Press Release for Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Fine Arts Center
Guest Pianist Valentina Lisitsa Joining Renowned Polish Orchestra
(JACKSONVILLE, FL) – The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, accompanied by guest pianist Valentina Lisitsa, will perform selections from Brahms, Liszt, and Karlowicz at the UNF Fine Arts Center on Sunday, November 2 at 3 p.m. Today, the 107-year-old Polish orchestra continues to be one of Europe’s leading musical ensembles. In addition to performing over 80 symphony concerts, over 50 chamber concerts, and several children’s concerts around the world each year, the orchestra has also recorded several CDs, appeared on Polish television and radio, and provides music for film soundtracks. Currently under the leadership of Musical Director Antoni Wit, the orchestra boasts 110 instrumentalists and 95 choir members. It is regularly invited to the best musical centers in the world, such as: Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall, Berliner Philharmonie, Royal Festival Hall, Suntory Hall, La Scala and La Fenice. The brilliant Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa is guest soloist for Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Described by critics as a “bona fide angel playing” and an “electrifying pianist,” Lisitsa has been receiving rave reviews since her arrival in the United States in 1991. With her multi-faceted playing described as "dazzling," Valentina is at ease in a vast repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to Shostakovich and Bernstein. With her highly individual and fearless approach to every work she performs, she has been greeted by enthusiastic audiences throughout the world. The program also includes the Warsaw Philharmonic performing Brahms’ Second Symphony and a work by Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, a major Polish composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Patrons will also be able to purchase a special ticket package to attend a pre-show champagne brunch starting at 12:30 p.m. Proceeds from this $150 package will benefit the Angel Ticket Program, which allows patrons to donate their unused tickets to allow at-risk children to attend the performance. For information about the pre-show brunch, please call Tiffany Winemiller at (904) 620-1890.
Individual tickets are $60, $54, and $45 for the general public and $10 for students. Additional discounts apply on select shows when purchasing for either 3 or 6 performances. For complete information about any shows or to purchase single tickets, visit www.unf.edu/fineartscenter or call the UNF Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878. Patrons can visit the Box Office in person at the University of North Florida, Building 45, Room 1400, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 hours prior to show time.
Serenade for string orchestra, Op. 2
Karłowicz’ Serenade, Op. 2 was written while he was still in Berlin in 1897, and remains one of his most popular compositions. The work is written for string orchestra and shows his mastery of chromatic harmony and exotic key relationships. The work opens with a well-written March marked Allegro moderato – Tempo di Marcia – Trio: Meno mosso. The second movement, Romance: Andante con moto, is both subtle and poetic, while the third movement, Waltz: Allegro moderato – Poco piu mosso – Tempo I is a very elegant example of the form. The serenade closes with a Finale: Allegretto non troppo that may bring to mind the music of Franz Lehar’s Merry Widow.
Piano Concerto no. 1, E-flat major
The E-flat major Concerto is composed of four closely linked movements with their relationship emphasized by their dependence on the powerful motive heard at the beginning. Liszt had sketched out the ideas for the concerto as early as 1830. The work was completed in 1849 and was revised in 1853 and 1856. The first performance was under the direction of Hector Berlioz, with the composer as the soloist.
Symphony no. 2, op. 73, D major
Brahms wrote his Symphony No. 2 in D major in 1877, completing the score in less than four months. This work has often been called Brahms' "Pastoral" Symphony. There is perhaps an element of truth in this descriptive nickname, particularly in relation to the first and second movements and, possibly the third. Of his four symphonies, the tone of the Second is the most idyllic. The serene expression of the first movement is contrasted with the more deeply contemplative character of the second movement, where the lyrical sentiment is most apparent as the style of the lied is clearly found in the melody. The third movement demonstrates a skillful use of variation technique and an effective juxtaposition of alternating fast and moderately slow sections. The finale expresses great jubilation.
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About The University of North Florida Fine Arts Center
Established in 2001, The University of Florida Fine Arts Center has built a rich tradition of showcasing an eclectic series of world-class performers, commercial entertainers, ethnic music and dance, cutting edge performances, and children’s programming as well as the premiere of new works to support upcoming artists. The Center’s goal is to enhance the academic programs of the University and to complement the cultural offerings within Jacksonville, building new audiences, and contributing to the quality of life and economic development of the city.
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