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With these concerts our esteemed colleague Stéphane Denève begins his sixth and final season as our principal guest conductor. Soviet-born American composer Lera Auerbach says she was drawn to the myth of Icarus because of “his wish to reach the unreachable, the intensity of the ecstatic brevity of his flight, and the inevitability of his fall.” Her adventurous musical palette exploits the full sonic range of the orchestra: shimmering, soaring, and ultimately dying away. Stravinsky describes a different myth about feathered flight in his Firebird.
Italian conductor Fabio Luisi returns to conduct a program that opens with Bent Sørensen’s Evening Land. The piece was inspired by an image of the evening light that Sørensen recalled from his childhood in Denmark. Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner is especially pleased to be performing the Nielsen Concerto. “I love the back and forth in the orchestration; it's a lot of fun to play and listen to!” Famous for its ingenious use of a “fate” theme, Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony progresses from a somber beginning to an uplifting, triumphant march in the final movement. It's Tchaikovsky at his soulful best!
Bruckner is “one of the great symphonists of all time,” says Yannick. His music is “spiritual, romantic, dreamy, imposing, cataclysmic … music that excites all the emotions and magnifies the results of the symphony.” A Bruckner champion and world-renowned interpreter, Yannick's deep affinity for the composer shines in passionate performances of the thrilling Third Symphony, “an unquestioned masterpiece, a citadel that no critic can pull down.