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September 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm
The Akron Symphony Orchestra will journey into the heart of the Russian repertoire, culminating with guest conductor Benjamin Zander leading the Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's masterful Fourth Symphony.
Did You Know?
Glinka’s overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila is the composer’s most widely known creation. The music has an “Eastern” flavor, enhanced by borrowings from folk music with allusions to Viennese dance music. (Source: The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music)
Sergei Prokofiev was the last great composer to grow up in tsarist Russia and one of the first artists to leave the Soviet Union after the Communist revolution. He eventually returned as he found his homeland more in tune with his style and was filled with artists who shared a similar view of the world. (Source: The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music)
It was not until his fourth symphony that composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky discovered the key to both melodic inspiration and mastery of form, allowing him to discover his voice as a symphonic composer. (Source: The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music)
Benjamin Zander, guest conductor
Music was Benjamin Zander’s life at a very early age. When Benjamin was nine he was already composing and by 12 he was studying under Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst. He left home at the age of 15 to study for five years with the great Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassado in Florence and at the State Academy in Cologne. After completing his degree at London University, he went to the United States on a Harkness Fellowship and has made his home in Boston ever since.
There, as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic since its formation in 1978, and a guest conductor of numerous orchestras, he has become the center of an intense following of some of the most well-informed musical intellectuals in America. For nearly 30 years, beginning with Michael Steinberg’s passionate advocacy on his behalf in the pages of The Boston Globe, critics and public have been united in their praise of Benjamin’s interpretations of the central repertory.
For 45 years he was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, where his class on interpretation attracted students from all over the world, and he travels extensively giving masterclasses, conducting guest performances, and touring with his own recently formed Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
He has established an international reputation as a guest conductor and has conducted the Israel Philharmonic for three consecutive years, and conducted orchestras as diverse as the Bournemouth Symphony, the Scottish and Irish National Orchestras, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Malaysian Symphony, the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with the National Youth Orchestras of New Zealand, Australia and Venezuela.
Alexander Korsantia, piano
Pianist Alexander Korsantia has won great critical acclaim for his versatility, power and the unique sincerity of his playing. He can be heard performing in many of the world’s foremost concert halls collaborating with renowned artists such as Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Paavo Jarvi, Gianandrea Noseda, Yuri Bashmet, Yuri Temirkanov, Vadim Repin, the Jerusalem Quartet and Sakari Oramo, among others.
Alexander has performed as soloist with orchestras throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Recent engagements have included a televised performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg; performances at the Stresa Festival in Italy under the baton of Yuri Bashmet; in the Newport, Tanglewood, Vancouver, Gilmore festivals; with the symphony orchestras of Louisville, Brazil, Bogota, Jerusalem and the City of Birmingham, the Georgian State Orchestra, the Kirov Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and others. He has also participated in a United States recital tour with renowned violinist Vadim Repin.
Alexander Korsantia has been praised for the “clarity of his technique, richly varied tone and dynamic phrasing.”
In the current and coming seasons Alexander performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major with the Boston Philharmonic, Akron Symphony and Xiamen Philharmonic, Rachmaninoff’s Third with Israel Symphony, Prokofiev’s Second with Stuttgart Philharmoniker and Telavi Festival in Georgia, Beethoven’s Fourth with Israel Philharmonic, Chopin’s Second with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Ingolstadt Chamber Orchestra. With The Far Cry chamber group he is going to perform Galina Ustvolskaya’s Piano Concerto in Boston and Tbilisi, Georgia.
In addition, he plays recitals at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Washington D.C., the Walnut Hill School, Greenfield Village (Michigan), Blaibach, Germany, Lodz (Poland), Jordan Hall in Boston, Cincinnati Conservatory, Shanghai Concert Hall, Chengdu Conservatory Hall as well as extensive recital tour in Israel and Georgia.