Love Inspires Words and Music at Hartford Symphony Valentine’s Weekend Concerts

Carolyn Kuan to Lead Program of Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet, and Falla; Guest Narrators to Read Famous Love Letters

HARTFORD, January 30, 2013 –Inspired by Valentine’s Day, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will perform a program of love inspired music at Love is in the Air on Thursday, February 14 – Sunday, February 17, 2013 at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan, the program will feature Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 performed by Russian pianist Alexander Kobrin, as well as the Adagietto movement from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suite No. 1, and Bizet’s Carmen Suite, conducted by special guest Alexandra Arrieche.

The romantic program will open with the Adagietto movement from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, the composer’s first artistic output after his marriage to Alma Schindler; he considered this Symphony “their” music. Next, the HSO will perform the Three Cornered Hat Suite No. 1, an arrangement of the music from the ballet of the same name, written by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, produced by the Ballet Russe’s Sergei Diagalev and with set designs by Pablo Picasso. The ballet tells the comedic story of a miller and his wife, whose love and fidelity are tested in a series of farcical scenes. The first half of the program will close with music drawn from Bizet’s opera Carmen, whose libretto follows the story of the fiery heroine, Carmen, and her romantic entanglements; the suite includes orchestral arrangements of “Habanera,”  “Seguedille,” and “Les Toreadors.” After intermission, Russian pianist and Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Alexander Kobrin will perform Rachmaninoff’s passionate Third Piano Concerto, considered to be one of the most romantic and dramatic works in the piano repertoire.

The concerts will feature live readings of love letters by local community leaders. Carolyn Kuan says, “For me, it is incredibly sweet and exquisite when everyday people share and write love letters to their loved ones.  Our narrators are our friends and leaders of the community, reading to their loved ones as well as to the audience.  It is direct and down to earth, and hopefully will inspire others to join us in our month long celebration of love through words and music.”  The HSO kicked off the month-long ode to love last month with love letter readings at Symphonie Fantastique, and has posted love letters from musicians and artists daily on its blog, Cadenza (visit hartfordsymphonyblog.com). Fans are encouraged to submit their favorite and personal love letters to love@www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Brazilian conductor Alexandra Arrieche is the 2011 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellow; Carolyn Kuan was the first person to receive this prestigious fellowship in 2003.  Ms. Arrieche has conducted with the Brazilian Youth Symphony, the North Czech Philharmonic Teplice, Minas Gerais Philharmonic, and Londrina Symphony Orchestra. Founded by Marin Alsop in 2002, the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship is a unique opportunity for young women conductors to immerse themselves in the art and business of performing classical music.  Ms. Arrieche’s week-long residency is sponsored by Pullman & Comley, LLC.

Born in Moscow in 1980, Alexander Kobrin was the first prize winner of numerous international piano competitions, including the Scottish, Busoni, Hamamatsu and Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions.  Since the significant achievement of receiving the prestigious Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in June 2005, Mr. Kobrin has toured with recitals at the Cliburn Series in Fort Worth, the Washington Performing Arts Society, debuts at La Roque d’Antheron, Ravinia Festival, Beethoven Easter Festival, Hannover Prize winners Series, Turner Sims and at the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, and the New York Philharmonic.

Calendar Listing:
Featuring Carolyn Kuan, music director & conductor; Alexander Kobrin, piano;  Alexandra Arrieche, guest conductor
Thursday, February 14, 2013 ? 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 15, 2013 ? 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 16, 2013 ? 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 17, 2013 ? 3:00 p.m.
Belding Theater ? The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Program: Gustav Mahler: Adagietto from Symphony No. 5; Manuel de Falla Three Cornered Hat Suite No. 1; Georges Bizet: Carmen Suite; Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3
Ticket Information: Tickets to this concert range in price from $35.50-$70.50. Student tickets are $10. On Saturday, February 16, $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Love is in the Air is presented in part by the Tina Mahar McNally & Alexander Campbell McNally Memorial Fund. Alexandra Arrieche’s appearance is sponsored by Pullman & Comley LLC. The 2012-2013 Masterworks Series is sponsored by MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, with additional concert support from Bank of America, Cigna, The Cly-Del Manufacturing Company, Hartford Hospital, the Katharine K. McLane and Henry R. McLane Charitable Trust. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 Season is sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. 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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