SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Symphony, under the direction of Gerard Schwarz, will explore the marvel and mystery of four of Mother Russia’s most important musical sons, in a concert featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff’s popular “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.”
Russian pianist Lukas Geniusas – most recent Gold Medal Winner of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition – joins the Utah Symphony in this performance of the lush “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” which is considered one of Rachmaninoff’s greatest compositions, Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall. The program will also include works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Alexander Borodin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Dmitri Shostakovich tackles the turbulent time of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in his dramatic piece “October.” Originally written in honor of the 10th anniversary of the revolution, Shostakovich explores the somber and stormy chaos of the uprising. His stylistic experiments capture the looming uncertainty of Russia’s political future.
Alexander Borodin was a chemistry professor in St. Petersburg but found that his true passion lay in music. He was one of the Russian Five, a group of composers who were dedicated to creating compositions with a unique nationalistic sound. He spent several years writing his noble Symphony No. 2, a reflection of the heroic nature of the Russian people. Many may recognize the themes from several of Borodin’s masterpieces as they were used in the musical Kismet.
Fairytales spring to life in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s telling of “The Tale of Tsar Saltan”, based on the poem by Alexander Pushkin. This musical journey through Rimsky-Korsakov’s imagination was originally written as an opera and later adapted for orchestra. The wonders and sweet surprises create a world of melodic fantasy and highlight the heritage of Russian folklore.
Schwarz and Toby Tolokan, Utah Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning, will present a free pre-concert chat each night, one hour prior to the start of the performance on the orchestra level of Abravanel Hall.
Single tickets for the performances range from $18 to $67 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office (123 W. South Temple) or by visiting www.utahsymphony.org. Discounted student tickets will be available on the date of the performance. Season ticket holders and those desiring group discounts should call (801) 533-NOTE (6683). All ticket prices are subject to change and availability. Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.
Gerard Schwarz, Conductor
Internationally recognized for his moving performances, innovative programming and extensive catalogue of recordings, American conductor Gerard Schwarz serves as Music Director of the All Star Orchestra, Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and Jack Benaroya Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony.
His considerable discography of nearly 350 showcases his collaborations with some of the world’s greatest orchestras including Philadelphia Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, London Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Tokyo Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony and Seattle Symphony among others.
Schwarz began his professional career as co-principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic and has held leadership positions with Mostly Mozart Festival, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony. As a guest conductor in both opera and symphonic repertoire, he has worked with many of the world’s finest orchestras and opera companies.
Schwarz, a renowned interpreter of 19th Century German, Austrian and Russian repertoire, in addition to his noted work with contemporary American composers, recently completed his final season as music director of the Seattle Symphony in 2011 after an acclaimed 26 years a period of dramatic artistic growth for the ensemble.
In his nearly five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades including Emmy Awards, Grammy nominations, ASCAP Awards, and the Ditson Conductor’s Award. He was the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America and has received numerous honorary doctorates. Most recently, the City of Seattle and named the street alongside the Benaroya Hall “Gerard Schwarz Place.”
Lukas Geniusas, Piano
Lukas Geniusas was born July 1st 1990 in Moscow. He started piano studies at 5 at the preparatory department of F. Chopin Music College in Moscow, a school he went on to graduate with top honors in 2008.
Being born into a family of musicians played a major role in Lukas's swift musical development at an early age. His grandmother, Vera Gornostaeva, a prominent teacher and a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, became his first mentor.
Lukas has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Symphonies of Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany, BBC Scottish Symphony, Kremerata Baltica, Katowice Radio, Warsaw Philharmonic and collaborated with an outstanding musicians of nowadays such as Gidon Kremer, Andrey Boreyko, Saulius Sondeckis, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Antoni Wit, Roman Kofman, Dmitry Liss and others. Lukas has travelled to France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Japan, South Korea, USA, Germany and has performed in such a prominent events as Duszniki Zdroj, Rheingau, Ruhr and Lockenhaus Music Festivals. Season 2012-13 will bring Lukas for a tour around Denmark, a debut recital in Milan's Sala Verdi and a return concert's with Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City.
October, op. 131
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43
Lukas Geniusas, Piano
Symphony No. 2 in B Minor
II. Scherzo: Prestissimo
IV. Finale: Allegro
Suite from The Tale of Tsar Saltan, op. 57a
I. Allegretto alla marcia
III. The Three Wonders