LSM Newswire

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PSO's First 2009 Concert Features Returning Soloist, Orion Weiss

PSO'S FIRST CONCERT OF THE NEW YEAR FEATURES PIANIST ORION WEISS, JANUARY 13

PORTLAND, Maine For their first concert of the new year, Music Director Robert Moody leads the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in a program of Gershwin and Shostakovich at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13 at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street in Portland.

The Tuesday Classical concert opens with George Gershwin's jazz orchestral piece Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra with soloist Orion Weiss. Full of Gershwin's distinctively American energy and self-assured orchestration, the first movement brims with melodic ideas, the second is a sultry blues, and the third turns into a barrelhouse frenzy. To close the concert, the PSO takes on Dmitri Shostakovich's famously explosive condemnation of Russia's Stalin era, Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93, written by Shostakovich shortly after Stalin's demise and filled with unstoppable fury and passion. It is a musical summary of that bleak and terrifying era; hearing it performed live is a tremendously exciting and moving experience.

Pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists and collaborators in his generation of young American musicians. He returns to Portland after his acclaimed substitute performance with Robert Moody and the PSO in November 2007; the Portland Press Herald called Weiss "a technically flawless pianist..." and referred to his performance as seeming "Ķboth improvised on the spur of the moment and well thought-out, as if the composer himself were at the piano."

Sponsored by Verrill Dana, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with a Concert Conversation at 6:15 p.m. in the Rehearsal Hall. A radio broadcast of the performance can be heard on Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) on January 28 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $17-$65 and are sold through PortTix at (207) 842-0800 or www.porttix.com, and new this year, the website offers real-time online seat selection. Phone and internet orders are subject to $5-per-ticket handling fees. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office at 20 Myrtle St., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. For complete season information, including artist biographies and program notes, visit www.portlandsymphony.com.

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