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Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers Present FRIENDSHIP AND IMAGINATION, 2/8

Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers Present FRIENDSHIP AND IMAGINATION, 2/8 The 44th Season of Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers (OSSCS) continues with a February 8, 2014 concert inspired by the human spirit. Guest conductor Stilian Kirov, associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony, conducts this evening concert, Friendship and Imagination. It includes The Enchanted Lake by Russian composer Anatoly Liadov, Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op 64 byFelix Mendelssohn and Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky with orchestrations by Maurice Ravel. Elisa Barston, principal second violinist of the Seattle Symphony is the guest soloist for the evening.

Stilian Kirov elaborates on how these three pieces tie back to the themes of friendship and imagination. "The lesser known Enchanted Lake is a fairy picture and, in a way, a short tone poem that Liadovcreated with exceptional flair and imaginative orchestral tone color. It is one of the most touching, inspiring and intimate pieces of music I have ever had the joy of experiencing." He continues, "I am also very excited about performing together with my good friend and exceptional violinist Elisa Barston. Her glowing sound and technical aplomb will make all our imaginations go wild during the beautiful Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. And knowing the story of friendship behind Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition adds a layer of understanding to the piece's diverse emotions, outstanding structure and vibrant color." Felix Mendelssohn wrote his beloved violin concerto for Ferdinand David, his childhood friend, who provided the composer with technical advice throughout the work's six-year gestation. When Russian painter Viktor Hartmann died suddenly at the age of 39, an exhibition was organized for which Modest Mussorgsky loaned several paintings from his own collection to honor the artist, his close friend. The event inspired Mussorgsky to compose-in a mere six weeks-a suite for solo piano that depicted in music several of Hartmann's drawings and watercolors. Over the ensuing 150 years many composers have transcribed Mussorgsky's piano music for various ensembles, but none more famously than Maurice Ravel, whose brilliant orchestral palette proved the perfect match for Hartmann's artistry andMussorgsky's tone painting.
Concerts take place at the First Free Methodist Church on Queen Anne Hill where parking is free and convenient. Advance single tickets are available online at BrownPaperTickets.com or by phone at 1-800-838-3006. General Admission tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors; $10 for students; and youth ages 7-17 are FREE. Visit the website at OSSCS.org

About the Conductor

Guest conductor Stilian Kirov currently serves as associate conductor for the Seattle Symphony, having previously been appointed SSO assistant conductor for the 2012-2013 season. He has also served as associate conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. Mr. Kirov has conducted orchestras around the world, including the Orchestre Colonne (France), Zagreb Philharmonic (Croatia), Lansing Symphony, Orchestra of Colors (Greece), State Hermitage Orchestra (Russia), New World Symphony, Thüringen Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, Colorado), Sofia Festival Orchestra, Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra "Leopolis" (Ukraine) and the Juilliard Orchestra, among others. Following his successful debut in 2012, Mr. Kirov also appears regularly as a guest conductor at the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
During the 2013-2014 season Mr. Kirov will conduct concerts on the Seattle Symphony's Mostly Mozart series, Beyond the Score series, Discover Music series, Community Concerts and more. He was invited to be a 2013 conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; in 2012 he was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, and in 2010 awarded the David Effron Conducting Fellowship at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he also returned in 2012 as a guest conductor. In 2011, Mr. Kirov made his debut at the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. During the 2012-2013 season, he also appeared twice with the Amarillo Symphony as a music director finalist.
Mr. Kirov is a graduate in orchestral conducting of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of James DePreist. He also holds a master's degree from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, where he studied with Dominique Rouits. He has also worked with such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gianluigi Gelmetti, George Manahan and Asher Fisch. A gifted pianist, Stilian Kirov is the 2001 gold medalist of the Claude Kahn International Piano Competition in Paris.

About the Soloist

Violinist Elisa Barston is currently principal second violinist of the Seattle Symphony and previously served as the associate concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Praised for her "glowing sound" and "technical aplomb" (The Strad), she is currently a violinist in the critically acclaimed Corigliano Quartet.
As a soloist and chamber musician, Ms. Barston has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, appearing with the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Taipei Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In 1986, she made her European debut with the English Chamber Orchestra at the request of Sir Yehudi Menuhin. During her tenure as associate concertmaster, Barston made yearly appearances as featured soloist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, performing a diverse concerto repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Schnittke.
Among her awards are the Jascha Heifetz Scholarship, the Starling Foundation Grant, top prizes at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition (including the audience prize), first prize at the Julius Stulberg Auditions, grand prize at the International Kingsville Young Performers' Competition and first prize in the Seventeen-General Motors National Music Competition. Ms. Barston has been awarded first prizes in the Fischoff National Chamber Music, Kuttner Quartet and Indiana University competitions.
Elisa Barston studied violin performance at the University of Southern California with Robert Lipsett and at Indiana University with Josef Gingold.
Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers (OSSCS) is a thriving volunteer based organization with deep roots in the Seattle community. It consists of a 60-member semi-professional orchestra and a 45-voice chorus. Membership in both groups is by audition and includes professional musicians, music teachers, and highly skilled amateurs who came together to work under the direction of OSSCSfounder and visionary George Shangrow. During its 44-year history, OSSCS has made an extensive tour of the orchestral and choral literature and has sought to promote new music by Northwest composers using the finest local instrumental and vocal soloists. The ensembles have attained special recognition for their interpretations of the music of Handel and Bach and have introduced rarely-heard choral masterpieces to Seattle audiences, such as Handel's Israel in Egypt, Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, and Haydn's The Seasons. Praised by critics for their vibrant sound and spirited, disciplined singing, the Seattle Chamber Singers also delight in performing classics such as Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Brahms' German Requiem. After George Shangrow's unexpected and tragic death in 2010, OSSCS presented three seasons of concerts led by guest conductors. In 2013 OSSCS welcomed Clinton Smith as music director to usher in a new era of music by, and for, the Northwest.

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