Southeast Missouri Symphony present Gala Season Opening Concert featuring Valentina Igoshina, concert pianist, October 11, 2022.
The Southeast Missouri Symphony will be presenting its Gala Season Opening Concert on Tuesday, October 11, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus. The program will feature internationally-acclaimed guest artist, Valentina Igoshina, in a performance of the ever-popular Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. The symphony will also perform the beautiful Lyric for Strings by the important African-American composer George Walker, as well as the energetic Rhapsodic Dance for Orchestra, Op. 75 by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who is a significant late nineteenth-century composer of British and African heritage.
The concert will open with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Rhapsodic Dance for Orchestra, Op. 75. This piece is based upon a lively Caribbean dance: the exuberant outer sections of this piece frame a lovely, lyrical middle section featuring the clarinet and oboe. Next on the program will be George Walker’s Lyric for Strings. This work was originally written for string quartet, and was expanded by Walker as a work for full string orchestra in 1990. It is dedicated to his grandmother, who was a formerly enslaved person. It has subsequently become one of Walker’s most performed works. Its haunting, beautiful melodies are full of expression and meaning. George Walker (1922—2018) is a significant African-American composer: he was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, among many other achievements throughout his life. His legacy and music are highlighted in particular this year, as 2022 celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth. The first half of the program will conclude with the short, popular “Waltz” from the Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian.
For the second half of the concert, the symphony orchestra will be joined by guest artist, Valentina Igoshina, performing the iconic Piano Concerto No. 1 by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Immediately recognizable, with its impressive opening chords and melodies, this concerto is one of the most famous and popular of all piano concertos. It regularly appears on lists of the top 10 piano concertos of all time, and is one of the top 5 most frequently performed piano concertos in Carnegie Hall, NYC.
Guest artist, Valentina Igoshina, is internationally acclaimed for her artistry. Some highlights of her career include, at age 14, winning first place in the Arthur Rubenstein Piano Competition; at age 18, winning first place at the famous Rachmaninov International Piano Competition. She has gone on to perform internationally, appearing as soloist with major orchestras in England, Holland, Chile, China, Australia, Poland, Brazil, Spain, and elsewhere. Solo performances have included appearances at significant venues in Italy, Japan, France, India, the USA, England, and many other concert halls. Valentina Igoshina currently teaches at the prestigious Royal Conservatory, Brussels, Belgium, and at the National Superieur Conservatoire in Paris, France. This will be Valentina’s second appearance with the Southeast Missouri Symphony, having performed at the River Campus with the symphony in March 2014.
“We are incredibly excited about our Gala Season Opening Concert on October 11, 2022,” commented Dr. Sara Edgerton, conductor of the Southeast Missouri Symphony. “The program has a tremendous amount of variety and diversity. I think audiences will enjoy the beautiful selections on the first half of the concert, especially Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Coleridge-Taylor’s lively Rhapsodic Dance. And it is thrilling to be able to present Valentina Igoshina as our special guest artist on the second half of the concert. She is an amazing musician and a truly world-class performer. This is definitely a concert you do not want to miss!”
This concert will be performed on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please contact the River Campus Box Office at (573) 651-2265 or visit RiverCampus.org.