Maestro Solzhenitsyn to Lead MMF Orchestra Evening
Manchester Music Festival presents one of the organization’s season highlights at Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Arkell Pavilion on Thursday, August 3, at 8 p.m., when Maestro Ignat Solzhenitsyn will lead in two epic works of the orchestral repertoire: Beethoven’s ‘Eroica Symphony’ and Brahms’s ‘Piano Concerto Number 2’ in B-flat Major.
Solzhenitsyn is recognized as one of today’s most gifted artists as both conductor and pianist. The son of Nobel Prize winner and Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, his lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. In describing the evening’s works, Solzhenitsyn emphasized how the two compositions are both unique in their own right and rarely performed together.
“Beethoven’s ‘Eroica Symphony’ is a familiar piece in the orchestral world, but still shocking and mesmerizing. At the time it was written, the composer was attempting a symphony on a scale that had never attempted before, by him or anyone else. Beethoven creates an entire journey within each movement resulting in a performance where the audience is truly transformed over the course of the hour,” he stated. “To have music that has that kind of profound and immediate impact on our lives, this is why I became a musician. I am grateful to live with music like this and share it with the public; it is such a privilege to create an experience like this for an audience.”
Presenting both works in one evening is unusual. They are big pieces that are typically performed alongside shorter compositions, but together they are complementary and create a musical dialogue. On what to expect in the second half of the evening, Solzhenitsyn said, “Brahms only wrote four concertos, but they are all symphonic. The writing is superb and while he did not set any records for quantity, anything he deemed worthy of being published was highly sophisticated. At the time, concertos were a chance to show off for a soloist and wow the public. In these cases, what tended to be sacrificed was the work of the other orchestra parts, and in their supportive roles they were not terribly impressive. Brahms turned this on its head and made the orchestra and soloist equal protagonists. In this piano concerto, the piano writing is virtuosic and alongside the orchestra it creates a piece where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.”
Solzhenitsyn will be joined on stage by celebrated pianist Alexander Kobrin, 2005 Gold Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, an event that is only held once every four years and brings together the best pianists in the world for two weeks of competition.
Adam Neiman, Manchester Music Festival’s artistic director said, “We are ecstatic to have Ignat headline our orchestral concert on August 3. I think our audience will be blown away by his electric musicianship in this remarkable program. Alexander Kobrin is a powerful and dynamic pianist who will undoubtedly imbue his performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with poignancy and impressive virtuosic power; we are extremely fortunate to have him join Maestro Solzhenitsyn for this exciting evening.”
Tickets are $45 for adults, and can be purchased online at mmfvt.org, by calling 802-362-1956, and at the Arkell Pavilion box office.