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Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Auerbach / Rachmaninoff / Tchaikovsky

Icarus (Boston premiere)

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

Benjamin Zander, conductor

BENJAMIN Vickers, assistant CONDUCTOR (icarus)

Ya-fei Chuang, piano

About the Program

The 2016/2017 Season of the Boston Philharmonic opens with an all-Russian program of three extraordinary works spanning three centuries. The newest, a Boston debut, is Icarus by the contemporary Russian composer Lera Auerbach. This intensely dramatic two-movement tone poem is scored with tremendous imagination (the orchestration even includes a theremin!). It is a work of heroic striving and exalation on the one hand, and confessional intimacy on the other. Auerbach’s is a unique, strikingly individual voice among today’s composers that will be new to most members of the audience. 

The extraordinary pianist Ya-Fei Chuang, one of Boston’s musical treasures, will be making her debut with the orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The rhapsody, in the form of variations on one of the most famous tunes ever written, is not only a beloved staple of the concert repertoire, but also possibly the single most polished, finely-crafted work that the composer ever created. It is also one of the most spectacular of all virtuoso show-pieces for the piano. Chuang’s probing musicianship and beauty and variety of sound will make this a very special performance indeed!

And to end the concert is Tchaikovsky’s final composition. The Pathétique is one of the greatest tragic utterances in the whole history of music. One is apt to encounter it often in the course of a concert-going lifetime, but no degree of familiarity ever lessens its power to touch places in your heart that are reached almost uniquely by this composition. 

thursday, october 20, 2016
7:30pm / sanders theatre

Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander throughout concert (Discovery Series)

saturday, october 22, 2016
8:00pm / nec’s jordan hall

Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 6:45pm

sunday, october 23, 2016
3:00pm / sanders theatre

Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 1:45pm