North Carolina Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn welcomes pianist Peter Serkin to North Carolina next month for a concert program of top-flight repertoire and Ravel's "Bolero."
The concerts take place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6 at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh and on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Memorial Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All three performances begin at 8:00 p.m.
Originally composed as a ballet commissioned by Russian ballerina Ida Rubenstein, Bolero is Ravel's best-known work. It has been widely used in everything from movie soundtracks to the accompanying score for a 2011 flash mob in Copenhagen. When it premiered at the Paris Opera in 1928, it became an instant sensation thanks to its evocative Spanish flavor and steadily increasing intensity-characteristics that have kept it among the most eagerly awaited live concert experiences for classical music audiences whenever it is scheduled.
Also featured in this concert is Peter Serkin's solo performance of Bartók's Third Piano Concerto.
"Serkin is one of the most important pianists of our day," says Llewellyn, "and this work has an important North Carolina story. Bartók completed it out in the mountains in Asheville when he was dying from tuberculosis. It was his last significant work, and we'll hear North Carolina birdsong as he experienced it from his sanatorium window."
Serkin will also play Stravinsky's Capriccio, a little-known work that the composer wrote for himself, to be played with orchestras on tour. Also on the program is Debussy's La plus que lente, a glorious, unusual gem of a piece orchestrated by Debussy himself, as well as Dvo?ák's Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66.
"As the audience will see," Llewellyn says, "there's a sort of capriciousness in this program with capriccioso and capriccios. It all adds up to a pretty spicy program that we hope audiences will thoroughly enjoy."
In addition to a stellar performance, North Carolina Symphony concertgoers can enjoy pre-concert talks and interactive "Meet the Artists" events before many Symphony concerts. Before the performance on Friday, Oct. 5, NCSU professor Tom Koch will present a pre-concert talk on the evening's program in Meymandi Concert Hall's Swalin Lobby, beginning at 7:00 p.m. WUNC's Catharine Brand will host "Meet the Artists" in the Swalin Lobby on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Letitia Glozer will host a pre-concert talk in Gerrard Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Regular tickets to the Raleigh Classical Series performance of "Bolero," Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, range from $18 to $70, with $40 tickets for seniors. Regular tickets to the Chapel Hill Series performance on Sunday, Oct. 7 range from $18 to $60. Students can receive $15 tickets in both venues.
To purchase tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at www.ncsymphony.org or call the Symphony Box Office at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh. Memorial Hall is located at 208 E. Cameron Ave. in Chapel Hill.
Partners for the 2012/13 Raleigh Classical Series include Clancy & Theys Construction, Duke Medicine, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP and The Freelon Group. The series supporter is Piedmont Investment Advisors, LLC.
Partners for the 2012/13 Chapel Hill Series include Carol Woods, the Businesses of Market Street at Southern Village and Harrington Bank, while statewide partnership and support is provided by Progress Energy.