2023-2024 Masterworks Series
Jessie Montgomery’s Banner
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,
Aleksandra Kasman Laude, piano
Modest Mussorgsky’s (orch. Maurice Ravel) Pictures at an Exhibition
Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor
DAYTON, OH (Sept. 18, 2023) – Dayton Performing Arts Alliance continues Dayton Philharmonic’s 2023-2024 Masterworks Series with an event teeming with orchestra showpieces featuring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with audience favorite
, Aleksandra Kasman on piano and the Dayton premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Banner. Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor leads the orchestra on Sept. 29-30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale now and start at $5. For tickets, call 937-228-3630 or visit daytonperformingarts.org/tickets.
“We open the program with an exciting piece by a popular young American composer, Jessie Montgomery, said Neal Gittleman, Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor. “Her piece Banner” is a musical kaleidoscope based on melodic fragments from ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and several other countries’ national anthems, plus the rhythm of our Pledge of Allegiance.”
Jessie Montgomery “…never fails to enthrall with her rhythmically complex, richly orchestrated, highly original pieces” (WTTW-Chicago PBS). Known as an acclaimed composer, violinist, and arts educator, Montgomery’s Banner was written to mark the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In 2009, she was commissioned to compose a tribute to the historic election of Barack Obama. She has written other works through her affiliation with The Sphinx Organization, which supports young African American and Latinx musicians. Kasman is currently the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
“We’ll welcome back the incredible young pianist Aleksandra Kasman Laude,” continues Gittleman, “who wowed audiences playing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto in 2022. 2023 is the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s birth, so inviting Aleksandra back to play more Rachmaninoff’s thrilling Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was a no-brainer.”
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is an orchestral work closely resembling a piano concerto but is performed in one movement. Rachmaninoff, a pianist, performed the piece with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934. Pianist Aleksandra Kasman Laude is described as having “such an abundance of intelligence that it can only be described as relentless” (Ludwig von Toronto). She has performed worldwide and was named a Young Artist-in-Residence of National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” in 2019. Laude is an Assistant Professor of Piano at Utah State University.
“When Patrick Nugent joined the DPAA as our new President and CEO, he casually mentioned that Pictures at an Exhibition was his favorite orchestral music,” said Gittleman. “The intelligent person that I am, I immediately looked up the last time the DPO had played that amazing piece—It was five years ago—and Pictures is what I think of as a “five-year piece.” In other words, you can program it every five years, and it’s not too soon. So, I immediately penciled in Pictures for the 2023-2024 season. “
Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition was written shortly after the sudden death of his friend, architect, and painter, Viktor Hartmann. Pictures at an Exhibition is a musical depiction of Mussorgsky’s tour of an exhibition of Hartmann’s works at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. Originally a piano suite in ten movements composed in 1874, composer Maurice Ravel was commissioned to orchestrate the suite in 1922, and quickly became one of the most often performed and recorded orchestral works today.
Neal Gittleman will host a Take Note Talk live in the Mead Theater of the Schuster Center from 6:30–
Tickets to Pictures at an Exhibition are on sale now and start at $5. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 937-228-3630, in person at the Dayton Live Box Office in the Schuster Center, or online at daytonperformingarts.org/tickets
DPAA’s Masterworks Series continues through the 2023- 2024 concert season with Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony (Nov.10-11, 2023); Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony (Jan. 12-13, 2024); Brahms: A German Requiem (March 8-9, 2024), Total Eclipse: The Sun and The Planets (April 5-6. 2024) and New World Symphony (June 7-8, 2024). All performances are held at the Schuster Center and begin at 7:30 pm.