A Musical Evening from Russia to Florence

The ORT (Orchestra della Toscana) begins 2017-2018 musical season with a concert centered on Russia. Daniele Rustioni will conduct the inaugural evening, and animate selected Russian works. Rustioni will express the themes present in pieces from composers Sergei Prokofiev, Alexander Borodin, and Igor Stravinsky.

Violin soloist Roman Simović will interpret French composer Maurice Ravel’s 1924 creation, Tzigane.  A challenging, but rhapsodic piece, it is an exciting choice that allow Simović the opportunity to express his virtuous imagination. Simović is an international musician, who started his career at the Moscow Conservatory.

For the past seven years, he has been a first violinist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Along with Ravel, Simović will provide an exciting rendition of Prokofiev’s First Concerto for violin op. 19.  Composed in the 1920s, it is not usually expressed in the structure of three movements, making this concert a unique experience. Deeply rooted in the Russian tradition of folk tales and legends, it continues the mission of exhibiting the richness of Russian contributions to music.

The Polovtsian Dances of Borodin will further animate the fables, costumes, and distinct Russian rhythms, while the Igor Stravinsky’s famous suite, The Firebird, will bring the evening to a lively close.

By visually depicting the vibrancy of the wild Firebird, the audience will be taken on a journey through exotic atmospheres. Different musical features of the piece will provide the listener with an adventure through various emotions and feelings. The dance of King Kascey will end the concert on a powerful tone.

The performance will also highlight the talent of  students from the Tuscan conservatory, and selected musicians part of the ORT Youth Orchestra (Yo-Yo) project. The presence of students will make this a special evening, celebrating all contributors to classical music.

With a burst of bright musical colors which will make for a fiery performance, the program promises to be a celebration of classic and modern repertoire of Russia, while honoring the great compositions to emerge from a land of deep traditions. (shannon duggan)