Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School announces Winter Youth Orchestras Concert, Feb. 10

Featuring RI Philharmonic Concerto & Aria Competition winner
Lincoln-native Matthew Ricard

Performance is at 1 p.m. at Roberts Hall, Rhode Island College, Sunday, Feb. 10

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestras (RIPYO) presents its second concert of the season on Sun., Feb. 10, 1 p.m., at Roberts Hall, Rhode Island College. The Symphony Orchestra performs works by Borodin and Beethoven. They will be joined by RI Philharmonic Concerto & Aria Competition winner Matthew Ricard of Lincoln for the third movement of Weber’s Second Clarinet Concerto in E-flat Major.

The concert features the top-level Symphony Orchestra conducted by Music Director Alexey Shabalin, Repertory Orchestra under the direction of Vincent Mattera, String Orchestra with Irina Naryshkova, and the Intermediate String Ensemble led by Erin Quinton Erban.

List of participating students by town

 Buy Tickets

Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for students, 18 and under, and senior citizens. Tickets are available through the RIC box office http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=21971&schedule=list or 401-456-8144. 

 

About The Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Ensembles: The Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Ensembles (RIPYO, RIPYWE, RIPYJazz, & Chamber) provide quality rehearsal and performance experience for talented young musicians from Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts. Students range in grade from elementary school through high school. (For a full list of students and their home cities see attached document.)

 For more information or to schedule an audition, visit musicschool.riphil.org or contact Youth Ensembles Manager Chelsea Anderson at 401-248-7038 or canderson@riphil.org. For more information, visit musicschool.riphil.org.

 

Advertisements

RI Philharmonic Orchestra offers free tickets to federal employees through end of shutdown

Complimentary tickets available for Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4
with Conductor Tania Miller and pianist Sara Davis Buechner, Jan. 26

Offer includes Open Rehearsal, Jan. 25

In response to the ongoing federal shutdown, the RI Philharmonic Orchestra is offering complimentary tickets to impacted federal employees until 30 days after the shutdown ends.

The offer starts with next week’s TACO Classical Series concert on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 8 p.m., and the Open Rehearsal on Friday (Jan. 25) at 5:30 p.m. Both performances are at The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence.

For the concert, Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4, the RI Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes conductor Tania Miller and pianist Sara Davis Buechner performing R. Strauss’s Burleske and Mozart’s Rondo for Piano and Orchestra. In addition, Miller conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No.4, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, and J. Strauss’s On the Beautiful Blue Danube, prominently featured in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 “In hopes of lessening the impact of the current shutdown on government employees and their families, we are inviting them to our upcoming concerts free of charge. Classical music is calming, stirs the soul and uplifts the sprit – something we think they could use in these challenging times.” 

David Beauchesne
RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School

Ticket information

To receive two free tickets, government employees should contact the RI Philharmonic Box Office at 401.248.7000 or boxoffice@riphil.org. Tickets are also available on a first-come, first-served basis at The VETS Box Office before the Open Rehearsal on Friday, 3:30 p.m.-showtime; and the TACO Classical concert on Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime. A government ID will be required to pick up the tickets.

For questions and information, call 401-248-7000 or email boxoffice@riphil.org. (The offer is limited to TACO Classical concerts, Amica Rush Hour concerts and Open Rehearsals.)

***At a Glance ***

Open Rehearsal
Friday, Jan. 25, 5:30 p.m., at The VETS

TACO Classical Series concert
Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4
Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Tania Miller, conductor
Sara Davis Buechner, piano
MENDELSSOHNA Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
R. STRAUSSBurleske
MOZART: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.4
J. STRAUSSOn the Beautiful Blue Danube

More concert details available at tickets.riphil.org.

Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School’s Youth Wind ensembles performed first winter concert

ripywe stage shot 4

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Wind ensembles presented their first concert in the new year at Rhode Island College, Sapinsley Hall.  The concert included RIPYWE Symphonic Winds, under the direction of Dr. David Neves, and RIPYWE Wind Ensemble, under the direction of John Knasas.

