The talents of eight young soloists will astound as the National Repertory Orchestra presents a performance titled “Classical Symphony plus Mozart,” led by NRO assistant conductor Andres Lopera. The concert will take place at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center on Wednesday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m.
The program will feature Serge Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 “Classical Symphony,” Opus 25. Prokofiev described this masterpiece by saying it is “a symphony in the style of Hayden. … I gave it the name ‘Symphonie Classique,’ firstly because it was so simple … and in the secret desire to win in the end, if the symphony should prove itself to be a genuine classic.” Prokofiev wanted to test himself, just to make sure he grasped the basics of symphonic composition, before going off in his own direction, which he eventually did. The end result is a symphony with a jovial and carefree mood reflecting the Russian countryside.
Mozart and Ravel
Also taking the forefront in this concert is Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C minor No. 24, featuring the talent of NRO pianist Yu (Dean) Zhang. Mozart completed this concerto in just one season, further emanating his prodigal status, and it is considered to be one of his greatest masterpieces. Beethoven took particular inspiration for his own music from this concerto, and in a conversation with Johann Baptist Cramer, Beethoven reportedly remarked that “we shall never be able to do anything like that.”
An emerging young performer, Zhang appears as a recitalist, chamber musician and soloist throughout the United States and China. He completed his bachelor and master of music degrees at the University of Wyoming and is a doctoral candidate at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He will join the New World Symphony in the fall of 2014 as a keyboard fellow.
Opening the concert is Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” which does not actually refer to any particular princess. Ravel said, “Do not be surprised; that title has nothing to do with the composition. I simply liked the sound of those words and I put them there, c’est tout (that’s all).” Regardless of the title, the “Pavane” is slow, beautiful and dance-like and is sure to delight the listener.
The second half begins with a very special performance. It is special because it will feature seven of the NRO’s very accomplished wind players in a performance of Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds and Orchestra. Audience members will hear solos from oboist Lauren Williams, clarinetist Robert Walker, horn player David Raschella, trumpet player Dominic Favia, trombonist Joseph Hudson, bassoonist David Young and flutist Lauren Osaka.
Williams is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at The Julliard School and has performed as a member of the AXIOM ensemble (Juilliard) at the Helsinki Festival in Finland. Walker is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he obtained both a master’s degree and graduate certificate in clarinet performance. Raschella is in the process of completing his Master of Music degree at The Julliard School and is a substitute with the New World Symphony.
Favia is in his third year of the bachelor’s program at the Cleveland Institute of Music and has performed on the NPR radio show “From the Top” and soloed with the United States Navy Band. Hudson has performed with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music. Young is currently pursuing a Master of Music at the University of Maryland and is a member of District5, the university’s graduate fellowship wind quintet. Osaka currently serves as second flute/piccolo of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra.
Tickets may be purchased at the Riverwalk Center Box Office, 150 W. Adams, Breckenridge, by calling (970) 547-3100 or by going to www.nromusic.com. The Breckenridge Welcome Center, open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., is also selling tickets. Visit the center at 203 S. Main St., or call (877) 864-0868.
For more information about the NRO, visit www.nromusic.com.
Michelle Lewandowski is the marketing and public relations intern for the National Repertory Orchestra.