Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto Headlines Nashville Symphony Performances on February 1-3
Pianist Joyce Yang returns as soloist; concert also to feature Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony
Nashville, TN. (January 25, 2018) — The Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series returns on February 1-3 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center as guest conductor Lawrence Foster leads a program celebrating two beloved Russian composers, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This evening of orchestral classics also features the return of internationally renowned pianist Joyce Yang.
Yang, who wowed thousands in September during a performance with the Nashville Symphony at Ascend Amphitheater, will be the featured soloist on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a landmark piece in the composer’s career that has found its way into both popular music and film. Foster and the orchestra close the concerts with Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony, known as “Winter Dreams,” which blends the influence of Russian folksongs with Western classical tradition and captures the icy beauty of a winter landscape.
Great seats are still available for all three performances, but are selling quickly. Date night packages – which include two tickets, two glasses of wine and Goo Goo chocolates – are available starting at $68, and all February 2 ticket purchases include admittance to Happy Hour at the ’Horn, a pre-concert event with live music by pianist Joe Prior courtesy of Steinway pianos, discounts on select wine and beers, and more.
About the Program
Tchaikovsky composed his First Symphony in 1866, shortly after he had accepted a teaching position at the Conservatory of Music in Moscow at the invitation of founder Nikolai Rubinstein. Composing his first large-scale symphonic work took a toll on the young Russian – his brother later noted that “no other work cost him such effort and suffering,” and the bouts of insomnia and severe hallucinations Tchaikovsky endured during the creative process made him vow never to compose again during nighttime hours. Though not performed as frequently as some of his later works, the First was a piece that Tchaikovsky looked back on fondly, referring to it in 1874 as “a sin of my sweet youth.”
Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto served as healing process of sorts for the composer, helping him emerge from a deep depression that surfaced following the disastrous 1897 premiere of his own First Symphony. Dedicated to the pioneering hypnotherapist Nikolai Dahl – whose treatment helped the composer regain his confidence and creativity – the distinctly Romantic concerto enjoyed a highly successful premiere and kicked off a particularly fertile period for Rachmaninoff.
The work’s firm place in the classical repertoire is also evident in its infiltration into modern popular culture – Eric Carmen borrowed one of the melodies from the second movement for his ’70s hit “All By Myself,” and a portion of the finale is used in “Full Moon and Empty Arms,” made famous by Frank Sinatra.
Born in South Korea, Yang rose to international prominence in 2005, when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant in the competition at 19, she took home both the Steven De Groote Memorial Award for Best Performance of Chamber Music (with the Takàcs Quartet) and the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for Best Performance of a New Work. Since that debut, Yang has performed alongside the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and dozens of orchestras around the world, garnering praise for her “poetic and sensitive pianism” (Washington Post) and “wondrous sense of color” (San Francisco Classical Voice).
The concerts open with the first-ever Nashville Symphony performances of Finale by composer Bruno Mantovani, who serves as the head of the esteemed Paris Conservatory.
Tickets for Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky may be purchased:
- Online at NashvilleSymphony.org/RachTchaik
- Via phone at 615.687.6400
- At the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office, One Symphony Place in downtown Nashville
More information, program notes, a Spotify playlist and more can be found at: https://www.nashvillesymphony.org/RachTchaik.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 28 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 11 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.