National Repertory Orchestra presents Russian masterworks in Breckenridge |

National Repertory Orchestra presents Russian masterworks in Breckenridge

Bailey Salinero
Special to the Daily
The National Repertory Orchestra, led by conductor Karina Canellakis (pictured), will present works by Russian composers on Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
Courtesy Getty Images | Hulton Archive


What: The NRO Presents Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky Symphony 5

Program: Sergei Rachmaninoff: “Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 18”; Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: “Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64”

When: Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.

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

Cost: $25-$40, $7/youth 18 & under

More Information: (970) 453-5825 or online at

On Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m., the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO), led by Conductor Karina Canellakis, will present works by two of the most prolific Russian composers, “Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2” and “Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5.”

Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff were friends, sharing a distinct style criticized by some for being overly sentimental and emotional. At the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky mentored the young Rachmaninoff, remarking, “For him, I predict a great future.” Rachmaninoff shared the same admiration, writing and dedicating a piano trio to Tchaikovsky after his death. With their shared dysfunction, the two men arguably wrote some of the most beautiful music ever conceived.

The first half of the program features Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor.” Written after a long bout with depression resulting from the failure of his first symphony, the 2nd Piano Concerto emerges as one of his greatest works.

Music imitates the heart in this piece. From turbulent outpourings of emotion to prayer-like meditations, he conveys a vast array of emotions, exploiting each to its fullest extent.

This performance will feature pianist Jason Simon, who is pursuing his Master of Music in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He made his orchestral debut at age 13 with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and has been awarded numerous honors including winning the IPFW Concerto Competition each year of his undergraduate degree.

The second half of Saturday’s program features Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5 in E minor.” This work came after the great success of his Violin Concerto, the “1812 Overturue” and “Serenade for Strings.”

The 5th Symphony represents his relationship with the idea of “fate.” The composer led a troubled life, battling depression and insecurity. The symphony’s journey from tragedy to triumph made it exceptionally popular during World War II.

Tchaikovsky, although criticized for his recklessness of emotion, was a master of melody. The second movement opens with a poignant horn solo, portraying a devastating surrender to fate. All is forgotten in a festive fourth movement. A triumphant melody sweeps up the orchestra in a heroic march to the finish.

The NRO welcomes conductor Karina Canellakis to the stage to lead this powerful program, who is a star equally at home on the violin and the podium. Earning a degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music, she was first urged to pursue conducting by her mentor Sir Simon Rattle. Canellakis has appeared around the world as concertmaster and conductor and was awarded a conducting fellowship at Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center the summer of 2014. She is internationally praised for her technical and lyrical command of the music and has received glowing critical endorsements of her performances.

Each year the National Repertory Orchestra auditions approximately 1,000 musicians and 88 are chosen to participate in a summer of life altering musical experiences. Throughout June and July, the NRO presents classical concerts and community events throughout Summit County.

Tickets for this concert range from $25 to $40 and are $7 for audience members ages 18 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Riverwalk Center Box Office, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge, by phone at (970) 547-3100, or online at

Bailey Salinero is a marketing intern with the NRO. The NRO would like to thank its generous sponsors for this concert: Briar Rose Restaurant, Pamela & Douglas Adams, and NRO Sustainers.

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