The CSO Explores ROMANTIC PASSIONS with Jacques Lacombe and Zuill Bailey, Now thru 2/1

Columbus, Ohio -- Guest conductor Jacques Lacombe will lead the CSO and guest cellist Zuill Bailey in Czech master Dvorák's cello concerto, not only the greatest work of its kind, but a masterpiece in its own right. Composed at the close of his three-year period in America, this large scale work aches with homesickness for his native Bohemia. The program also includes César Franck's touching symphony in D minor, and Edvard Grieg's delectable Peer Gynt Suite.

The Columbus Symphony presents Romantic Passions at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) tonight, January 31, and Saturday, February 1, at 8pm. Tickets start at $25 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, call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance. Young people between the ages of 13-25 may purchase $5 PNC Arts Alive All Access tickets while available. For more information, visit www.GoFor5.com.

The 2013-14 Masterworks Series is made possible through the generous support of season sponsors Anne and Noel Melvin.

About guest conductor Jacques Lacombe: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jacques Lacombe is renowned as a remarkable conductor whose artistic integrity and rapport with orchestras have propelled him to international stature. Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 2002 to 2006, Maestro Lacombe led the orchestra in more than 100 performances during his tenure. He served for three years as Music Director of both orchestra and opera with the Philharmonie de Lorraine, Associate Conductor with the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon Provence, and has been Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières since 2006. In September 2010, he succeeded Neeme Järvi as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, a contract that was recently extended through 2016.

About guest cellist Zuill Bailey: Zuill Bailey's rare combination of compelling artistry, technical finesse, and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought-after cellists today. Praised for his "virtuoso technique, strong, richly expressive tone and bold, individual manner of playing" (Gramophone Magazine), Bailey is a consummate concerto soloist. He has performed with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Minnesota, Dallas, Louisville, Milwaukee, Nashville, Toronto, and Utah, and with prominent orchestras around the world. His appearances include the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall, where he made his debut performing the US premiere of Miklos Theodorakis' Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Bailey performs on a 1693 Matteo Gofriller cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In addition to his extensive touring engagements, Bailey is Artistic Director of both the El Paso Pro Musica and the Sitka Summer Music Festival and Series (Alaska), and is a professor of cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.

About composer Antonín Leopold Dvorák (1841-1904): Dvorák was a Czech composer that frequently employed features of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia in his works. Among his best known works are his New World Symphony, the "American" String Quartet, the opera Rusalka, and his Cello Concerto in B minor. This work was the composer's last solo concerto, and was written in 1894-1895 for his friend, cellist Hanuš Wihan. The concerto's premiere took place on March 19, 1896, in Queen's Hall in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dvorák, with Leo Stern as the soloist. The cello played by Stern was the 1684 "General Kyd," one of only about 60 cellos made by Stradivarius.

About composer César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (1822-1890): Franck was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. In 1858 he became organist at Sainte-Clotilde, and in 1872, he became a professor at the Paris Conservatoire. After acquiring the professorship, Franck wrote several pieces that have entered the standard classical repertoire, including symphonic, chamber, and keyboard works. The Symphony in D minor is his most famous orchestral work and his only mature symphony. After two years of work, the symphony was compleTed August 22, 1888, and premiered at the Paris Conservatory on February 17, 1889, under the direction of Jules Garcin. Franck dedicated it to his pupil Henri Duparc.

About composer Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843-1907): Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist and is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as helping develop a national identity. Peer Gynt, Op. 23, is Grieg's incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play of the same name. It premiered along with the play on February 24, 1876, in Christiania (now Oslo).

About the Columbus Symphony Orchestra: 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.

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