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DPO Performs Works of Two Masters in Russian Rites


Classical Connections' The Rite of Spring Is Sold Out

CONTACT:
Chuck Duritsch
Communications and Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138
cduritsch@daytonperformingarts.org

DAYTON, OH (August 14, 2013) – On Thursday, September 26, and Saturday, September 28, at 8 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Music Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present Russian Rites in the DPO 2013-2014 Signature Season’s Premier Health Classical Series. The program includes Igor Stravinsky’s Fireworks and The Rite of Spring; guest pianist Alexander Toradze performs Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concert No. 3.

On Friday, September 27 at 8 p.m. the first concert in the Demirjian Classical Connections Series features a discussion and performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring; the concert is sold out. In this unique format, Gittleman will explain the great composition followed by the performance. More than 1,700 University of Dayton students will attend as part of “Rite. Right. Write.,” a yearlong exploration of human rights and the role of the arts in human development.

Russian Rites offers an extraordinary evening of Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff’s renowned works.
 
It’s a good thing for us they didn’t have online wedding gift registries in 1908. Had there been such things, we wouldn’t have been able to listen to Igor Stravinsky’s orchestral fantasy Fireworks. Why? Because Stravinsky wrote it as a wedding gift for the daughter of fellow Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov! The work, actually a scherzo, gave Stravinsky’s composing credibility a much-needed boost; art critic and ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, impressed with the orchestration of Fireworks, commissioned Stravinsky to write the ballet and orchestral concert piece The Firebird.

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is a killer. Ask any young concert pianist just starting out, and they’ll tell you that mastering this piece is considered by many a rite of passage. Technically, it is one of the standard classical repertoire’s most challenging pieces. The Third’s difficulty is due to its length. The first movement runs about twenty minutes, almost half the entire length of the piece. The chords at the start of the first movement and the end of the second “bounce,” and the runs that precede them are just extremely difficult. The Third is more of a challenge because of the demands it puts on the pianist’s strength and endurance. The length, the extreme twists the pianist must make his hands do, the preposterously fast runs....a real rite of passage. A universally recognized masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition, guest pianist Alexander Toradze will perform the Rachmaninoff 3.

With music and choreography originally considered to be so avant-garde that it almost caused a riot at its premiere, The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps) has become a successful and influential concert piece. The story, about pagan rituals celebrating the coming of spring, centers on a young girl, a sacrificial victim who dances herself to death. With a score that experiments with disharmonious sound, rhythmic pattern, stress, and tonal quality, The Rite of Spring is a testament to Stravinsky's inventiveness and musical ingenuity.

Toradze, best known for his classical Russian repertoire, is a concert pianist with career spanning over three decades. Born in Georgia, then part of the former Soviet Union, he graduated from the Moscow conservatory in 1978 and toured with the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra of Moscow where he requested asylum at the American Embassy in Madrid in 1983. He currently teaches piano at Indiana University South Bend.

On Thursday and Saturday’s concert evenings at 7 p.m. in the Mead Theatre, Gittleman will conduct a “Take Note” pre-concert discussion. “Take Note” is sponsored by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Volunteer Association. Saturday’s performance is also the annual Olive W. Kettering Memorial Concert.

Tickets for Thursday’s and Saturday’s classical concerts are $9 to $59 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 and at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at box office. Friday’s Classical Connectios is sold out.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.  

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