Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Gives Exclusive NYC Performance in 92Y Debut

On October 15, celebrated pianist Jeremy Denk joins the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, "the leading orchestra of its kind in America" (The New York Times), in its 92Y debut and its first New York performance since Carnegie Hall five years ago, opening 92Y's superb 2016/17 classical concert season. This trailblazing ensemble performs the New York premiere of O Mikros, O Megas (The Small World, The Huge World) by George Tsontakis, whose ties to the Orchestra have included three other world premieres earning a Grawemeyer Award and Grammy nomination.

This piece premieres the previous evening at Dartmouth. Jeremy Denk, 2013 MacArthur Fellow and one of SPCO's Artistic Partners since 2014, is the soloist for the Mozart Piano Concerto in A Major, and the orchestra also performs Schubert's Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major.

George Tsontakis remarks on his new work: "My title, O Mikros, O Megas was inspired by the opening lines of Axion Esti, by the great contemporary Greek poet, Odysseas Elytis: 'Aftos O Kosmos, O Mikros, O Megas' ('This tiny world, this enormous world'). There are no direct literal connections to the words, only the feeling of the intended ambiguity; certainly no superficial dynamic nor density parallels. In fact, it is to me that within the quietest and most inwardly moments of the work, the world seems to fully impose its power and enormity. At the same time, the figurative 'flip-side' of my work's title could well be 'This tiny fleeting life, this huge eternal life' - a reflection on recent world circumstances including the tumbling world, loss of friends and my own personal advancement into the foothills of an ageless maturity. Thinking and hearing into the sonic qualities and potentials of the string orchestra, my creative and inward sensibilities seemed to eschew many 'fast and loud' possibilities for those of quietude and grace. I fought with this tendency, frankly, during the work's composition, however, in the end, textures of long, quietly floating tensions won out, for the most part. There are faster movements among the four and imploding episodes, but the heart and largeness of the work are made manifest in the second and last. All movements end quietly, and the last with my most preferred ending, a 'dot dot dot' figure. In fact, in the score, the performers are given the option of repeating the final phrase for as long as desired, until the 'end' of the work is felt."

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra recently launched their New Generation Initiative, which offers free and reduced price tickets to children, students, and young adults, as well as exclusive ticket offers, pre-sales, happy hours, and concerts in informal venues. SPCO Managing Director and President Jon Limbacher states: "We believe our music has the power to inspire, challenge, move and uplift and that everyone, including young people, deserves the opportunity to experience transformational performances, regardless of socio-economic status. We've already made our performances accessible through affordable ticket prices and performance venues conveniently located throughout the metro area, and now we're expanding our accessibility even further by inviting children and students to attend unlimited SPCO concerts for free, along with a suite of new programs that will allow us to serve more young people in our community through our music."

This belief is shared by 92nd Street Y which offers reduced price tickets to audience members under 35, in addition to various free benefits and special offers through The Lexlist; Majors for Minors invites kids and teens age 8-18 to enjoy any concert in 92Y's regular season for free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Saturday, October 15 at 8:00PM
92Y - Kaufmann Concert Hall

GEORGE TSONTAKIS: O Mikros, O Megas ("The Small World, The Huge World") for Chamber Orchestra (New York premiere)
MOZART: Piano Concerto in A major, K. 488 with Jeremy Denk, piano
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major, D. 125

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