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World-renowned violin virtuoso, headliner of DPO’s premier performance at the Schuster in 2003, returns for “Royal Homecoming”

What better way to kick off the new year than for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to welcome back Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the guest artist who helped the DPO launch its present tenure at the Schuster Center?

Long a member of classical music’s royal family of superb virtuosi, Nadja isn’t the only royal coming home on January 12 and 14. Beethoven’s King Stephen will be there as well; the Overture (op. 117) will open this program of color and drama and – along with DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman – roll out the red carpet for Nadja’s triumphant return to the Mead Theatre stage. The piece is fitting, because Beethoven wrote the overture for the dedication of a theater.

British musicologist and critic Sir Donald Tovey once said, “Lovers of music ought, at this time of day, to show more gratitude to those who devote themselves to making beautiful things. It is not easy to write as beautifully as Max Bruch.” Nor is it easy to play Bruch’s melodic and soulful Violin Concerto No. 1 in G-minor op. 26 as beautifully as Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg does and will.

In 1945, Serge Koussevitzky called Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra “…the best orchestral piece of the last 25 years.” The piece demands the utmost skill of the musicians who perform it. As a result, the Concerto for Orchestra spotlights the DPO’s principals and instrumental groups, providing them a chance to showcase their performance skills. “This is a piece that any orchestral musician would look forward to perform,” Lucas Alemán, DPO Concertmaster, states. “It’s a work of brilliance and color, of warmth and harmonic generosity. Listeners will be excited and intrigued, not only by the virtuosity of the performance of the Orchestra as a whole, but how the different timbres of each section work together.”