Celebrated American pianist Simone Dinnerstein will join the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra to perform the Piano Concerto in G major by Maurice Ravel in concerts at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Friday, February 27 and Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 8pm. Music Director José-Luis Novo, will also conduct the orchestra in The Garden of Fand by Sir Arnold Bax and Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) by Richard Strauss.
The third program in this season’s Lexus Classics Series is titled “Dinnerstein, Ravel, and A Hero’s Life.” Adult tickets start at $35 and student tickets are $10. Concertgoers can also purchase a midseason subscription starting at $95 for the three remaining programs in the Lexus Classics Series. Tickets for these concerts can be purchased through the ASO website at www.annapolissymphony.org, by calling 410-263-0907, or by visiting 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 the repertoire.
Ms. Dinnerstein’s appearance with the ASO follows shortly after the February 24th release of her newest Sony album, Broadway-Lafayette, which celebrates the time-honored transatlantic link between France and America. This CD includes the Ravel Concerto in G major which she will perform with the ASO, plus Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Philip Lasser’s The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
Deeply infused with jazz idioms and harmonies that were highly popular in Paris as well as the United States, Maurice Ravel composed the Piano Concerto in G major between 1929 and 1931. He remarked that “The most captivating part of jazz is its rich and diverting rhythm…Jazz is a very rich and vital source of inspiration for modern composers, and I am astonished that so few Americans are influenced by it.”
Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The Independent praises the “majestic originality of her vision” and NPR reports, “She compels the listener to follow her in a journey of discovery filled with unscheduled detours.” The New York based pianist gained an international following resulting from the remarkable success of her self-financed recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, released in 2007.
Dating from 1916, The Garden of Fand is the first piece on the ASO’s concert program. A heart condition prevented the English composer and poet Sir Arnold Bax from enlisting in World War I, so he spent the war years writing music profusely. Bax’s style blends elements of romanticism and impressionism, and his orchestral scores are noted for their complexity and colorful instrumentation.
After intermission, the ASO will perform Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life). This tone poem was composed in 1898 by Richard Strauss, a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. Generally agreed to be autobiographical in nature, the work contains more than thirty quotations from Strauss’s earlier works.
Ein Heldenleben lasts about fifty minutes and is performed without breaks, except for a dramatic grand pause at the end of the first movement. It is scored for a large orchestra including two harps, eight horns and an extensive solo violin part for ASO Concertmaster Netanel Draiblate. The works by Bax and Strauss on this program are ASO premiers.
Support for the ASO is generously provided by Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Baltimore / Annapolis Lexus Dealers, the Maryland State Arts Council, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra features 70 professional musicians who perform a variety of symphonic music for audiences of all ages. Additionally, the non-profit organization provides educational programs through its partnerships with local schools, and various other community outreach efforts.