TCHAIKOVSKY AND PROKOFIEV


Friday, November 2, 2018 8:00PM
Copley Symphony Hall

TCHAIKOVSKY AND PROKOFIEV
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TCHAIKOVSKY AND PROKOFIEV
A Jacobs Masterworks Concert

David Danzmayr, conductor
Gonzalo Ochoa, boy soprano
Conrad Tao, piano

JAVIER ÁLVAREZ: Brazos de niebla (Arms of Mist), based on text by Juan Felipe Herrera
(World premiere commissioned by the SDSO)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

The unique commissioned work that opens this program brings together Mexican composer Javier Álvarez and genre-crossing United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. Imagining the hopes, fears and dreams of an immigrant child, this work features a boy soprano and incorporates the sound of Mexican vihuelas. (Click Here for a program note from the composer.) The concert also features brilliant young pianist/composer Conrad Tao performing Piotr Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

Conrad Tao was called one of "5 Classical Music Faces to Watch this Season" in a recent New York Times article!

Programs, artists, dates, prices and availability are subject to change.

Please join us after the Friday concert for a discussion with the collaborators behind Brazos de niebla: composer Javier Álvarez and US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. The discussion will be moderated by KPBS Fronteras reporter and author of Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir, Jean Guerrero.


A Note from the Creative Consultant:

The opening work of this concert, a world premiere, represents a great collaboration between the California-based U.S. Poet Laureate (2015-17) Juan Felipe Herrera and one of Mexico's leading composers, Javier Álvarez. Here is a sample of Álvarez's work from YouTube. The scoring will include a boys soprano and vihuelas. The vihuela is a kind of Mexican guitar which was adapted by mariachi musicians, as can be seen here.

Piano concertos don't get more popular or famous than Piotr Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto! It is a Russian piece through and through, but here is a fact many people have forgotten: the world premiere actually was given in Boston in 1875.

Serge Prokofiev's Seventh (and last) Symphony was commissioned for a Soviet children's radio program in 1952, the year before the composer died. Prokofiev was the obvious person to do this, as he had written probably the most famous children's piece ever, Peter and the Wolf, back in 1936. The new work was meant for children to listen to, but the composer got a bit carried away (!) and wrote a piece that is more like an adult's memory of childhood, filled with melodies and ideas which Prokofiev himself had composed decades earlier when he himself was a small child (a child prodigy musician, mind you) growing up in an isolated community in Southern Russia, long before the Revolution. Here's a taste.

- Gerard McBurney


The Commission of Brazos de niebla is made possible, in part, through the generosity of Dorothea Laub, The Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.