June 10, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Vadim Gluzman will perform Violin Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Prokofiev in concerts with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8pm.  Music Director José-Luis Novo will also conduct the orchestra in The Sanguine Fan by Sir Edward Elgar and Symphony No. 9 by Dmitri Shostakovich.

The Israeli violinist returns to Annapolis for the fourth program in this season’s Lexus Classics Series titled “Gluzman Plays Prokofiev,” which is presented with financial support from M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust.  Mr. Gluzman first appeared with Maestro Novo and the ASO in two memorable 2011 performances of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

Adult tickets for the upcoming ASO concerts start at $35 with students admitted for $10 each.  Tickets can be purchased through the ASO website at www.annapolissymphony.org, by calling 410-263-0907, or by visiting the ASO Box Office in room 204 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Monday through Friday, 9:30am – 5:30pm.

All ticket holders are invited to attend a free pre-concert lecture in the auditorium at 6:45pm led by British pianist and lecturer Dr. Rachel Franklin.  These entertaining talks enhance the concert experience by providing historical and insightful perspectives on the repertoire.

Born in the former Soviet Union in 1973, Vadim Gluzman began violin studies at age 7.

Before moving to Israel in 1990, he studied with Roman Sne in Latvia and Zakhar Bron in Russia as well as Arkady Fomin, the late Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School. Early in his career, he enjoyed the encouragement and support of Isaac Stern.  Mr. Gluzman is noted for bringing back to life the glorious violinistic tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries.

When World War I broke out, the English composer Sir Edward Elgar was horrified at the prospect of the carnage, but his patriotic feelings were nonetheless aroused.  The Sanguine Fan, Op. 81, is a single-act ballet written in 1917.  It was one of the pieces he composed to raise money for wartime charities.  The theme of the ballet was inspired by a scene depicting Pan and Echo that the artist Charles Conder had drawn in sanguine (a blood red color) on a fan, although the title itself is incidental to the theme.

The iconoclastic composer-pianist Sergei Prokofiev is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century.  His three movement Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor was written in 1935.   It starts off with a simple Russian folk melody that flows throughout the entire second movement, and ends with the initial violin theme reappearing in solo cello, accompanied by solo violin.  The third movement rondo's theme has a taste of Spain, with the clacking of castanets each time the theme appears.

Prokofiev was on a concert tour while he was working on the concerto, and later wrote, "The number of places in which I wrote the Concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then.  The main theme of the first movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the second movement at Voronezh, the orchestration was finished in Baku and the premiere was given in Madrid."  The Spanish liked the premiere so much that they sent a delegation of musicians to thank Prokofiev afterwards.

After intermission, the ASO will perform Symphony No. 9 by the Russian composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich, a prominent figure of 20th century music.  During the 1920’s and 30’s, he achieved fame in the Soviet Union, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the government.  Dating from 1945, the Ninth Symphony is an ironic Haydnesque parody, which intentionally failed to satisfy Stalin's demands for a "hymn of victory."  The Second World War was won, and Shostakovich's "pretty" symphony was interpreted as a mockery of the Soviet Union’s victory rather than a celebratory piece.  All three works on this program are ASO premiers. 

Funding for the ASO is generously provided by Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Baltimore / Annapolis Lexus Dealers, the Maryland State Arts Council, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.  These concerts are presented with the support of M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra features 70 professional musicians who perform a variety of symphonic music for audiences of all ages. Additionally, the non-profit organization provides educational programs through its partnerships with local schools, and various other community outreach efforts.