Guest Conductor Matthias Pintscher and Pianist Inon Barnatan Join Utah Symphony This Weekend
Join Utah Symphony and guest conductor and composer Matthias Pintscher in a post-holiday performance of bright, joyful works from two classical composers who are best known for dramatic gravitas.
Tonight and tomorrow, January 10 and 11 at Abravanel Hall, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and Dvorák's Symphony No. 8 both showcase the playful and joyful side of the composers, and the piano virtuosity of guest artist Inon Barnatan. Guest conductor Matthias Pintscher pairs these poetic works with his own mythology-inspired Towards Osiris.
Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 is as complex as it is beautiful. The first public performance of the 4th Concerto occurred in December of 1808 on a famously under-heated and under-rehearsed marathon concert that also featured the 5th and 6th Symphonies, the Choral Fantasy and parts of the Mass in C. As trying as the circumstances were for both players and listeners, all present agreed that Beethoven's reading of the concerto was a thrilling highlight.
It would be the last time Beethoven would appear as a concerto soloist, a finality made more poignant by the fact that the limits his deafness put on his performing ability would cause him to abandon concerto composition entirely a few years later. The 4th was the grandest of Beethoven's piano concerti to that point, at least in terms of formal design, but it was also his most subtly nuanced. More poetry than prose, the 4th Concerto opened with a softly voiced rhythmic pre-echo of the 5th Symphony. Beethoven broke convention by opening with the piano alone in place of the standard orchestral introduction. This interesting strategy was quite rare at the time and has remained so since.
Dvo?ák scholar Otakar Sourek felt the 8th Symphony projected the composer's Slavic heritage "more completely...than any of his other symphonies" and further declared that the "variety of mood and emotional eruptiveness" of the music wonderfully captured Dvo?ák's "human and artistic personality."
Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 8 was mostly written in and captures the beauty of the Bohemian countryside that Dvo?ák so adored and was finished in Prague late in 1889. Dvo?ák conducted the 1890 premiere and truly believed he had made something "different from other symphonies," by which he meant anyone's, not just his own.
Single tickets for the performance start at $18 and can be purchased by phone at (801) 355-2787, in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office (123 W. South Temple) or online by visiting www.utahsymphony.org. Youth and patrons 30 or younger can purchase $10 tickets for this performance through the USUO Upbeat program. Season subscribers can purchase discounted tickets by contacting (801) 533-6683. Those desiring group discounts should call (801) 869-9046. All ticket prices are subject to change and availability, and will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.
Inon Barnatan, Pianist
Pianist Inon Barnatan has rapidly gained international recognition for engaging and communicative performances that pair insightful interpretation with impeccable technique. Since moving to the United States in 2006, Mr. Barnatan has made his orchestral debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, and has performed in New York at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum and Alice Tully Hall. In 2009 he was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, an honor reflecting the strong impression he has made on the American music scene in such a short period of time.
Mr. Barnatan's debut CD of Schubert piano works was released on Bridge Records in 2006. His second CD of works for piano and violin by Beethoven and Schubert with violinist Liza Ferschtman was described by All Music Guide as "a magical listening experience." In 2012, Mr. Barnatan will release his second solo recording, Darkness Visible featuring wide-ranging but thematically-related works: Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, Thomas Adés's Darknesse Visible, Debussy's Suite Bergamasque, Ronald Stevenson's Peter Grimes Fantasy and Ravel's La Valse.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon Barnatan started playing the piano at the age of three after his parents discovered he had perfect pitch, and he made his orchestral debut at eleven. His studies connect him to some of the 20th century's most illustrious pianists and teachers: he studied with Professor Victor Derevianko, who himself studied with the Russian master Heinrich Neuhaus, and in 1997 he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Maria Curcio - who was a student of the legendary Artur Schnabel - and with Christopher Elton. Leon Fleisher has also been an influential teacher and mentor. In 2006 Mr. Barnatan moved to New York City. For more information about Mr. Barnatan visit www.inonbarnatan.com or visit his page on Facebook.