Columbus Symphony Orchestra Performs Early 20th Century CHEEK & CHARM Program, Now thru 11/18

Columbus Symphony Orchestra Performs Early 20th Century CHEEK & CHARM Program, Now thru 11/18

From magical fairy tales by Ravel to Milhaud's zesty South American samba, a brisk, neo-classical chamber piece by Stravinsky, and a lyrical and exciting violin concerto by the young Prokofiev, the Columbus Symphony, Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and CSO featured violinist Alicia Hui present an intriguing program showcasing the bright, appealing music composed during the first quarter of the 20th century.

The Columbus Symphony presents Cheek & Charm at the Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.) tonight, November 16, at 8pm; Saturday, November 17, at 8pm; and Sunday, November 18, at 3pm. Tickets are $25-$65 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. The Ohio Theatre Ticket Office will also be open two hours prior to each performance. Students between the ages of 13-19 may purchase $5 PNC Arts Alive All Access tickets while available. For more information, visit www.GoFor5.com.

WOSU's Christopher Purdy will hold a free, pre-concert lecture about the program for ticket holders one hour prior to each performance.

The 2012-13 Masterworks Series performance is made possible through the generous support of series sponsors Anne and Noel Melvin.

Jean-Marie Zeitouni, music director of the Columbus Symphony since 2010 and principal conductor and artistic director of I Musici de Montréal since 2011, has emerged as one of Canada's brightest young conductors with an eloquent yet fiery style that results in regular re-engagements across North America. Also principle guest conductor with Les Violons du Roy, he has led the ensemble in more than 200 performances in the province of Québec, across Canada, and in Mexico. In 2006, he recorded his first CD with Les Violons du Roy entitled Piazzolla which received a 2007 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year in the category of Solo or Chamber Ensemble. They also recorded two subsequent CDs-Bartok (2008) and Britten (2010). Jean-Marie graduated from the Montreal Conservatory in conducting, percussion, and theory. He studied with Maestro Raffi Armenian.

Alicia Hui is currently the Principal Second Violin of Columbus Symphony. She was guest concertmaster with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for the 2011 season. She previously served as assistant concertmaster of the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, and was Principal Second Violin of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Hui has performed at the Ishikawa Musical festival in Japan, Soesterberg Music Festival in Amsterdam, and the Keshet Eilon Master Course in Israel. In addition, she was awarded fellowships at the Perlman Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Chamber Music Festival, and the Bowdoin Music Festival.

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (1882–1971) was a Russian, and later French and American, composer, pianist, and conductor. Noted for his stylistic diversity, he is considered by many to be one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. According to Stravinsky, the Octet for wind instruments chamber-music composition was composed fairly rapidly in 1922. He conducted the premiere of the Octet on one of Serge Koussevitzky's concerts at the Paris Opera House on October 18, 1923. This was the first time he had conducted a premiere of a new piece, although it was not the first time he had conducted his music in public. The cavernous space cannot have been ideal for presenting such a chamber-music work, but Stravinsky later expressed satisfaction with the balance of the sound at that performance

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891–1953) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His best-known works include the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet, and Peter and the Wolf. Prokofiev began his Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major as a concertino in 1915, but soon abandoned it to work on his opera The Gambler. He returned to the concerto in the summer of 1917, and it premiered on October 18, 1923, at the Paris Opera with violinist Marcel Darrieux and the Paris Opera Orchestra conducted by Serge Koussevitzky. Stravinsky made his debut as conductor at the same concert.

Darius Milhaud (1892–1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six-also known as The Group of Six-and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. Counted among the modernist composers, his compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality. Le boeuf sur le toit (The Ox on the Roof: The Nothing-Doing Bar) is a surrealist ballet made scored by Milhaud which was in turn strongly influenced by Brazilian popular music. The title is that of an old Brazilian tango, one of nearly 30 Brazilian tunes (choros) quoted in the composition.The piece was originally to have been the score of a silent Charlie Chaplin film.

Joseph-Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures, and effects. Much of his piano music, chamber music, vocal music, and orchestral music has entered the standard concert repertoire. Ravel originally wrote Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose) as a piano duet for the Godebski children, Mimi and Jean, ages 6 and 7. The piece was transcribed for solo piano by Ravel's friend Jacques Charlot the same year as it was published (1910. Both piano versions bear the subtitle "cinq pièces enfantines" (five children's pieces).

Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the longest-running, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 175,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit www.columbussymphony.com.

Pictured: Jean-Marie Zeitouni. Photo Credit: Chip Willis