September 3, 2010

RPO Season Opens with Tchaik 4

Christopher Seaman opens the RPO’s 2010-11 Season - his final season as the RPO's Music Director – on September 30 with Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Fourth Symphony. Affectionately known in the orchestral world as "Tchaik 4,” this piece has always been one of Christopher’s favorites. (Tchaikovsky himself once said it was his best).

But the work has a special significance for Christopher because it was on the program for his trial concert for the job of Principal Timpanist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. (Not surprisingly, he got the job! Click here to read more in an interview with Christopher.)

Tchaikovsky began writing this symphony during a particularly tumultuous time in his life, including a disastrous marriage and a nervous breakdown. However after escaping to France, Italy, and Austria, he finally finished it. He wrote to the wealthy patron who was financing his musical compositions to say, “If you find no pleasure in yourself, look about you. Go to the people. See how they can enjoy life and give themselves up entirely to festivity. There still is happiness, simple, naive happiness. Rejoice in the happiness of others – and you can still live.”

The upcoming concerts on Thursday, September 30 and Saturday, October 2 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre also feature Russian pianist Ilya Itin. A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory who won top honors at numerous competitions, he joins the Orchestra for Liszt’s First Piano Concerto - powerful, dramatic, and romantic. Click here to view a video clip of Ilya Itin.

The program also includes Elgar’s Cockaigne, a colorful work that portrays the sights and sounds of London.

Christopher Seaman hosts the Pre-Concert Chat beginning one hour before the concert. Click here to read the program notes.

Tickets start at $15. Call 454-2100, or use this link to buy tickets online.

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