Friday, December 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Tucson Music Hall
Tania Miller, guest conductor
Gabriela Martinez, piano
Pärt: If Bach Had Raised Bees…
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”
Sibelius: Symphony No. 1
Lauded by The New York Times as “compelling, elegant, and incisive,” Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez is quickly establishing a reputation and earning praise as a versatile artist who combines “panache and poetry” (Dallas Morning News) with a “sense of grace and clarity” (The Star Ledger). She was a semifinalist at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where she also received a Jury Discretionary Award. Her performances have been featured on National Public Radio, CNN, PBS, 60 Minutes and ABC. Since making her orchestral debut at age seven, Ms. Martinez has appeared as soloist with the Chicago, New Jersey, Fort Worth, Pacific and San Francisco Symphonies, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia among many others. Ms. Martinez attended the Juilliard School on a full scholarship.
The “Emperor” is the last and the largest in scale of all of Beethoven’s piano concertos. It is written in a virtuosic style that envisioned improvements to the piano that weren’t made until 16 years after it was composed. Beethoven wrote it in 1809, while suffering from hearing loss and cowering in the basement of his brother’s home trying to avoid the noise from the blasts of the bombardment of Vienna by Napoleon. “The whole course of events has affected me body and soul,” he wrote to his publisher. “What a disturbing, wild life around me; nothing but drums, cannons, men, misery of all sorts.”
The 2013/2014 season marks Tania Miller's eleventh as Music Director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the first Canadian woman to be appointed to such a significant position in Canada. Prior to her appointment in Victoria, Ms. Miller was Assistant and then Associate Conductor with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for four seasons. She was the Assistant Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival for several years working closely with the internationally renowned conductor Bruno Weil and many of the world’s leading Baroque artists. Ms. Miller is active as a guest conductor throughout North America. Her guest conducting engagements include the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto, Winnipeg, Hartford and Oregon Symphonies, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montreal and the Calgary Philharmonic.
Jean Sibelius is probably the most widely admired artist Finland has produced, recognized throughout the western world as one of the great composers of the 20th century. The 100 mark Finnish bill featured his image until 2002. His first symphony owes much to the late Romantic influence of Tchaikovsky, particularly his Pathétique.
Originally scored for winds, harpsichord, and tape, and later revised for winds, piano, and strings, If Bach Had Raised Bees has many melodic levels. The listener can hear the same musical phrase being played at different tempi in different registers. The strings produce an overriding beelike buzzing underpinning the work. As the music becomes more complex, the buzzing becomes more frantic until it resembles an awakened hornet’s nest.
Tickets to the Classic Series program, Bach, Bees and Beethoven, are $27 to $80. All tickets are available online, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at (520) 882-8585. The toll free number is 855-882-7967 (855-TUC-SYMP). TSO Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from noon to 5:00 pm unless otherwise indicated. Students and military receive a 50% discount on reserved seats with I.D. Students may also purchase student rush tickets for $10 one hour prior to the performance.