The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Presents ROMEO AND JULIET, 4/18-19

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Presents ROMEO AND JULIET, 4/18-19

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Romeo and Juliet with guest conductor Rossen Milanov on April 18-19, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The performances include Mendelssohn's Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Chausson's Poe?me for Violin and Orchestra and Barto?k's Rhapsody No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra with MSO Concertmaster Frank Almond, and selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet featuring Milwaukee Rep actors Max

Mainwood, Romeo; Erin Stapleton, Juliet; Michael Cotey, Tybalt; Nicholas Harazin, Mercutio; and Mark Clements, director.

Both concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion, held in the Anello Atrium at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Mendelssohn completed Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Opus 21 when he was 17 years old. The overture vividly conveys the delicate and fantastical world of Shakespeare's play. Despite the overture being an early work of the composer, it stands as one of his magnum opuses and paved the way for other important Romantic concert overtures that were to follow. In 1843, the King of Prussia asked Mendelssohn to write incidental music for the entire play, resulting in thirteen additional movements.

Chausson's Poe?me for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 25, was composed and premiered in 1896. Chausson was fascinated with the Russian author Ivan Turgenev, whose short story Le chant de l'amour triomphant would become the inspiration for Poe?me. Written for Belgian violinist Eugene Ysay?e, it is a subtle mood-piece that captures the exotic atmosphere of Turgenev's story. Debussy wrote: "Nothing touches more with dreamy sweetness than the end of this Poe?me, where the music, leaving aside all description and anecdote becomes the very feeling which inspired its emotion."

Barto?k's Rhapsody No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra was composed in 1928. Barto?k wrote both his rhapsodies soon after he returned from his first tour to America, and the second is dedicated to Zolta?n

Sze?kely, who was a close friend of Barto?k. Six dance tunes follow the introduction, with the violinist taking on the role of the country fiddler playing stomping rhythms and colorful, virtuosic scales.

Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet was composed in 1936, and the full ballet premiered in 1938. Prokofiev began work on his iconic ballet following conversations with the noted stage director and his close friend Sergei Radlov. When he originally submitted the piece to the Bolshoi Theater in 1935, it was rejected for being "undanceable." Instead, Prokofiev began to arrange the music into two suites for orchestra, selections of which will be heard on this program.

Rossen Milanov is the principal conductor of Orquesta Sinfo?nica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain and also serves as music director of the nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey. His recent conducting highlights include debuts at the Musikverein in Vienna, Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, Zurich Opera, and a world premiere of Sergei Prokofiev's incidental music to Pushkin's Eugene Onegin with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. This season, Mr. Milanov debuts with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbru?cken, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa, Sapporo Symphony, and Tokyo City Philharmonic, and returns to the Milwaukee, Vancouver, Columbus, Fort Worth, Aalborg, and Latvian National symphony orchestras; National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Zurich Opera, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, and his Link Up education projects with Carnegie Hall and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. A well- known figure in North America, Rossen Milanov has appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Indianapolis, Calgary, Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Seattle, and Oregon, among others. Milanov's first recording with OSPA was recently released by Classic Concert Records, featuring ballet works by Stravinsky and Falla. Rossen Milanov studied conducting at The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music; he has a degree in oboe performance from Duquesne University and the Bulgarian National Academy of Music. Mr. Milanov is a recipient of the Bulgarian Ministry's Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Bulgarian Culture and a 2011 ASCAP Award for his creative programming with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.

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