The Symphonic Winds performed pieces by Holst, Cichy and Mozart. The Wind Ensemble features pieces by Holst, Bach and Stalter. The two ensembles ended the concert with a joint performance of Fillmore’s The Klaxon.

Learn the story behind Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4 with Tania Miller conducting the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, Jan. 26

TACO Classical Series concert is on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m.
Open Rehearsal is on Friday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m.

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner performs R. Strauss Burleske
and Mozart Rondo for Piano and Orchestra

***At a Glance***

TACO Classical Series concert
Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4
Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Tania Miller, conductor
Sara Davis Buechner, piano

MENDELSSOHNA Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
R. STRAUSSBurleske
MOZART: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Fourth Symphony
J. STRAUSSOn the Beautiful Blue Danube

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)

It was a dreamy 17-year-old Felix Mendelssohn who wrote to his sister, Fanny, “I have grown accustomed to composing in our garden. . . . Today or tomorrow I am going to dream there A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is, however, an enormous audacity.” That audacious dream took shape in the following weeks as the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mendelssohn knew the works of Shakespeare, as had Schubert, through the definitive German translations published in 1801 by Ludwig Tieck and others. Tieck viewed this Shakespearian play as a romantic masterpiece. With its magical elfin qualities, it was the vehicle most perfectly matched to Mendelssohn’s personality, so his attraction was natural.

The overture, Mendelssohn asserted, follows the main points of the story, but it does so in a very general way. The four magical woodwind chords heard at the opening (and twice later) forecast Titania awakening to fall in love with her monster. Immediately then, the strings give us fairy music, interrupted occasionally by a mysterious chord. Suddenly, dawn breaks, and we hear the festive hunting party of Duke Theseus. This music becomes a transition to the lovely and graceful second theme, which typifies Hermia and Helena. As a fourth theme, Mendelssohn anticipates Act V’s lively “Dance of Clowns,” including the braying of donkey-headed Bottom. A wonderful musical development reflects the story development among these elements, and a reprise of the themes solidifies them, using new orchestral treatments. Then, in Mendelssohn’s words, “At the end, after everything has been satisfactorily settled and the principal players have joyfully left the stage, the elves follow them, bless the house, and disappear with the dawn. So, the play ends, and my overture too.”

Burleske in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949)

Throughout the nineteenth century, the Romantic Period, it became common for instrumental virtuosos to compose or commission very showy single-movement concertos for their instrument plus orchestra. The range of style for these was broad but the soloist always reigned supreme and the orchestra was used mainly for support. One of the earliest of these was the Konzertstück (Concert Piece or Concertino). In fact, Carl Maria von Weber’s Konzertstück for piano and orchestra (1821) was among the earliest of such works. Notably, Franz Liszt followed with Malédiction (Curse, 1833) and Totentanz (Dance of Death, ca. 1860).

The tradition of single-movement virtuosic mini-concertos continued throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries—a late example being Stravinsky’s Capriccio for piano and orchestra (1929). Thus, it was not unusual for Richard Strauss to compose such a piece in 1885-86, originally giving it the title, Scherzo. At the time, Strauss was conductor of the famous Meiningen Orchestra, and he composed this Konzertstück for Hans von Bülow, his predecessor there and closest mentor. Bülow rejected the piece’s virtuosic piano part as Lisztian and unplayable. The disappointed young Strauss himself called the first draft “pure nonsense.”

The composer put the piece aside for four years but resurrected it with the encouragement of composer-pianist Eugen d’Albert. He renamed it Burleske and dedicated it to d’Albert. With Strauss conducting, d’Albert played the Burleske’s premiere in 1890, and the music was an instant success, drawing the attention of a publisher.

