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Mozart's Kaleidoscopic Moods Brought to Light by Guest Pianist Orli Shaham and RPO

February 17, 2010

Audiences treated to three of Mozart’s finest works

Rochester, NY – The freshness of Mozart in three varying compositional genres receives the focus when guest pianist Orli Shaham joins the RPO and Music Director Christopher Seaman on Thursday, March 4 at 7:30 pm and on Saturday, March 6 at 8:00 pm at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The Overture to The Magic Flute – one of Mozart’s most popular and delightful operas – the elegant Piano Concerto No. 23, and Symphony No. 39, with the more atmospheric-sounding clarinets instead of oboes. With an overture, concerto, and symphony on the same program, audiences will be able to sample a taste of Mozart’s various delicacies.  Christopher Seaman hosts the First Niagara Pre-concert Chat one hour prior to concert start both evenings.

“Mozart achieved a perfect balance between form and feeling, those two great ingredients of music,” writes Christopher Seaman in his conductor’s notes. “Part of his greatness lies in his ability to change moods like a kaleidoscope. However well we know these great works, the music always speaks to us with fresh joy and depth.”

Pianist Orli Shaham’s playing has been recognized by the London Guardian as “perfection.”  Having appeared at many summer festivals such as Mostly Mozart and Verbier, as well as performing with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Shaham has established herself as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, Shaham also is a well-respected broadcaster, music writer, and lecturer. She has taught music literature at Columbia University as well as contributed articles to Piano Today and Playbill magazines.

The Magic Flute was composed in the final year of Mozart’s life, and is the product of a collaboration with actor Emanuel Schikander. Written to accompany Schikander’s humorous libretto, the opera’s first performance was conducted by Mozart himself.  The story is a mixture of fantasy, comedy, melodrama and philosophy, and Mozart’s score is a perfect fit.  Known particularly for her superb Mozart interpretations, Orli Shaham – who last appeared with the RPO in October 2003 – performs Piano Concerto No. 23, one of 12 piano concertos Mozart wrote between 1784 and 1786. This colorful concerto opens serenely, moving into a poignant slow movement, then concludes with a sunny finale lightening up the piece. The closing work, Symphony No. 39, is known to be one of Mozart’s most elegant. It opens with a slow tempo introduction, continuing with a rustic Swiss dance tune, and closes with a nimble and witty finale, in boisterous Mozart fashion.

Tickets for these performances are $20-$60, with $75 box seats, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org; by phone (454-2100); in-person from the RPO Box Office, 108 East Avenue, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Saturday (non-concert Saturdays, 10:00 am-3:00 pm); and seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb.  This concert is sponsored by Unity Health System, with additional support provided by The Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess.

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