News release from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra:
“Midwinter Mozart” features pianist Boris Slutsky
(December 23, 2015) – The Fort Wayne Philharmonic will devote the entire fifth Madge Rothschild Foundation Masterworks Series performance to one of the prodigious composers in all of classical music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The program entitled “Midwinter Mozart,” will be performed on Saturday, January 23, 7:30 p.m., at the Rhinehart Music Center on the IPFW campus.
Conducted by Music Director Andrew Constantine, “Midwinter Mozart” includes the Overture to Don Giovanni, Symphony No. 40, K. 550, G minor and the Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K467, featuring world-renowned pianist Boris Slutsky.
“As meaningful, magical and relevant to us today as he was two hundred years ago, Mozart holds a grip on our imaginations like no other composer. His operas, concertos and symphonies explore depths of human expression that leave us both enriched and content,” Constantine said.
Don Giovanni, premiered on October 29, 1787, is considered one of the greatest operas of all time. Based on the legend of Don Juan, the famous libertine who travels across Europe seducing women, leaving a trail of broken hearts, empty promises and shattered lives, the Don meets his ultimate demise in a storyline full of mysterious and otherworldly plot twists.
The Overture to Don Giovanni itself is more than just an introduction to the opera. It is a masterpiece unto itself that brilliantly reflects the relationship of conflicting elemental forces between characters as well as the opera’s opposing moods, both comic and serious. According to legend, the overture was written the day before the premiere, forcing the musicians to sight-read the music while the ink was still wet on the page.
Next on the program, acclaimed pianist Boris Slutsky joins The Phil to perform Mozart’s vivid Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467.
“Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 is one of the most beautiful among his piano concertos. Some of the most memorable melodies are quintessentially Mozart: some virtuosic and youthful with hope, and others lyrical, laced with nostalgia and a trace of sadness. The kaleidoscope of constantly changing moods and colors is simply delightful,” Slutsky said.
Written during a period of frenzied activity when Mozart was making a name for himself in Vienna as both pianist and composer, the Piano Concerto No. 21 was composed within a month of his previous piano concerto. Mozart once wrote, “We never get to bed at night before one o’clock. Every day there are concerts, and the whole time is given up to studying, teaching, composing, etc. It is impossible to describe all the bustle and confusion.”
Since his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony in 1980, Slutsky has appeared on nearly every continent as soloist and recitalist. He has performed with many orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Stuttgart State Orchestra and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Neuss am Rhein in Germany, and major orchestras in Spain, Russia, Colombia, and Brazil. Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Slutsky received his early training at Moscow’s Gnessin School for Gifted Children as a student of Anna Kantor, and completed his formal studies at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.
After intermission the program concludes with the Symphony No. 40, K550, G minor. One of three final symphonies composed within the span of three months in 1788, Mozart didn’t know it would be one of his last and t is not clear whether or not the composer even heard the work performed. The dramatic nature of the symphony cannot be said to mimic some kind of turmoil in his life but rather a traditional device used to elicit intense feelings and turbulent passions. After the composer’s death, the symphony quickly became one of his most loved works because it perfectly captured the Romantic imagination beginning to emerge at the dawn of the 19th century.
All ticket holders are invited to enhance their concert experience with Musically Speaking, the pre-concert lecture series presented at 6:30 p.m. before every Masterworks performance. Lectures are held in the Rhinehart Music Center in room RC120 and are free to all ticket holders.
Tickets for “Midwinter Mozart” start at just $17 and are conveniently available for purchase online at fwphil.org. Purchases can also be made in person at The Phil Box Office, located at 4901 Fuller Drive or over the phone by calling 260-481-0777. The Phil Box Office is open Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or Saturday (Masterworks and Pops concert days only) from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Tickets are also available for purchase at the venue two hours prior to each concert. Full program and series information are available at fwphil.org.
About the Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Now performing its 72nd season, The Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s mission is to inspire and foster a lifelong love of classical music through performance and education. The Phil is led by Music Director Andrew Constantine and is a member of the League of American Orchestras, a funded member of Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, and the Indiana Arts Commission. For additional information visit fwphil.org.