Hartford Symphony Orchestra To Perform Mozart And Dvo?ák December 4-7

William Eddins, Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Program features guest conductor and pianist William Eddins

Celebrate musical inspiration as our guest conductor plays and conducts at the same time! The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will present Mozart and Dvo?ák as the third concert of its 2014-2015 Masterworks Series on Thursday, December 4 through Sunday, December 7 in the Belding Theater at The Bushnell in Hartford.  The piano concerto will feature guest conductor and pianist William Eddins, music director of the Edmonton Symphony.  The program will include Françaix’s Hommage à l’ami Papageno, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453, and Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, B. 141. The 2014-2015 Masterworks Series is sponsored by MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation. Concert Benefactor is The Cly-Del Manufacturing Company.

Among opera’s most beloved characters is Papageno, the comic bird-catcher in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. In 1984, Jean Françaix composed his delightful Hommage à l’ami Papageno for piano and winds, in which he treated some of the opera’s most familiar melodies with humor and originality but without a trace of disrespect. “I invoke Mozart’s ‘spirit’ in Hommage à l’ami Papageno,” Françaix wrote. “It takes a while for Mozart to come around, but all of the sudden, we hear his Flute Enchantée. At this point, a dialogue begins between the greatest composer of all times and my humble self. And hand in hand, I dare to inform his spirit just how much I adore the various themes of the Flute Enchantée by evoking them one after the other. My Hommage à l’ami Papageno is much more than a paraphrase — it is a hymn of gratitude to Mozart.”

The Piano Concerto No. 17 is, in many ways, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s quintessential example of the genre, and was written for one of his favorite and gifted students. It is brimming with excellent melodies, touched by both pathos and wit, masterful of form, brilliant in sonority and always in the most exquisite, refined taste. In his survey of the concerto literature, Abraham Veinus perceptively noted one of the essential qualities of Mozart’s genius, a characteristic seen nowhere better than in this Concerto: “He was a blender of moods, a man who worked with the entire gamut of human emotions. Even within a single movement his range is as extensive as it is subtle. Whatever the main character of the movement, there are always qualifying touches. It is in the continual chiaroscuro of lighter and darker emotions that one finds the richest satisfaction.” Alfred Einstein called this Concerto a work of “hidden laughter and hidden sadness.”

With thoughts of his deceased mother still fresh in his mind, and with the example of his friend and colleague Brahms always before him, Antonín Dvo?ák determined to compose a work that would solidify his international reputation and be worthy of those who inspired it. His Symphony No. 7 in D minor has been regularly heard in the world’s concert halls ever since it was new, and it is regarded by many as his finest achievement in the genre. Sir Donald Tovey’s comment is representative: “I have no hesitation in setting Dvo?ák’s Seventh Symphony along with the C major Symphony of Schubert and the four symphonies of Brahms as among the greatest and purest examples of this art-form since Beethoven.” Its texture and orchestration are often reminiscent of Brahms, but Dvo?ák’s own distinctive personality is never suppressed, a difficult balance for him to attain during these years since he wanted to write music that would embody both the great German symphonic tradition and the unique characteristics of the Bohemian folk music that he held so dear.

William Eddins is the Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and a frequent guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland) from 2001 to 2006.

As Music Director, he led the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in a 2012 Carnegie Hall concert as part of the Spring for Music Festival. Other recent highlights include conducting the RAI Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale on Italian television and leading Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Opera de Lyon. In 2015 he will conduct Porgy and Bess at the Spoleto Festival as well as Mozart’s Magic Flute with the Edmonton Opera.

He was Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland) from 2001 to 2006. In Europe he has conducted the Berlin Staatskapelle, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra. He recently led the Natal Philharmonic on tour of South Africa with soprano Renee Fleming.

Mr. Eddins is an accomplished pianist and chamber musician. He regularly play-conducts from the piano in works by Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Ravel. A native of Buffalo, NY, Mr. Eddins attended the Eastman School of Music, graduating at age eighteen, making him the youngest graduate in the history of the institution.

For high resolution photos of Mr. Eddins, please visit http://www.williameddins.com/mgrmedia.html.

Calendar Listing:

Hartford Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series
Thursday – Sunday, December 4-7, 2014
Belding Theater at The Bushnell
Thursday 7:30pm?Friday & Saturday 8pm?Sunday 3pm
A pre-concert talk by William Eddins will take place one hour prior to each performance.
William Eddins conductor and piano
Françaix Hommage à l’Ami Papageno
Mozart Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
Dvo?ák Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, B. 141

Ticket Information: Tickets to this concert range in price from $38.50-$67.50. Student tickets are $10. On Saturday, December 4, $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 987-5900 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Season Sponsor: Travelers
Masterworks Series Sponsors:
MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation
Concert Benefactor: The Cly-Del Manufacturing Company
POPS! Series Presenting Sponsor: United Technologies
The Sunday Serenades Chamber Music Series is made possible, in part, by the Helen M.
Saunders Charitable Foundation Music endowment at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

HSO programs are funded in part 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.

 Upcoming HSO concerts

Hartford Symphony Orchestra POPS! Series

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 3pm and 7:30pm
Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell
Tickets starting at $20.00; $10.00 for students with ID
860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org
Celebrate the spirit of the season at this holiday extravaganza.  Carolyn Kuan will conduct the HSO in a spectacular program of seasonal favorites, while Cirque de la Symphonie surrounds the stage with awe-inspiring aerialists, mind-boggling contortionists and breathtaking juggling acts.
Concert Sponsor: Prudential

Hartford Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series
Thursday – Sunday, December 4-7, 2014
Belding Theater at The Bushnell
Thursday 7:30pm?Friday & Saturday 8pm?Sunday 3pm
Tickets starting at $38.50; $10.00 for students with ID
860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org
Daniel Hege conductor
Leonid Sigal violin
de Falla Ritual Fire Dance from El amor brujo
Chausson Poème, Op. 25
Waxman Carmen Fantasie
Sibelius Finlandia, Op. 26
Sibelius Symphony No. 5 in E flat Major, Op. 82
Taking inspiration from poems, folklore and stories, this program includes the virtuosic showpiece for strings and orchestra, Carmen Fantasie, featuring HSO concertmaster and principal violinist Leonid Sigal. Plus, Sibelius’ powerful hymn, Finlandia, and the vivid Fifth Symphony. Guest conductor Daniel Hege is music director of the Wichita Symphony and former music director of the Syracuse Symphony.
The Koski Memorial Concert

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