Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony and Yefim Bronfman in Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto

Season finale program on June 11th also features selections from Wagner’s epic Ring cycle

Music Director Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in its last classical concert of the 2008-2009 season on Thursday, June 11 at 8:00 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13 at 8:00 pm. and Sunday, June 14 at 3:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program will feature two powerhouse works: Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with world-renowned soloist Yefim Bronfman and orchestral selections from Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelungen, including “Ride of the Valkyries.”

Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto is known as one of the most difficult piano works ever composed. Featured in the 1996 film Shine, this piano concerto’s complexity drove the main character, a struggling pianist, into madness. Yefim Bronfman, who previously recorded this concerto, possesses the technical genius needed to execute the quick and intricate melodies and land the long-fingered chords. The concerto runs through a range of expressions to best show the pianist’s skills: themes run from melancholy to passion and utilize both major and minor keys. The soaring finale features church bells, a roaring piano march and accelerated tempos for an exhilarating finish.

Wagner’s four-opera cycle—Das Rheingold, Die Walkürie, Siegfried and Götterdammerung—known as The Ring cycle, took more than 26 years to complete. This orchestra-heavy opera was the first of its kind to dispense with the standard operatic arias and instead merge singers and orchestra. The story of the magic ring can only be understood from listening to all four operas and the composer meant for it to be done as such. For this performance, Maestra Alsop has selected key orchestral works from all four operas including “At the bottom of the Rhine,” “The Nibelungen Smiths,” “The Ride of the Valkyries,” “Siegfried,” “Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey,” “Funeral Music,” “Immolation Scene” and “Redemption by Love” offering audiences an abridged version of Wagner’s massive Ring cycle.

OMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION:
Classical Concert Series: Marin Alsop and Yefim Bronfman
Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —The Music Center at Strathmore *
Friday, June 12, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Marin Alsop, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor
Wagner: Orchestral Selections from The Ring of the Nibelungen

* Music Notes LIVE! is a free pre-concert lecture at the Music Center at Strathmore, hosted by WETA’s David Ginder. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to ticket holders.
Tickets for these concerts range from $20 to $85, and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or www.BSOmusic.org.

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