What to listen for: Burleske has an unusual opening. We hear its brief main theme, but it is performed unaccompanied on four timpani (kettle drums). We’ll call this the “motto,” and a great many of the musical ideas that follow derive from it. Listen especially for all the things the piano does with snippets of the motto. The second theme, a Rosenkavalier-style waltz, is even derived from part of the motto. Yet, the piano’s pyrotechnics draw most of our attention, even with the timpani’s recurrent prominent appearances. The piano’s many moods throughout the Burleske should be our main focus. Orchestral brilliance must not be overlooked, however. Piano, orchestra and timpani are musical partners—and, at the same time, competitors. As one writer puts it, “At no single moment is the Burleske anything but sparkling and brilliantly ingenious.” Finally, listen very closely to the piece’s ending—quiet, yet wonderfully witty.

 Rondo in A Major, K386a
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)

After Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart settled in Vienna in the early 1780s, the first compositions he focused on were three piano concertos. With himself as soloist, these were a welcome source of income for his little family. In a letter to his father, the composer described the concertos as:

. . . a happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid. There are passages here and there from which the connoisseurs alone can derive satisfaction; but these passages are written in such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why.

Mozart rarely agonized over his compositions, but for some reason the first of these concertos (in A major, K. 414) troubled him. Getting the rondo finale to be distinct enough from the first movement seems to have been the issue. Thus, we now have one complete A Major Concerto plus a Rondo in A, which he had discarded despite its distinction and attractiveness.

Courtliness rather than Mozartian playfulness informs the main theme. Restraint also shows in distinctly pastoral passages. In the orchestra, strings dominate but for good reason. Mozart had told publishers that his A Major Concerto could be performed either with or without wind instruments. In the Rondo, we might wait in vain for humor or playfulness, but aristocratic graciousness abounds instead.

Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)

It has been said that Ludwig van Beethoven stood, figuratively, with one foot in the eighteenth century and the other in the nineteenth. Translated, that comment merely means that some of his music is strongly influenced by the more balanced sound of the Classic Period (i.e., tinged with shades of Haydn and Mozart), while other Beethoven works look forward to the more emotionally based Romantic Age, which was just then dawning in music—and which Beethoven helped to define. Very generally, Beethoven’s symphonies no.1, 2, 4,7 and 8 are more Classic, while those numbered 3,5,6 and 9 have stronger Romantic tendencies. The Fourth Symphony, composed mostly during 1806, could be called a textbook example of the Classic side.

The symphony opens with a slow introduction (a throwback to Haydn). However, Beethoven infuses it with dark mystery and what analyst Donald Tovey calls a “sky-dome vastness.” In the main Allegro vivace, Beethoven forms some themes simply on chord outlines, the notable exception being the second theme, a folk-like conversation among the woodwinds. About half the development section hovers in the remote key of B major, a particularly wonderful effect when the music lands back in B-flat major at the recapitulation.

The rhythmic opening of the Adagio movement moves to the background for the aria-like principal theme. This melody returns after digressing to alternate material. Yet, the alternates are every bit as lovely as the main theme, which the composer varies in melody or instrumentation with each recurrence.

Beethoven’s boisterous sense of humor comes to the fore in the Scherzo (third movement). Though its quickness and near-constant rhythmic shifts lift it from the strictly Classical minuet tradition, the woodwind-centered Trio section harks back to the older type. Beethoven then repeats the Trio and main Scherzo sections, concluding with a short passage in the horns that “blow the whole movement away,” stated Donald Tovey.

As in Haydn’s finales, Beethoven’s concluding movement is effervescent and fun. Its main theme is closer to a scurrying idea than a clear-cut theme, the effect bordering on perpetual motion. Other themes are more lyrical, but Beethoven keeps returning to the first one, allowing it to submerge and reappear like a comedian’s “running gag.” Composer Hector Berlioz commented that this movement is “one animated swarm of sparkling notes, presenting a continual babble.”

JOHANN STRAUSS (1825-1899)
On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Johann Strauss, the younger, inherited his father’s mantle as the “Waltz King.” Between the mid-1840s and early 1870s, Strauss became not only Vienna’s most popular composer but also the most universally popular composer of light music ever. He reached his peak as a waltz composer during the 1860s with a string of “hits” such as Morning Papers, Wine, Women, and Song, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Vienna Blood (Wiener Blut), Roses from the South and, of course, On the Beautiful Blue Danube.

