February 19, 2014 § Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Russia’s oldest symphonic ensemble returns to Sarasota for a soul-stirring performance under the baton of Nikolai Alexeev, with an appearance by the young pianist phenomenon Denis Kozhukhin.
(Sarasota, Florida) The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) continues its 2014 season with Russia’s historic St. Petersburg Philharmonic conducted by Nikolai Alexeev, with guest pianist Denis Kozhukhin, on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 8 p.m. The concert, part of SCA’s “Great Performers Series,” will feature works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Giya Kancheli, and will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s iconic “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23.” The concert is at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. Individual tickets are $45, $55, $65, and $75. Tickets and information for the Great Performers Series are available by calling 941-955-0040 or visiting www.scasarasota.org. To purchase tickets online, visit www.scasarasota.org.
Few orchestras in the world possess the acclaim held by the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra is Russia’s oldest symphonic ensemble and a beacon of the country’s passion for art and music. It was with this orchestra that Tchaikovsky chose to premiere his “Symphony No. 6” (“Pathetique”). Formed in 1882, the orchestra has been conducted by such luminaries as Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter, and Hans Knappertsbusch. From 1938 to 1988, the orchestra was led by the dynamic Russian conductor Yvegeny Mravinsky. Under Mravinsky, the orchestra, then known as the Leningrad Philharmonic, built up a legendary reputation—in particular for its interpretations of Russian composers Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. The orchestra regained its current name in 1991 after its home city returned to its original name of Saint Petersburg. Under the directorship of Yuri Temirkanov, it continues to be an internationally renowned symphony orchestra. This Sarasota performance will feature works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Giya Kancheli, and will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s iconic “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23.”
Nikolai Alexeev has been the conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2000. Alexeev’s international conducting career was launched in 1982 when he won the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin, while still a student. Since then, he has headed the Zagreb Philharmonic and Estonian National Symphony orchestras, and has conducted such acclaimed ensembles as the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Berlin and the Baltimore Symphony orchestras, and the New Japan Philharmonic. He is also a guest conductor for the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra of Holland.
The dashing young pianist Denis Kozhukhin was launched onto the international scene after winning first prize at the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at age 23. Since then, he has quickly established a strong reputation as a phenomenal technician, but also as “an expressive musician whose playing is commanding and convincing, with a touch that knows all the facets of eloquent language, from gentle caressing strokes to steely-fingered, controlled articulation.” (Ostsee Zeitung, August 2013). Born in Russia in 1986 into a family of musicians, Kozhukhin began his piano studies at age four and was later a pupil at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid, where he received his diploma personally from the Queen of Spain. Since his triumph in 2010, Kozhukhin has appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting this legendary orchestra,” says Joy McIntyre, president of the board of the Sarasota Concert Association. “These inspired artists represent the past, present and future of Russia’s rich and influential musical heritage.”
The 2014 Great Performers Series season concludes with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, with piano soloist Olga Kern, on March 3. The symphony, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists. Slatkin, who was named “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the symphony’s 12th music director during its 2008-09 season.
All Great Performers Series concerts are at 8 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Tickets for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are $45, $55, $65 and $75 and are available online at www.scasarasota.org.
The SCA also presents “Munchtime Musicales,” a series of free concerts featuring performances by high-caliber, area-based artists. The series is designed to offer a wide variety of musical genres, including classical, folk, and jazz, featuring both vocal and instrumental performers. The 2014 concert season continues with Lee Dougherty Ross and Joseph Holt in “Piano Duets” (February 19, 2014); Sarasota Opera Studio Artists (March 19, 2014); and the Gloria Musicae Singers (April 16, 2014). All performances are at noon at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Seating is open; no reservations taken. For more information about Munchtime Musicales, call 941-351-7467 or visit www.scasarasota.org.
About the Sarasota Concert Association
The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) exists to foster the development of an appreciation for the musical arts by sponsoring professional presentations that are not otherwise available in the community, through a not-for-profit, organized-audience plan. SCA aims to set reasonable fees for all performances. The organization is not designed to make a profit but does intend to be self-supporting. It provides outreach to all members of the regional community by offering a series of free concerts, Munchtime Musicales, held every year. For more information about SCA, visit www.scasarasota.org.