DAYTON, OH (April 15, 2016) – On Friday, May 6, 2016 and Saturday, May 7, 2016 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 Brahms Festival Evenings One and Two, the seventh and eighth concerts in the Premier Health 2015-2016 Classical Series. Guest pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi, DPO Concertmaster Jessica Hung, DPO Principal Second Violin Kirstin Greenlaw, and DPO Principal Cello Andra Padrichelli join forces to salute remarkable German composer Johannes Brahms, who will be honored in two programs recognizing his outstanding craftsmanship as one of the singular masters of musical form and argument. Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s Innovation Partner for this performance is the DP&L Foundation – Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts.
Antonio Pompa-Baldi, pianist
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999 and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. Mr. Pompa-Baldi appears regularly at the world’s major concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Salle Pleyel, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Shanghai’s Grand Theatre, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. He performed in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Kiev, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Beijing, where he played a recital in the Forbidden City Concert Hall and conducted Master Classes at the China National Conservatory, being named Honorary Guest Professor of that institution.
A Steinway artist, Mr. Pompa-Baldi is on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Of his talent on the piano, The Boston Globe commented, “Pompa-Baldi demonstrated both brilliance and structural insight…He also showed himself to be an ensemble player of considerable sensitivity, seeming to relish the partnership of other instruments.” The Los Angeles Times sang his praises with this statement: “Pompa-Baldi knew how to suspend time, letting a phrase hover and expand in poised inner stillness… (He) relied on warmth, exquisite taste and… arresting technique.” Thus, Mr. Pompa-Baldi is the perfect musician to join the DPO as it salutes one of the greatest and most prolific composers of all time, Johannes Brahms.
Johannes Brahms, composer
Clinging to the notion that he must carry on the tradition of musical Classicism, Johannes Brahms, particularly nurtured by Robert Schumann, became one of the most potent and unique voices of Romanticism. In Brahms, Classicism and Romanticism met and became one. He was especially concerned with achieving structural integrity in his music by way of a thorough examination of its material and formal schemes, as well as a judicious balance of content and expression. Passion and melancholy often intermingled in his compositions, revealing a willingness to express ambivalent feelings with unyielding honesty
Brahms also had an affinity for variation form, which can be heard again and again in his piano and chamber works. Because of the richness of their content and discourse, Brahms’ symphonies and concertos are certainly among the greatest works of the second half of the 19th century. At the same time, his chamber pieces, specifically the instrumental sonatas, are landmarks of the repertoire. Musicians typically gravitate toward his work because it is utterly substantive.
Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is proud to close its 2015-2016 Classical Season with a tribute to this magnificent composer in a two-day Brahms Festival, highlighting Brahms’ lovely chamber music, complex concertos, and full orchestral masterpieces.
Friday’s program, Evening One of the Brahms Festival, features the Tragic Overture, encompassing grim melancholy and tenderness with tragic overtones; the Piano Trio in C minor Op. 101, the last of Brahms’ piano trios and the most distinguished for its extraordinary concentration and compactness; and Piano Concerto No. 1, Brahms’ first-performed orchestral work, known for its scale, grandeur and technical complexity.
Saturday’s program, Evening Two of the Brahms Festival, features Academic Festival Overture, a very spirited and stirring piece; Violin Sonata No. 3 Op. 108, one of Brahms’ most deeply passionate pieces; and Piano Concerto No. 2, a richly gorgeous work written 22 years after Brahms’ first piano concerto and dedicated to his teacher Eduard Marxsen.
As for the Tragic Overture and Academic Festival Overture, Brahms described the contrasting overtures to one of his friends: “One of them weeps, the other laughs.” Audiences will not want to miss either night of this exciting Brahms Festival!
Tickets for Brahms Festival: Evening One or Brahms Festival: Evening Two range from $14 to $61 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, educator, and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.