Strauss composed On the Beautiful Blue Danube, his most famous waltz, in 1867 at the request of a choral conductor who wanted something cheerful to brighten the spirits of the Viennese, who had recently been defeated in battle against Prussia. Strauss wrote the waltz and then searched his mind for a title that would give his compatriots some pride in their homeland. He recalled the ending of a poem by Karl Isidor Beck dedicated to Vienna, which read, “On the Danube, the beautiful blue Danube.” Since the piece was originally intended for a men’s chorus, the conductor commissioned someone to write words (not considering the original poem at all). The text turned out to be rather ridiculous, contributing to The Blue Danube’s lukewarm initial reception. Once the publisher released the music in instrumental form, however, it became an instant hit throughout Europe, selling more than one million copies.

In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the buoyancy and transparency of Strauss’s famous waltz are used to illustrate a spaceport located near the Moon. The almost imperceptibly rotating satellite, seen from some distance, slowly accepts and later emits a rocket ship from Earth.

Source: J. Weyl, 1867; F. von Gernerth, 1890. Language: German

PROGRAM NOTES BY DR. MICHAEL FINK © 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Buy Tickets

Tickets are $15-$100, and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org or from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence–in person or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. -4:30 p.m.). On concert day, tickets are available at The VETS Box Office, Friday, 3:30 p.m.–showtime; Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Questions can be emailed to boxoffice@riphil.org.

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW: RI Philharmonic Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky for gala benefit featuring Bramwell Tovey and Olga Kern, March 31

 

Producer of Newport Jazz and co-founder of Newport Folk festivals
George Wein receives John Hazen White Sr., Leadership in the Arts
Award at post-concert celebration and dinner

RI Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual fundraising gala features the Philharmonic’s newly named Artistic Advisor Bramwell Tovey conducting an all-Tchaikovsky program and includes guest soloist Olga Kern, who joins the Orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. The Orchestra will also perform Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and Polonaise from Eugene Onegin.

At the post-concert event following the gala concert, George T. Wein, a visionary in the field of music producing, music festivals and the arts, and producer of the venerable Newport Jazz Festival and co-founder of the Newport Folk Festival, will be honored with the prestigious John Hazen White Sr., Leadership in the Arts Award.

This year, the funds raised from the 2019 Gala Celebration with Bramwell Tovey will go toward scholarships and community outreach programs that provide equitable access to music education throughout the region.

***At A Glance***

2019 Gala Concert with Bramwell Tovey
Sunday, March 31
Concert at 2 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

TCHAIKOVSKY: Eugene Onegin: Polonaise
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No.1 with Olga Kern, piano
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No.5

Gala concert tickets start at $35 and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by calling 401.248.7000 (M-F 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.). Day of the concert, tickets may be purchased at The VETS Box Office (11 a.m.-showtime).

Gala Celebration Dinner

Immediately following the concert is the Gala Celebration and dinner honoring music industry icon George Wein with the prestigious John Hazen White Sr., Leadership in the Arts Award. It will be at the Renaissance Providence Hotel, adjacent to The VETS.

Gala Concert and Celebration packages are available by contacting Laurie Johnson-Carvalho at 401.248.7034 or ljohnson-carvalho@riphil.org.

 

 

Meet soloist Sara Davis Buechner; shares the stage with the RI Philharmonic Orchestra for Viennese Favorites and Beethoven 4, Jan. 26

DSC_0177

SARA DAVIS BUECHNER

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner performs R. Strauss’s Burleske and Mozart’s Rondo for Piano and Orchestra

