Brian Ganz Continues “Extreme Chopin” Quest / February 6 & 7
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Media Contact: Marc Apter, 301-904-3690
Mozart, Rossini and Chopin: A Musical Dialogue
Pianist Brian Ganz Continues “Extreme Chopin” Quest
Bethesda, MD (January 4, 2016) — The National Philharmonic presents a weekend program featuring the works of three great classical composers in dialogue with each other’s work. Brian Ganz, widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation, will also continue his quest to perform all of Chopin’s works, and will perform under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski. “This evening’s program is an exploration of a public musical dialogue between three very popular composers,” says Gajewski. “Mozart was arguably the world’s first classical rock star. Rossini was nicknamed ‘The Italian Mozart’. And, Chopin’s 1827 Variations are based on a famous duet from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.” The performances will take place on Saturday, February 6 at 8pm and on Sunday, February 7th at 3pm at the Music Center at Strathmore. A free lecture, given by National Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau, precedes each concert at 6:45pm and 1:45pm respectively. Ticket prices start at $29 and are free for young people age 7 to 17 (please call or visit the Strathmore Ticket Office to reserve Kids Free tickets). Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call 301.581.5100.
The program opens with Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri Overture (“The Italian Girl in Algiers”), written when the composer was only 21. The elegant melodies associated with Rossini fuse with an infectious energy that conveys the confidence of youth. This is followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor. This concerto, prominently featured in the 1984 award-winning film Amadeus, is one of only two Mozart concertos written in a minor key. Pianist Ganz develops the theme of Mozart’s concerto with solo piano rippling in a rapid succession of eighth notes. Ganz then assays another work of young genius, Chopin's 1827 Variations on “Là ci darem la mano.” This was Chopin’s first work for piano with an orchestra and was completed when he was only 17. Based on the famous romantic duet from Don Giovanni, its modern style and free-flowing mood garnered an unusually positive reception. The program closes with another piece from Mozart: his Symphony No. 35, also known as the Haffner Symphony. The Haffner Symphony was composed during one of the most productive and tumultuous times of Mozart’s short life, and is notable for its exhilarating spirit.
Led by Maestro Gajewski, the National Philharmonic is known for performances that are “powerful,” impeccable” and “thrilling” (The Washington Post). In July 2003, the National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus merged to create the National Philharmonic, an ensemble with over 50 years of combined history, bringing high caliber musical performances to the DC area. The National Philharmonic took up residence at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore upon its opening in February 2005. Now, more than 250 performances later, and with far-reaching educational programming, the National Philharmonic is the major professional orchestra based in Montgomery County.
The Philharmonic boasts a long-standing tradition of reasonably priced tickets and free admission to all young people age 7-17, assuring its place as an accessible and enriching component in Montgomery County and the greater Washington, DC area.
As the Music Center at Strathmore’s orchestra-in-residence, the National Philharmonic showcases world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Gajewski, with additional conducting by Associate Conductor Victoria Gau, and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.
To purchase tickets for the performance or for a complete schedule, please visit www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call the Strathmore box office at (301) 581-5100. Tickets are $29-$89; kids 7 to 17 are FREE through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program. ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone. Complimentary parking is available.