Carolyn Kuan to Lead HSO in Program of Bernstein, Rachmaninoff and Strauss Valentine’s Day Weekend

Van Cliburn Finalist, Pianist Mariangela Vacatello to Play Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

?HARTFORD, January 31, 2014- The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will share the romance of Valentine’s Day at West Side Story on Thursday, February 13 – Sunday, February 16, 2014 at The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts.  Led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan, program highlights will include Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, featuring guest pianist Mariangela Vacatello. 

The program will open with Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) Suite, whose music is derived from Strauss’ operatic rendition of the romantic and comedic Monsieur de Pourceaugnac by Molière. The music chronicles the budding, young love of Octavian and Sophie, the fading youth of the Marschallin, and the humorous, blustering actions of Baron Ochs. Strauss’ Suite includes humorous passages, stunning trios and duets from the opera, and a rousing selection of waltzes from the score.

Van Cliburn Piano Competition Finalist Mariangela Vacatello will join the HSO for one of Rachmaninoff’s most beloved works, his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. A brilliant showpiece for virtuoso pianist, this set of 24 variations includes the sensual, sentimental Rhapsody, which has been adored by audiences since its premiere in 1934.

After intermission, the HSO will continue its season-long festival of music by Leonard Bernstein with the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Arguably one of the most significant and favorite works for orchestra from the 20th Century, this suite progresses through Bernstein’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for mid-century New York City with Tony and Maria as Romeo and Juliet and the Jets and the Sharks as the Montagues and the Capulets. The Symphonic Dances include the Prologue, “Somewhere,”  “Mambo,” “Cool,” the Rumble, and the emotional Finale.

Mariangela Vacatello is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist, recognized worldwide for her passion, technical ability and magnificent musicality. She is the winner of numerous prestigious international prizes and awards such as, finalist and winner of the Internet Audience Award at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, winner of the Top of the World International Piano Competition 2009, winner of the Laureate Prize at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in 2007, Second Prize at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in 2005 and Second Prize at the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in 1999.

Calendar Listing:

Featuring the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Carolyn Kuan, conductor; Mariangela Vacatello, piano
Thursday, February 13, 2014 – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 14, 2014 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 15, 2014 – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 16, 2014- 3:00 p.m.
There will be a pre-concert chat led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan one hour prior to each performance.
Belding Theater – The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Program: Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite?
Ticket Information:
Tickets to this concert range in price from $35.50-$67.50. Student tickets are $10.  On Saturday, February 15, $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under.  To purchase tickets for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

West Side Story is presented in part by the Tina Mahar McNally & Alexander Campbell McNally Memorial Fund. The concert benefactor for this program is BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Ms. Vacatello’s performance is sponsored by Ron and Nancy Compton. The 2013-2014 Masterworks Series is sponsored by MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, with additional concert support by Bank of America, The Cly-Del Manufacturing Company, Hartford Hospital, the Katharine K. McLane and Henry R. McLane Charitable Trust, and Legrand.  Generous support for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106