About Sara Davis Buechner, piano

  • Praised worldwide as a musician of “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” by the New York Times. “When it comes to clarity, flawless tempo selection, phrasing and precise control of timbre, Buechner has no superior,” wrote a critic for Japan’s InTune magazine.
  • Active repertoire of more than 100 concertos ranging from Albeníz to Zimbalist, she has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s prominent orchestras.
  • Numerous recordings have received prominent critical appraisal.
  • Discography includes music by Bach, Brahms, Busoni, Dvořák, Mozart, Stravinsky and Turina; Hollywood piano concertos by Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman; rare American music of George Gershwin, Dana Suesse, Pauline Alpert and Joseph Lamb; and the complete piano music of Miklós Rózsa. Her piano artistry may also be heard on the recent DVD of Carl Dreiser’s 1925 silent film Master of the House, available through the Criterion Collection.
  • Joined the prestigious piano faculty of Temple University, Philadelphia, in 2016.
  • Formerly, taught at New York University, the University of British Columbia, and was an honorary visiting professor of music at the University of Shanghai.
  • In 2017, marked her 30th year as a dedicated Yamaha artist.
  • As a proud transgender woman, Ms. Buechner also appears as a speaker and performer at important LGBTQ events, and has contributed interviews and articles about her own experience to numerous media outlets worldwide.

Learn more about Sara Davis Buechner on her website: saradavisbuechner.com/about/

***At a Glance ***

TACO Classical Series concert
Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4
Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Tania Miller, conductor
Sara Davis Buechner, piano
MENDELSSOHNA Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
R. STRAUSSBurleske
MOZART: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Fourth Symphony
J. STRAUSS: On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees) and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). On day of concerts only, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30 p.m.–showtime; Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Questions can be emailed to boxoffice@riphil.org.

Open Rehearsal
Friday, Jan. 25, 5:30 p.m., at The VETS
General Admission is $15. Tickets are available at tickets.riphil.org or 401.248.7000.

Meet Conductor Tania Miller; conducts TACO Classical concert Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4, Jan. 26

Maestra Miller conducts the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra
TACO Classical concert on Saturday, Jan. 26
and Open Rehearsal on Friday, Jan. 25

CL4 OR3 Tania Miller2 400 by 252

TANIA MILLER

About Tania Miller, guest conductor

  • Distinguished as a dynamic interpreter, musician and innovator on the podium and off.
  • Appeared as a guest conductor in Canada, United States and Europe with the Bern Symphony and National Arts Centre (Ottawa) orchestras, Hartford, Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver symphonies, and the NFM Wrocław, Louisiana and Naples philharmonics.
  • During the past 14 years as Music Director of the Victoria Symphony in Canada, Ms. Miller gained national acclaim for her passion and commitment to the orchestra and community.
  • Driving force behind new growth and innovation for the Victoria Symphony, and gained a national reputation as a highly effective advocate and communicator for the arts. As curator, she distinguished herself as a visionary leader and innovator.
  • Acknowledged for the impact and success of her tenure, she was recently bestowed the title music director emerita for the Victoria Symphony.
  • Recipient of the 2017 Friends of Canadian Music award from the Canadian League of Composers and Canadian Music Centre for her acclaimed commitment to contemporary music in Canada.
  • Known for commitment and dedication to an orchestra and to the future of orchestral music through creative innovation and vision.
  • Received an honorary doctor of law degree from Royal Roads University in recognition of her exemplary work as a leader and for her extraordinary artistic achievements in the community.
  • Received the 2016 Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Foundation for distinguished musical excellence and leadership.
  • Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music bestowed her with an honorary diploma in 2015 for her impact on music in Canada.

***At A Glance ***

TACO Classical Series concert
Viennese Favorites & Beethoven 4
Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Tania Miller, conductor
Sara Davis Buechner, piano

MENDELSSOHN: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture
R. STRAUSS: Burleske
MOZART: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Fourth Symphony
J. STRAUSS: On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees) and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). On day of concerts only, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30 p.m.–showtime; Saturday, 4 p.m.-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Questions can be emailed to boxoffice@riphil.org.

Open Rehearsal
Friday, Jan. 25, 5:30 p.m., at The VETS
General Admission is $15. Tickets are available at tickets.riphil.org or 401.248.7000.