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Iverside Symphony's 2018-19 Season To Feature 3 Premieres, 2 Debuts, And Assorted Rarities

Iverside Symphony's 2018-19 Season To Feature 3 Premieres, 2 Debuts, And Assorted Rarities Riverside Symphony will launch a new season of premieres, rarities, and beloved classics at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on Friday evening, November 16. Under the baton of founding Music Director, George Rothman, the orchestra's 2018-19 New York season will commence with a chamber orchestra program featuring the New York premiere of Stephen Hartke's Ship of State with pianist Xak Bjerken in his New York concerto debut. Hartke has been a mainstay of Riverside Symphony's contemporary programming over the years, a relationship memorialized in the orchestra's critically acclaimed recording of this distinguished American composer's Symphony No. 2 and Violin Concerto, "Auld Swaara." Franz Schreker's stunning Chamber Symphony-rarely performed despite its almost cult-like following-and Weill's Little Threepenny Music complete the program.

A Saturday, January 26 program will bring together a seldom-played Mozart gem, the Divertimento in D, K. 251, (oboe, horns and strings) and the U.S. premiere of Gli Elementi by another Riverside favorite, Marius Constant (1925-2004), subject of Riverside's 2014 album devoted to three major orchestral works. The French-Romanian master's deeply poetic essay for solo trombone, featuring Riverside Symphony principal trombonist Mike Lormand, and Josef Suk's delightful Serenade complete the program.

Riverside Symphony's 38th season will conclude on June 6 with a New York premiere by Lembit Beecher, a New York-based Northern Californian native and newly appointed composer-in-residence with The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Following prize-winning Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot's New York debut performing two rhapsodies by Bartók, the season concludes in glorious fashion with Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.


Friday, November 16, 2018 at 8pm

Featuring Xak Bjerken, piano

HARTKE Ship of State NY Premiere

SCHREKER Chamber Symphony

WEILL Little Threepenny Music

25+ of New York's finest instrumentalists shine in this exotic, daring program spotlighting a brilliantly inventive new piano showpiece by Riverside favorite Stephen Hartke. Two 20th-century blockbusters, an ethereally beautiful masterpiece by the still-unsung Franz Schreker and Kurt Weill's beloved suite (and musical home to "Mack the Knife"), complete the evening.

Praised by Gramophone Magazine for "...precise and probing" playing, Xak Bjerken is an adventurous virtuoso and former member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. He has performed throughout Europe and Asia and recorded on seven record labels.

Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 8pm

Featuring Mike Lormand, trombone

MOZART Divertimento in D Major, K. 251

CONSTANT Gli Elementi US Premiere

SUK Serenade for Strings

A selection from Mozart's vast treasure trove of little-known gems is followed by Marius Constant's riveting, shockingly far-ranging essay for solo trombone, a work as rare in design as it is incandescent. Through his lovely opus for solo strings, Dvorak student (and eventual son-in-law) Josef Suk is felt by many to have bettered his master in this particular genre.

Riverside Symphony's principal trombonist, Mike Lormand, is a member of numerous cutting-edge ensembles, both contemporary and traditional, and regularly performs with such leading orchestras as the Metropolitan Opera and The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 8pm

Featuring Blake Pouliot, violin

BEECHER Kalevipoeg in California NY Premiere

BARTÓK Rhapsodies No. 1 & 2

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major

Northern California native Lembit Beecher's spirited, colorful overture imagines the Estonian folk hero he encountered in childhood stories transplanted to present-day San Francisco, while Bartók's trenchant, gorgeous violin showcases reflect earlier times in direct musical terms. Beethoven's blazing opus concludes the season with a glorious bang.

Described by the Toronto Star as "One of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime," Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot was the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) Manulife Competition.

Tickets range in price from $34 to $65. Subscriptions, group rates, family plan, and student tickets are available. To purchase, please call (212) 864-4197 or visit

These concerts are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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