Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Closes the 2013-14 Classics Series with BOLERO This Weekend
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concludes the 2013.14 Classics series with Bolero this weekend, June 6-8, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor Gilbert Varga and featuring violinist Karen Gomyo, the program includes Mozart's Overture to Le nozze di Figaro, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Koda?ly's Dances of Gala?nta, and Ravel's Bole?ro.
All concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion, held in Anello Atrium at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Mozart's comic opera, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492, was composed in 1785-1786 as an operatic adaptation of a play by the controversial French playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Mozart worked with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, who toned down the play's risque? content to make the story more socially palpable for the conservative Viennese public. The Overture is filled with energy and life, aptly portraying the exuberance and humor of this human comedy.
Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Opus 35 was composed in 1878 and premiered in 1881. He dedicated the Violin Concerto to Leopold Auer, a violin professor at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, who upon first receiving the score deemed the Concerto "unplayable." Several years after, Auer revisited Tchaikovksy's Violin Concerto and made numerous revisions to the solo violin part, many of which have become standard performance practice today.
Koda?ly's Dances of Gala?nta was composed on commission for the 80th anniversary of the Budapest Philharmonic Society. Based on the folk music of the early 1800s of Gala?nta, a town in Slovakia where Koda?ly lived for many years, the piece uses verbunkos style which was originally developed as military recruiting music. The work contains five sections and prominently features the clarinet.
Ravel's Bole?ro was composed and premiered in 1928. The work was the result of a commission from the dancer Ida Rubenstein. While on holiday, Ravel conceived the melody that would ultimately become the
primary musical material of Bole?ro. Instead of developing it, Ravel decided to conduct an orchestration experiment to see how he could create one massive crescendo over the period of a piece. Ravel stated: "I am particularly anxious that there should be no misunderstanding as to my Bole?ro. It is an experiment in a very special and limited direction, and it should not be suspected of aiming at achieving anything different from, or anything more than, it actually does achieve." Bole?ro has since become one of Ravel's most popular works, and one of the most performed works in orchestral repertoire.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Gilbert Varga, son of the celebrated Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga, studied under three very different and distinctive maestros: Franco Ferrara, Sergiu Celibidache, and Charles Bruck. A commanding and authoritative figure on the podium, Varga is renowned for his elegant baton technique, and has held positions with and guest conducted many of the major orchestras across the world. In North America, Varga regularly guest conducts the symphony orchestras of Houston, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Utah, and Nashville amongst others, and in 2013.14 makes his debut with the orchestras of Kansas City and San Diego. In Europe, Varga works regularly with the major orchestras of Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cologne, Budapest, Porto, Brussels, and Glasgow amongst others. In May 2013, Varga was appointed principal conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, an appointment that comes at an exciting time for the orchestra as the city of Taipei embarks upon a journey to build the orchestra its own concert hall, a process in which Varga will be heavily involved as a consultant. Varga's discography includes recordings with various labels including ASV, Koch International, and Claves Records. His latest recording, released in January 2011, of concertos by Ravel and Prokofiev with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Anna Vinnitskaya on Nai?ve Records, was given five stars by BBC Music Magazine.
Born in Tokyo, violinist Karen Gomyo grew up in Montreal and New York. Recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, she has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity," and described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "captivating, honest and soulful, fueled by abundant talent but not a vain display of technique." Gomyo's engagements as soloist have included those with the Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Minnesota orchestras; San Francisco, Saint Louis, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Tokyo symphonies; and New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong philharmonics. In Europe, she has performed with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Munich Bach Collegium, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Malmo? Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Norwegian Opera Orchestra, Norko?pping Symphony, and the Hague Philharmonic, among others. She has worked with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Ja?rvi, Andrew Litton, David Robertson, David Zinman, YannickNe?zet-Se?guin, Andrey Boreyko, Hans Graf, Louis Langre?e, Thomas Dausgaard, James Gaffigan, PinchasZukerman, Peter Oundjian, Vasily Petrenko, Kirill Karabits, Robin Ticciati, and Pietari Inkinen.
In 2008, Gomyo performed at the First Symposium for the Victims of Terrorism held at the headquarters of United Nations in New York, and in 2009 was the guest soloist for the New York Philharmonic's Memorial Day concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In December 2013, a documentary film about Stradivarius called "Mysteries of the Supreme Violin," in which Gomyo was violinist, navigator, and narrator, was broadcast worldwide on NHK WORLD.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE
Gilbert Varga, conductor Karen Gomyo, violin
Tickets range from $25-$105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit mso.org. Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.
The 2013.14 Classics Series is presented by UPAF. Friday Classics Series is sponsored by Chase. Saturday Classics Series is sponsored by Rockwell Automation. Sunday Classics Series is sponsored by Johnson Controls.
ABOUT THE MSO
Ranked among the top orchestras in the country, the MSO is the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the orchestra has received critical acclaim for artistic excellence. The orchestra's full-time professional musicians perform more than 135 concerts each season. A cornerstone organization in Milwaukee's arts community, the MSO provides enrichment and education activities for audiences of every age, economic status, and background.