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Spokane Symphony to Perform Chopin and Brahms

Thursday Apr 13, 2017 • Press Release

Internationally Acclaimed Pianist Claire Haungci Makes Spokane Debut 

CONTACT:     Jane Cody 464-7074    

SPOKANE— The Spokane Symphony, conducted by Music Director Eckart Preu, will perform a pair of romantic works by Chopin and Brahms on Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Internationally acclaimed pianist Claire Huangci will make her first appearance with the Symphony performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, an exquisite yet herculean display of virtuosity. It is paired with Brahms’ monumental First Symphony. The program also includes American composer John Corigliano’s neo-classical Elegy. 

Both performances include a talk one hour before curtain time that is free to all ticket holders. 

Claire Huangci, a young American pianist of Chinese heritage, has succeeded in establishing herself as a highly respected artist. While she started her career as a celebrated child prodigy who once gave a private concert for President Bill Clinton at the age of ten, she has gone on to captivate audiences with her virtuosic and moving performances around the globe. Huangci had her artistic breakthrough performing the music of Chopin, winning first prize at the International Chopin Competition in 2009, followed by Miami’s Chopin Competition in 2010. She has since proven her great versatility with an unusually broad repertoire, which includes a large number of contemporary works. She has performed with an impressive list of orchestras, including Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (under Sir Roger Norrington), Münchner Kammerorchester, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver, Santa Fe, Moscow Radio and Istanbul State Symphonies. This will be her first appearance with the Spokane Symphony. More…  [http://www.barrettartists.com/artist.php?id=huangci&aview=bio]

The Music

John Corigliano’s Elegy is a neo-Romantic work originally composed in 1965 as a trio for flute, clarinet and harp.  Intended as background music for a love scene from the off-Broadway play Helen by Wallace Grey, it portrays the aging Helen of Troy consorting with her young lover Telemachus. Orchestrated a year later and dedicated to Samuel Barber, it was Corigliano’s first orchestral work.      

Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 was praised by Schumann for bringing "the spirit of Beethoven into the concert hall." Written when the composer was just twenty, the work is filled with the lyric melodies that were to become Chopin’s trademark. By contrast, the orchestration is light, serving primarily as a backdrop for the soloist. This is truly a pianist’s concerto, filled with virtuoso passages designed to showcase the technical brilliance of the soloist Claire Haungci.  

Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 is a monumental work that took more than 14 years to complete. In part this was due to the ghost of Beethoven that haunted Brahms; he wrote “You don’t know what it is like always to hear that giant marching along behind me.” He was only 21-year-old (in 1854), when he first heard Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and resolved to write one in the same key (D minor). After multiple attempts, he produced his symphony that looked to his idol while remaining true to his musical instincts. The first and last movements clearly reflect the influence of Beethoven, while the two central movements combine great lyricism and expressiveness.  

Ticket Information:

Tickets are available with personalized service in advance at the Box Office at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague, or by calling 509-624-1200. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.spokanesymphony.org. Tickets are also available at all TicketsWest outlets or by calling 1-800-325-SEAT.

This concert is sponsored by Merrill O’Brien. 

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