Director of Public Relations
For Immediate ReleaseBEETHOVEN, BARBER AND RACHMANINOFF—ALL ON ONE MAGNIFICENT PACIFIC SYMPHONY PROGRAM FEATURING GUEST CONDUCTOR MICHAEL STERN AND CROATIAN PIANO SENSATION, DEJAN LAZIC
| Dejan Lazic |
Orange County, Calif.—April 19, 2010—Music by three of the most famous and well-loved composers—Rachmaninoff, Barber and Beethoven—becomes the centerpoint for a night of exquisite music performed by Pacific Symphony. Taking place on Thursday-Saturday, May 13-15, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the concert is led by guest conductor Michael Stern, music director of the Kansas City Symphony, and features the young, talented Croatian pianist—Dejan Lazic—whose recent performance The New York Times hailed as “full of poetic, shapely phDejan Lazic to rasing and vivid dynamic effects that made this music sound fresh, spontaneous and impassioned.” Lazic performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, a work that reveals its revolutionary nature from the very first chords. Also on the program is Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances,” a piece that displays warmth, passion, color and majesty, and which contrasts boldly with Barber’s “Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance.” Written as a ballet score for Martha Graham, Barber’s grim depiction of a mythogical crime nonetheless contains an overriding lyricism. Tickets are $25-$105; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.pacificsymphony.org
“Rachmaninoff was especially known for his piano virtuosity, and I have of course conducted all of his works for piano and orchestra, including the less often performed piano concerti,” says Maestro Stern. “And in fact, I have conducted his lesser-known Third Symphony more often than I have his most popular Second Symphony. But the ‘Symphonic Dances’ is one of his tightest and best pieces, and I love performing it.”
Stern adds: “I think Barber was a great composer, and a most important figure in our musical history... He wrote a lot of beautifully crafted music for orchestra.”
The third composer on the program, the iconic Beethoven, wrote his Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major in 1805-06 and it was performed in a private concert in Vienna before the public premiere at the Theater an der Wien on Dec. 22, 1808. A review in the May 1809 edition of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung stated: “[This concerto] is the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever.” However, after its first performance, the piece was neglected until 1836, when it was revived by Felix Mendelssohn. Today, the work is widely performed and recorded, and is considered to be one of the central works of the piano concerto literature.
The G major Concerto was the last such work Beethoven composed for his own use. The public premiere was part of the famous concert in which he made his last appearance as soloist with an orchestra, both in this concerto and in the newly composed Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra.
Pianist Lazić was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied at the Mozarteum. He is quickly establishing a reputation worldwide as “a brilliant pianist and a gifted musician full of ideas and able to project them persuasively”—Gramophone. After a highly successful Edinburgh Festival recital, The Scotsman wrote: “Dejan Lazic shines like a new star.” As recitalist and soloist with orchestra, Lazić has appeared at major venues in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia and has been invited to numerous international festivals. Alongside his solo career, Lazić is also a passionate chamber musician and a composer, whose works include various piano compositions, chamber music and orchestral works (including String Quartet op. 9, written for Mstislav Rostropovich’s 70th birthday gala).
Stern, son of acclaimed violinist Isaac Stern, marks not only his fifth year as music director of the Kansas City Symphony, but his second as principal guest conductor of Orchestre National de Lille, France. And he is founding artistic director and principal conductor of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tenn. Other positions include a tenure as the chief conductor of Germany’s Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (the first American chief conductor in the orchestra’s history) and as permanent guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon in France, a position which he held for five years. Stern has led numerous major orchestras throughout North America, Europe and Asia; he appears regularly at the Aspen Music Festival.
Pacific Symphony’s Classical Series performances are made possible by the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation, with additional support from the Symphony’s official airline, American Airlines; official hotel, The Westin South Coast Plaza; official classical music station, KUSC; and official television station, KOCE-TV. Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljić
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