Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Sunday, February 18, 2018

HARTFORD – Led by HSO Music Director Edward Cumming, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will give audiences the opportunity to experience one of two different Mozart concerti at 8 p.m.Thursday, Feb. 11; Friday, Feb. 12; and Saturday, Feb. 13; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, in the Belding Theater at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Joined by pianist Andrius Zlabys, the HSO will perform Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto on Thursday and Saturday and Mozart’s 24th Piano Concerto on Friday and Sunday, allowing the public to pick the program they want to hear based on which day they attend.

Acting as bookends to the Mozart concerti will be two moving symphonies, each composed by one of the great masters of orchestral composition. Opening the romantic line-up will be Jean Sibelius’ unique Seventh Symphony in one movement. No need to worry about clapping in the wrong place; Sibelius breaks the protocol of a multi-movement symphony in this flowing piece of European Romanticism. The program will end with a grand performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ inspiring Fifth Symphony. Based on the classic English allegory of The Pilgrim’s Progress, this uplifting work was premiered in the midst of World War II. Its heartwarming melodies still speak to the hearts of modern audiences.

These concerts will feature Lithuanian pianist Andrius Zlabys in performances of one of two Mozart concerti, depending on the day. HSO Music Director Edward Cumming says, "The audience will be in the unique position of choosing one of two different piano concertos to hear – a spirited, early work that is Mozart's first great work in the genre, or a late work, with a tinge of darkness that pervades throughout. Of course, one could also come different nights, and hear both."

Born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania, Andrius Zlabys made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2001. A prizewinner at the 2003 Cleveland International Piano Competition, he performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Zlabys was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Award and in 2000 was a winner of Astral National Auditions in Philadelphia. Most recently, Mr. Zlabys made his debut with Rotterdam Philharmonic, performed a debut recital at Metropolitan Art Museum in NYC, and played an evening of premieres in Philadelphia consisting of chamber music written by Philadelphia composers Yevgeniy Sharlat and Luis Prado, and dedicated to Mr. Zlabys.