LSM Newswire

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WSO Performs Mt. Everest of Piano Works

WSO and Rising Canadian Musician Perform ’ÄòMount Everest’Äô of Piano Works

OCTOBER 14 -- On October 17 and 18 at the Centennial Concert Hall, Russian-Canadian pianist Sergei Saratovsky and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will scale the world’Äôs highest peak ’Äì in a musical sense ’Äì as they perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’Äôs Piano Concerto No. 3.

Rachmaninoff’Äôs third piano concerto is considered by many in the classical music world to be a pianist’Äôs technical and emotional Mount Everest. With a reputation for being one of the most challenging concertos in the piano repertoire, the piece has often come to represent, as in the 1996 film Shine, triumph over great obstacles.

Saratovsky’Äôs long list of triumphs ensures that, this weekend, the piece will be in good hands.

Originally from Karelia, Russia, Saratovsky moved to Canada in 2002 to complete a Masters degree in Piano Performance at Brandon University. He has won numerous International competitions and awards, including one from Russian President Vladimir Putin, recognizing his outstanding achievements in music. Most recently, Saratovsky was selected to play for Governor General Michaelle Jean, as the lone Canadian to reach the finals of the Montreal International Musical Competition. At the concert, in May 2008, Saratovsky also received the award for Best Canadian Artist.

"The sheer power and complexity of this Rachmaninoff piece is something Winnipeggers will want to hear," said WSO Music Director Alexander Mickelthwate. "And we are very lucky to have such a promising Canadian talent perform it with us."

This weekend’Äôs concert will also include the Lemminkainen Suite, Op. 22, by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The piece, which was originally conceived as a mythological opera and evokes themes of Finnish history and nationalism, will feature Robin MacMillan on English horn.

Rachmaninoff 3 "Shines" takes place Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $26.25 to $61.00 and are available at the Centennial Concert Hall, by phone 949-3999, online at or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

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