Sarasota Concert Association presents The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Pianist Khatia Buniastishvili January 26 at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili makes her Orpheus Chamber Orchestra debut performing Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, No. 20. The program also includes works by Haydn, Arensky, and the world premiere of an orchestra arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2, Op. 17, for Two Pianos

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Sarasota Concert Association presents

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Pianist Khatia Buniastishvili

January 26 Ÿ Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili makes her Orpheus Chamber Orchestra debut performing Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, No. 20. The program also includes works by Haydn, Arensky, and the world premiere of an orchestra arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2, Op. 17, for Two Pianos.

 

(Sarasota, Florida) The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) opens its 71st “Great Performers Series” season with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and piano soloist Khatia Buniatishvili, Tuesday, January 26, 7:30 p.m., at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. The program includes works by Haydn, Mozart, Arensky, and the world premiere of a new arrangement by composer Paul Chihara of the popular Rachmaninoff Suite No. 2, Op. 17, for Two Pianos. Individual tickets for the concert are $45, $55, $70, and $80. Subscriptions for all five Great Performers Series concerts are $180, $230, $280, and $320. Tickets and information for the Great Performers Series are available by calling 941-225-6500 or online at www.scasarasota.org.

Lauded by The New York Times for its “conductorless ability to render complex scores with taut precision and feverish excitement,” the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1972 by cellist Julian Fifer. As cellist and executive director, Fifer quickly led the ensemble from a counterculture startup to the top echelons of the concert and recording businesses, establishing it as one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras. With more than 70 albums, several Grammy awards, collaborations with leading contemporary soloists, and more than 40 commissioned works, Orpheus continues to expand the repertoire for chamber orchestra and develop its international reputation through innovative projects and tours, including an annual series at Carnegie Hall.

Cited by Gramophone as “one of today’s most technically gifted young pianists,” Khatia Buniatishvili makes her Orpheus Chamber Orchestra debut performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. Born in 1987 in Tbilisi, Georgia, Buniatishvili made her U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008 and has since performed with major orchestras around the world.

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Sarasota program opens with Haydn’s First Symphony, followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. “Mozart studied Haydn’s music, was fascinated by it, and emulated his style,” says Orpheus’ artistic director and violist Dov Scheindlin. “It’s wonderful to hear how Haydn’s symphony stylistically grows into the Mozart piano concerto, which has a deep range of emotion. The concerto is one of Mozart’s stormiest, darkest pieces, and that very much suits the temperament of our pianist, Khatia Buniatishvili.”

The program continues with Orpheus’s adaptation of the rarely heard “Romantic Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky” by Russian composer Anton Arensky. The concert concludes with the world premiere of the first orchestral arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17, written for Orpheus by Japanese-American composer Paul Chihara.

“We’re very excited to open our season with the innovative Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and its inspired program,” says Joy McIntyre, president of the board of the Sarasota Concert Association. “This globally acclaimed ensemble excels at exploring artistic boundaries and this concert will show them at their best.”

The SCA’s 2016 season continues on Sunday, January 31, 3 p.m., with the return of the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. Long considered to be one of America’s great orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra stands today among the world’s most-revered symphonic ensembles. The third concert of the season, Monday, February 15, 7:30 p.m., takes audiences on an innovative musical journey with the Miró Quartet, known for its exciting performances, technical finesse, and eclectic programming. The season continues on March 8, 7:30 p.m., with the groundbreaking Russian National Orchestra (RNO) under the baton of guest conductor Kirill Karabits, with violin soloist Stefan Jackiw. The 2016 season concludes on March 14, at 7:30 p.m., with the return to Sarasota of the dynamic Russian pianist Olga Kern. Recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists, Kern is renowned for her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique.

SCA also presents “Munchtime Musicales,” a series of free lunchtime concerts featuring performances by high-caliber, area-based artists, November 2015 through April 2016. The series is designed to offer a wide variety of musical genres, including classical, folk, and jazz, featuring both vocal and instrumental performers. The 2015-2016 Munchtime Musicales concert series continues with The Bridge Trio, with Felicia Brunelle, violin, Isabelle Sanderling, cello, and Cheryl Tschanz, piano, in a program of works by noted female composers (January 20, 2016); a piano performance by the celebrated sister team of Cynthia Lawing and Gloria Cook (February 17, 2016); Studio Artists from the Sarasota Opera, Sarasota’s ambassadors of opera who bring opera to stages beyond the walls of the Opera House (March 16, 2106); and Belle Canto, Sarasota’s women’s choral ensemble that celebrates women’s voices with a varied repertoire (April 13, 2016). All Munchtime Musicales performances are at noon at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The series is free and open to the public. Seating is open; no reservations taken. For more information about Munchtime Musicales, call 941-351-7467 or visit www.scasarasota.org.

 

About the Sarasota Concert Association

The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) exists to foster the development of an appreciation for the musical arts by sponsoring professional presentations that are not otherwise available in the community, through a not-for-profit, organized-audience plan. SCA aims to set reasonable fees for all performances. The organization is not designed to make a profit but does intend to be self-supporting. It provides outreach to all members of the regional community by offering a series of free concerts, Munchtime Musicales, held every year. For more information about SCA, visit www.scasarasota.org.

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