Acclaimed Pianist Winston Choi Joins New Philharmonic For Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2
Acclaimed pianist Winston Choi returns to the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) for two concerts with New Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. The program will include Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, featuring Choi, and Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27. The program will open with New Philharmonic sharing the stage with members from the Glenbard West High School Honors Symphony Orchestra for a side by side performance of the third movement of George Bizet's "Allegro Vivace," conducted by New Philharmonic Associate Conductor Ben Nadel. A free MAC Chat will take place one hour prior to each performance.
The April performances mark Choi's third appearance with New Philharmonic. He will be showcased in Saint-Saëns' (1835-1921) Piano Concerto No. 2. "There doesn't appear to be anything Choi can't play - and with virtuosic panache, to boot," writes the Chicago Tribune. The Concerto, composed in 1868, may be Saint-Saëns' most popular piano concerto. It is composed of three movements: Andante sostenuto in G, which opens with a piano solo; the energetic, witty Allegro scherzando in E-flat major; and Presto in G minor which finishes in a whirlwind of G minor arpeggios.
Choi was Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition (Canada) and winner of France's 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d'Orléans. He regularly performs in recitals and with orchestras throughout North America and Europe and tours extensively and internationally with his wife Minghan Xu as a part of Duo Diorama. As a dedicated champion of contemporary music, Choi has premiered and commissioned more than 100 works by young composers as well as established masters, and has collaborated with Pulizer Prize-winners William Bolcom and Elliott Carter; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London's Philharmonia Orchestra and the Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and American avant-garde composer John Zorn, among others. A prolific recording artist, he can be heard on the Albany, Arktos, Crystal Records, l'Empreinte Digitale, Intrada and QuadroFrame labels.
Formerly on the faculties of the Oberlin Conservatory and Bowling Green University, Choi is currently Head of the Piano Program at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. Maestro Kirk Muspratt describes Sergei Rachmaninoff's (1873-1943) Symphony No. 2 as "The most beloved and ultra-romantic symphony of all time." Muspratt conducted the symphony for his audition with New Philharmonic 15 years ago. The symphony is in four movements: Largo - Allegro moderato in E minor; Allegro molto in A minor; Adagio in A major and Allegro vivace in E major.
Pianist Winston Choi joins New Philharmonic, under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, for two concerts at the McAninch Arts Center, located on the campus of College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $49. A limited number of $10 student tickets are available with valid student ID. To order concert tickets or more information, call 630.942.4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org.
Immediately following the concert, Maestro Muspratt, as well as members from the orchestra cordially invite patrons to participate in "Cookies with Kirk" in the MAC lobby, sponsored by Brookdale Glen Ellyn.
New Philharmonic, the only professional orchestra based in DuPage County, Ill., has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for more than 40 years. It continues to thrive with the goal to give innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works while striving to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. The orchestra was recently honored with the Illinois Council of Orchestras' 2017 ICO Award for Professional Orchestra of the Year.
Today, under the direction of Kirk Muspratt, recently named 2018 Conductor of the Year (Professional Orchestra) by Illinois Council of Orchestras, New Philharmonic consists of more than 60 professional musicians and performs more than a dozen concerts a year, reaching more than 7,500 from the greater Chicago area annually.
McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, and houses three indoor performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), an outdoor venue, the Lakeside Pavilion, plus the Cleve Carney Art Gallery and classrooms for the college's academic programming. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.
The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org,