consonant and tonal, and more melodic and pleasing in its instrumental sonorities than many of his previous works. Symphony No. 5 vibrantly expresses fierce drama in the first movement, followed by biting sarcasm in its second, an emotionally wrenching sorrow in its third and a complex "triumph" in its finale.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world's leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emerita at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002?2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.
In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award; in 2008, she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and in 2009, Musical America named her "Conductor of the Year".
A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvorák.
Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO Off the Cuff Concert: Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony
Friday, January 21, 2011 at 8:15 p.m. - The Music Center at Strathmore
Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Marin Alsop, conductor
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
Tickets range from $28 to $88. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.