Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra concert highlights music of Mendelssohn |

Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra concert highlights music of Mendelssohn

Steve J. Sherman / Special to the Daily
Steve J. Sherman / Special to the Daily |

If you go

What: Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, with guest conductor Andrew Grams and guest pianist William Wolfram

When: 7:30-9:30 pm, Saturday, Aug. 8

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge

Cost: Tickets are $7 to $40, depending on seating

Program: “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage,” Op. 27, by Felix Mendelssohn; Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25, by Mendelssohn; Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, “Italian,” by Mendelssohn

More information: Call the Riverwalk box office at (970) 547-3100, or visit

Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra Series concert on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge showcases three distinctive compositions by Felix Mendelssohn, one of which highlights award-winning pianist William Wolfram. Under the baton of guest conductor Andrew Grams, the orchestra will bring the pieces to life.

Mendelssohn’s music carries the spirit of the Romantic Age, an era with a reputation for “lusty and gusty artistic expression,” in the words of one musicologist. But Mendelssohn’s output, as lyrical as the music of any Romantic composer, also reflects the clean lines and pure forms of composers such as Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, his predecessors from the Classical era — composers whom he greatly admired.

“Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” was scored in 1828 as a tone poem inspired by the verse of Goethe (Beethoven and Schubert also produced new scores on the same poems). Though Mendelssohn was just 19 at the time, he had already enjoyed major success two years earlier as an orchestral composer with his “Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

In March of 1830, then only 21 years old but already an internationally renowned musician, Mendelssohn set off on a 16-month “grand tour” of Europe. Inspired by his extended stays in Florence, Venice, Rome, Naples and Milan, Mendelssohn saved his most vivid impressions of Italy for translation into music. Most of them surfaced brilliantly in his Symphony No. 4, the “Italian” Symphony. The piece is one of his most popular compositions and has long been a staple of the symphonic concert hall.

Guest artist Wolfram will be featured on Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25. William was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg international piano competitions and a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. He has appeared with many of the greatest orchestras of the world and has developed a special reputation as the rare concerto soloist who is equally adept as a recitalist, accompanist and chamber musician.

Grams has steadily built a reputation for being one of classical music’s most promising young artists, leading orchestras throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony and the Houston Symphony. Grams’ inaugural season as music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra was 2013-14.

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