Pianist Ian Parker to perform with Greenwich Symphony

gl-GSO-concert-9-18On Oct. 4 and 5, Canadian pianist Ian Parker will join the Greenwich Symphony to play Rachmaninoff’s famed Rhapsody on A Theme of Paganini.

Mr. Parker has appeared with orchestras across the United States and Canada, and as a recitalist and chamber artist he has performed at venues in Western Europe, Israel and throughout Canada.

The program will include Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Dvorák’s Golden Spinning Wheel and Hindemith’s Metamorphosis on A Theme by Carl Maria von Weber.

Although Rachmaninoff titled his piece a rhapsody, it is actually in the form of a theme and 24 variations on Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin. Composed in 1934, the Rhapsody was Rachmaninoff’s final piece for piano and orchestra. One of the greatest pianists ever, Rachmaninoff himself played the premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Legend has it that even he was intimidated by the technical difficulties of this masterpiece, but the performance was a triumph.

The Golden Spinning Wheel was composed late in Dvorák’s life and represented a change in direction, taking a cue from Franz Liszt, who pioneered the form of the symphonic poem. Each character in Dvorák’s story has an individual theme, which transforms according to the drama. The story was based on the fairy tale of a king smitten by a young girl working at a golden spinning wheel whom he encountered on a hunting trip, setting marriage arrangements in motion. A devious plot by the girl’s wicked stepmother is foiled by a message sung by the spinning wheel, ensuring a happy ending as the king is united with his intended bride.

The Roman Carnival is one of two enduring overtures taken from Berlioz’s opera, Benvenuto Cellini. The Roman Carnival was the prelude to the second act.

The concerts will take place on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 5, at 4 at the Greenwich High School Auditorium at 10 Hillside Road. A free, pre-concert lecture will be given one hour before each performance.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for students.

Order tickets online at Greenwichsymphony.org or call 203-869-2664.

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