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The Tale of the Medieval Prince Alexander Comes to Life in Film, Complete with Epic Surround Sound, as the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Presents Alexander Nevsky

Score by Sergei Prokofiev, Film by Sergei Eisenstein, Live Music by Maestro Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic, Captivating Vocals by Ryu-Kyung Kim and the DPO Chorus



CONTACT: ANGELA WHITEHEAD
Communications & Media Manager 
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 
DAYTON, OH (December 6, 2016) – On Friday, January 6, 2017 and Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 8 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will present Alexander Nevsky, the third concert in the Premier Health 2016-2017 Masterworks Series.  Guest vocalist mezzo-soprano Ryu-Kyung Kim and the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus, under the direction of Hank Dahlman, will provide the compelling and moving vocals to this stunning performance. 

Then on Sunday, January 8, 2016 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theater of the Schuster Center, Maestro Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will present Prokofiev Meets Eisenstein, the second concert in the Dr. Charles and Patricia Demirjian 2016-2017 Classical Connections Series, with support from Graeter’s. Dr. Nenad Jovanovic of Wright State University’s Film Department will join to add insight into Eisenstein’s and Prokofiev’s masterpiece. 

The new year brings a new event to the Schuster Center:  the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky as an accompaniment to the screening of the film of the same name. Maestro Gittleman will conduct the entire score to the film Alexander Nevsky as the movie projects on a large screen above the orchestra.  The DPO will provide the full orchestral accompaniment to the film, stripped of all orchestral music; only the actors’ dialogue and sound effects remain. Guest vocalist soprano Ryu-Kyung Kim and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus will bring the full, rich soloist and choral vocals to the stage to help tell the story as the film runs overhead. The result is an engaging experience of film, live musical score and vocal performance – surround sound at its outright finest! 

“Alexander Nevsky is, perhaps, the greatest ever combo of film and music,” said Conductor Neal Gittleman. “On second thought, forget the ‘perhaps’! The two Sergeis—Eisenstein, the director, and Prokofiev, the composer—worked in close collaboration to link the indelible images to the powerful music.  It’s an amazing piece to perform and an amazing experience to see the film with live musical accompaniment by a full orchestra and chorus.” 

Born in Russia in 1891, composer and pianist Sergei Prokofiev was a musical prodigy. He had composed a waltz, a march, and a rondo at age six and within a few years was composing music to accompany stories that he had written. By age thirteen, Prokofiev was enrolled at the St. Petersburg Conservatory to study musical composition. In 1914, he began traveling, first to Paris and later to America. While in the United States, he was in high demand as a pianist. However, Prokofiev obtained few commissions, probably because of artistic differences; he found American music to be conservative. He stayed in the United States until 1934 when he returned to the Soviet Union, choosing to resettle there even though the country was under Stalin’s rule. 

Once he returned to his homeland, Prokofiev received many commissions for ballets and film. He wrote the film score for Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 film Alexander Nevsky. True to Stalin’s policy of glorifying Russian heroes, Alexander Nevsky retells the medieval epic of Prince Alexander. In 1242, Pope Gregory IX sent Teutonic Knights to invade the Baltic region of Russia. Alexander and his men lay in wait for the invaders and defeated them in the “Battle on the Ice.” The film’s explicit aim was to use the Alexander’s story to prepare the Soviet people for a new war against invading Germans.  The instrumental and choral music in this score was Prokofiev’s best work from his time composing under Soviet rule. 

On Friday and Saturday, the DPO will perform the full score to accompany the film, joined by Ms. Kim and the full Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus. 

On the Sunday Connections Concert, DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman and Dr. Nenad Jovanovic of Wright State University’s Film Department will give the audience unique insight into the film and the music. The full film will be shown once again, with the DPO and Chorus providing the live music.  A casual Question-and-Answer session follows the concert.  Concertgoers are invited to enjoy a free scoop of ice cream from Graeter’s following Sunday’s performance. 

Tickets for Alexander Nevsky range from $16 to $65 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Tickets for Sunday’s performance of Prokofiev Meets Eisenstein range from $15 to $43 and are also available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org.  Senior, teacher, student, and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information on these productions or on other upcoming performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org

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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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