The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra journeys back 200 years to hang with prolific Classical composers who died or retired in their 30s. KSO musicians have requested Franz Schubert’s 9th Symphony (“The Great”) for decades, so the orchestra’s music director called upon a long standing cereal advertising campaign to tie Rossini, Mozart and Schubert selections together with — “They’re Grrreat!”
Gioachino Rossini wrote 39 operas between 1806 and 1829 then simply retired at the age of 37 (he died at 76). For each of his opera overtures, for which Rossini is most noted (William Tell, Barber of Seville, etc), he often waited until the day before each opera’s premiere before sitting down to write it, leaving copyists (there were no copy machines) and impressarios (producers) frantic. The Overture to Tancredi underscores this anticipation with its ever quickening tempo to the end.
The KSO’s very first concert in 1992 featured pianist Michael Chertok. Michael, now a renowned pianist and conductor, performs internationally, heads the piano faculty at CCM and leads the Blue Ash Symphony. Over three decades, the KSO has featured Mr. Chertock playing Rachmaninoff, MacDowell, Liszt and Gershwin. He returns to perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s spritely Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major K. 488.
Franz Schubert, like Mozart, produced an incredibly large catalog of music for a composer who only lived to age 31. His Symphony No. 9 (The Great) was his last completed symphony, though its unusual length (50-60”) and difficulty, prevented it from being publicly performed until ten years following his death. Schubert’s Ninth was composed a year after he attended the premiere of Beethoven’s immortal 9th Symphony. In the finale to his Symphony, Schubert pays homage to his older Viennese colleague, by slipping in a brief quotation of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”
“When orchestras perform the classics, they are sharing a spiritually-inspired gift from which subsequent composers and musicians took their cue and dared to continue to push musical boundaries. It is why we still revere, study and perform the works of these pillars of Western music.” — KSO Music Director, James Cassidy.
Join the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and Michael Chertock for “They’re Grrreat” — 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25, at Greaves Concert Hall, on the campus of NKU in Highland Heights, KY. Tickets are $35-$19 with children 50% off. For those who are out of the area, or who must stay home, the KSO live streams each concert (with multiple cameras) for your ‘at home access’ for the price of a single “A” ticket. Tickets are available online at kyso.org or by phone at (859) 431-6216.
For additional information, visit the KSO at www.kyso.org or call (859) 431-6216.