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Nakamatsu to join ASO for Rachmaninov performance (May 2-3, 2014)

Annapolis Symphony OrchestraAward winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu will join the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) to perform Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.  Music Director José-Luis Novo will also lead the orchestra in performances of Jesús Guridi’s Diez Melodías Vascas (Ten Basque Melodies) and Maurice Ravel’s La Valse.

Jon Nakamatsu continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power.  A native of California, Mr. Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981.  Mr. Nakamatsu has performed widely in North America, Europe and the Far East, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vänskä and Hans Vonk.  He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.

Rachmaninov composed his Piano Concerto No. 3 in 1909 for a long-planned first tour of the United States.  The tour and the Concerto were an artistic and financial success.  The Concerto gained immediate and enduring popularity with audiences and performers alike.  It requires immense stamina from the soloist and attests to the composer’s melodic inventiveness and to his outstanding pianistic abilities.

Born in Vitoria in northwestern Spain, Basque composer and organist Jesús Guridi came from a musical family and showed his musical talent at an early age.  He was an avid proponent of Basque folk music and incorporated its melodies into many of his works.  The Diez Melodías Vascas were composed in 1941 and became his most popular orchestral work.

Before the outbreak of World War I, Ravel had begun work on a symphonic poem that he tentatively called “Vienna,” but in light of the spreading hostilities, he refrained from working on the project and did not return to it until 1919.  Ravel is said to have appraised La Valse as “a fantastic and fatefully inescapable whirlpool.”  La Valse was premiered as an orchestral work in 1920 to great success.

Adult tickets for the upcoming concerts start at $25, and student tickets are $10.  Single tickets can be purchased through the ASO website at www.annapolissymphony.org, by calling 410-263-0907, or by stopping by the ASO Box Office in room 204 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Monday through Friday, 9:30am – 5:30pm.

All ticket holders are invited to attend a free pre-concert lecture in the auditorium at 6:45pm.  Led by British pianist and lecturer Dr. Rachel Franklin, these entertaining talks enhance the concert experience by providing historical and insightful perspectives on that evening’s repertoire.

Season support for the ASO is generously provided by Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Baltimore / Annapolis Lexus Dealers, Maryland State Arts Council, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and the Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

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