CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra showcases Tchaikovsky and
Russian opera Oct. 16
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The St. Petersburg State Symphony from the historic
cultural capitol of Russia will showcase works by Tchaikovsky and arias
from the tradition of Russian opera in an all-Russian concert at 8 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 16 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.
Under the leadership of musical director Ravel Martynov, the orchestra
will perform Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Skomorokhs" from incidental
music to Alexander Ostrovsky's play "Snowmaiden" and the Symphony
No. 4 in F minor, opus 36.
Kirov Opera soprano Margarita Alaverdian will be the featured soloist
in performances of three famous Russian arias -- Tatiana's letter scene
from Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," the aria of Marfa from Act
IV of "The Tsar's Bride" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the Cavatina
of Ludmila from Act 1 of "Ruslan and Ludmila" by Mikhail Glinka.
During more than 30 years of existence the St. Petersburg State Symphony
has toured throughout Russia, Europe and Asia, in addition to its regular
performances in the Great and Small Halls of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
It also performs frequently in other sites in St. Petersburg, including
the Mirror Hall of the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, the Smolny Cathedral
and the Maryinski Palace.
The orchestra has attracted stellar guest conductors, including Leonard
Bernstein, Simon Rattle, Rafael Kubelik, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Kiril
Kondrashin; and its roster of guest artists has included Sviatoslav Richter,
Mstislav Rostropovich, David Oistrakh and other soloists of international
The orchestra's interpretations of Tchaikovsky's symphonies, with their
characteristic Russian emotions, have been widely recognized achievements
of Russian musical culture.
Tchaikovsky dedicated his Symphony No. 4 to his patron, Nadejda von
Meck. In 1887 Tchaikovsky married one of his young pupils in an attempt
to reject his homosexuality and lead a "normal" life. But the
couple separated after only nine weeks, leaving the composer near complete
psychological collapse. His rescue came from von Meck, a rich widow, who
offered him her patronage so that he could abandon teaching and devote
himself completely to composition.
The two met but never spoke to each other, although they corresponded
frequently as he eventually retreated into a hermit-like isolation in a
country house. The arrangement continued until 1890, when illness forced
von Meck to withdraw her patronage, deeply wounding the sensitive composer.
One of the works composed under her patronage was the opera "Eugene
Onegin," the source of one of the three arias that will be performed
in the Oct. 16 concert.
Soloist Margarita Alaverdian, a silver medalist in the International
Maria Callas Singers' Competition, has been a soprano soloist with the
Kirov Opera since 1994, performing roles including the countess in "The
Marriage of Figaro," Violetta in "La Traviata," the title
role in "Iolanta" and Cio-Cio-San in "Madame Butterfly."
She has toured Bulgaria, Israel, Finland and Germany performing Gilda in
"Rigoletto" and Mimi in "La Boheme." She is a frequent
soloist in international recordings and television broadcasts.
Music director Ravel Martynov has worked with the Leningrad Philharmonic,
the St. Petersburg Radio and TV Folk Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Conservatory,
the Bolshoi and Kirov opera and ballet companies, the St. Petersburg Theatre
of Musical Comedy and the USSR State Symphony. In the mid-1980s he was
senior staff conductor of the Kirov Theatre, and in the early '90s he was
chief conductor for the Mosfilm studio. He is a professor at St. Peterburg's
prestigious conducting school.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen is the corporate sponsor of the St. Petersburg
State Symphony Orchestra concert, through the UI Foundation.
Tickets are $38, $36 and $33. UI students and senior citizens qualify
for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students
for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling
area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and
western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders
may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may
charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff
may select the option of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services
should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office
personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair
access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is
equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr/
on the World Wide Web.