“Russian Classics” ends Philharmonic season


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News release from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic:

Fort Wayne Philharmonic ends season with “Russian Classics”

(April 15, 2016) – The Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s 2015/16 season draws to a close on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Historic Embassy Theatre in downtown Fort Wayne with the Madge Rothschild Foundation Masterworks Series “Russian Classics” concert conducted by Music Director Andrew Constantine. The program will feature works of romance, passion and hope by great composers from Russia and Armenia; Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the Trumpet Concerto in A-flat major by Alexander Arutunian with principal trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Hooten, as soloist. Concluding the evening will be Sergei Prokofiev’s heroic Symphony No. 5, Op 100, a spectacular conclusion to an extraordinary season.

William Shakespeare’s story of love and tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, resonated deeply with Tchaikovsky. His feelings towards Eduard Zak, the young cousin of one of his students, who later committed suicide, were revealed in the composer’s diary written in 1887.

“How amazingly clearly I remember him: the sound of his voice, his movements, but especially the extraordinarily wonderful expression on his face at times. I cannot conceive that he is no more. The death of this boy, the fact that he no longer exists, is beyond my understanding. It seems to me that I have never loved anyone so strongly as him.”

The Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy is the manifestation of Tchaikovsky’s agonizing personal experiences colliding with Shakespeare’s famous play. This tightly constructed 20-minute masterpiece distills Shakespeare’s narrative into a composition of true brilliance. The work’s famous main theme has become identified in world consciousness as one of the most recognizable love melodies ever composed.

Arutunian composed the second piece on the program, the Trumpet Concerto in A-flat major, in 1950 for the renowned trumpet player Timofei Dokschitzer. Concerti for trumpet and orchestra are something of a rarity in modem orchestral composition. Because of its lively Eastern European melodic lyricism and Armenian harmonic textures, this piece has been swiftly incorporated into the standard trumpet repertoire all over the world, receiving international praise from audiences and performers.

“I always enjoy playing this exciting showpiece for trumpet. It has everything you want in a concerto, flashy technical passages, passionate lyrical lines, and points of meditation. I can’t wait to join the Philharmonic for this weekend in May,” Thomas Hooten said.

Principal Trumpet of Los Angeles Philharmonic, Thomas Hooten, was born in Tampa, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Florida and a Master of Music from Rice University in Houston, Texas. In 2000, Hooten earned a position with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in Washington, D.C., where he was often featured as a soloist. In 2006, he became the Principal Trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony before earning his current position with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2012. Hooten can be heard on numerous Atlanta Symphony recordings on the Telarc label, including Scriabin: Poem of Ecstasy and Michael Gandolfi: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. His first solo recording, Trumpet Call, was released in 2011.

The second half of the program will feature Prokofiev’s ode to the indefatigable human spirit, his Symphony No. 5, Op 100. Prokofiev composed his symphony in the summer of 1944 at an artist’s retreat roughly eighty miles outside of Moscow, summer home to the most important Soviet composers during the Second World War. The quiet surroundings far away from the horrors of war allowed the composer to fully tap into his creative energy and finish his fifth symphony in just a month.

The composer was quoted as saying, “I wanted to sing the praises of the free and happy human being—of such a person’s strength, generosity and purity of soul. I cannot say I chose this theme; it was born in me and had to express itself.”



Saturday, May 14 | 7:30 P.M.
The Embassy Theatre
Andrew Constantine, conductor
Thomas Hooten, trumpet

TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy

ARUTUNIAN Trumpet Concerto in A-flat major
Thomas Hooten, trumpet

— Intermission –

PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5, Op 100


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. Trumpeter Thomas Hooten will join Dr. Gregory Jones, Chair of the IPFW Department of Music and former trumpet professor and conductor of the brass choir at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, for the May 14 lecture, which is free and held in the Gallery of the Grand Wayne Center.

Tickets for “Russian Classics” 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 Embassy Theatre during normal operating hours and two hours prior to each concert. Full program and series information are available at fwphil.org.


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.


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