Günther Herbig Leads The Columbus Symphony In 'Symphonic Grandeur'

Guest conductor Günther Herbig will lead the Columbus Symphony in an exploration of some of the great Romantic masters in Symphonic Grandeur. The program includes Weber’s Overture to Oberon, Dvo?ák’s Concerto in B Minor for Cello and Orchestra featuring guest cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E Minor.

WOSU’s Christopher Purdy will hold a free, pre-concert lecture about the program for ticket holders at 7pm each night on the fourth floor of the Ohio Theatre’s Galbreath Pavilion.

The Columbus Symphony presents Symphonic Grandeur at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25, at 8pm daily. Tickets are $24.75-$68 and can be purchased at the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office (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.

The 2011-12 Masterworks Series is made possible through the generous support of season sponsor Battelle.

About guest conductor Günther Herbig
Günther Herbig left behind the challenging political environment of East Germany and moved to the US in 1984, where he has since conducted all of the top tier orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco symphony orchestras. Posts Herbig has held include Music Director of the Detroit Symphony and the Toronto Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of both the Dallas Symphony and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and General Music Director of both the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Former Artistic Advisor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, he is now their Conductor Laureate. He is Principal Guest Conductor of Las Palmas in the Grand Canaries, Spain.

About guest cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio
Grammy Award-winning Sara Sant’Ambrogio first leapt to international attention when she was a winner at the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition in Moscow, Russia. As a result of her medal, Carnegie Hall invited her to perform a recital filmed by CBS News as part of a nationally televised profile about her. The New York Times described Sant’Ambrogio’s debut as “sheer pleasure.” Sant’Ambrogio has won numerous international competitions, including The Whitaker, Dealey, Artists International, and Palm Beach competitions. She has also won a Grammy Award for her performance of Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcarolles.” Sant’Ambrogio performs on a Matteo Goffriller cello, Venice, ca.1715, which is on extended loan through the generous efforts of The Samsung Foundation of Culture of Korea and the Stradivari Society of Chicago, Illinois.

About composer Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (1786–1826)
Weber was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist, critic, and one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school. His three-act romantic opera Oberon, or The Elf King's Oath, is in English with spoken dialogue and music. Weber travelled to London to complete the music, learning English to be better able to follow the libretto, before the premiere of the opera. First performed at Covent Garden, London, on April 12, 1826, with the composer conducting, it was a triumph with many encores, and the production was frequently revived. However, the pressure of rehearsals, social engagements, and composing extra numbers destroyed Weber’s health, and he died in London on June 5, 1826.

About composer Antonín Leopold Dvo?ák (1841–1904)
Dvo?ák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia, sometimes referred to as "romantic-classicist synthesis." His works include symphonic, choral, chamber music, concerti, operas, and many other orchestral and vocal-instrumental pieces. The Cello Concerto in B minor was the composer's last solo concerto, and was written in 1894-1895 for his friend, the cellist Hanuš Wihan. The concerto's premiere took place on March 19, 1896, in London’s Queen's Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dvo?ák, 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 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)
Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic era with a wide-ranging body of work including symphonies, operas, ballets, instrumental and chamber music, and songs. He wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. The Symphony No. 5 in E minor was composed between May and August 1888, and was first performed in St. Petersburg at the Hall of Nobility on November 6 of that year with Tchaikovsky conducting. It has gone on to become one of the composer's most popular works. The second movement, in particular, is considered to be classic Tchaikovsky—well crafted, colorfully orchestrated, and with a memorable melody for solo horn.

www.columbussymphony.com

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