Sunday, November 8, 2009

HSO Offers Sunday Serenades at Wadsworth

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will open the third season of its chamber music series, “Sunday Serenades,” on Sunday, Nov.22 at 2 pm in the Morgan Great Hall at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

This first program, entitled “Music in the Age of Rembrandt,” is inspired by the Wadsworth’s new exhibition, Rembrandt’s People, and will feature performances of popular music from the painter’s lifetime, including works by Handel, Telemann, and Bach. Sunday Serenades Artistic Director and HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal (pictures at left) will lead HSO musicians Jaroslaw Lis, Michael Wheeler, Eric Dahlin, Robert Groff, Greig Shearer, and Margreet Francis in this intimate chamber program.

Rembrandt’s People includes seven of Rembrandt’s most powerful figure paintings, which are hailed as his greatest artistic achievement. Borrowed from leading museums in both America and Canada and two private collections, Rembrandt’s People brings the first authentic Rembrandt paintings to Hartford in almost 70 years. The exhibition showcases works from throughout the artist’s career, including his iconic Self Portrait from 1659. Rembrandt’s People is on view through Jan. 24, 2010.

This first Sunday Serenades program will feature some of the most well-known composers from Rembrandt’s day: Handel, Purcell, Telemann, Couperin, and, of course, Bach. These composers influenced not only each other, but other visual and performing artists of the day. The beautiful structure of this music is reflected in the composition and tone of Rembrandt’s paintings. Likewise, the humanistic elements of Rembrandt’s paintings can be heard in the music.

The 2009-2010 Sunday Serenades Series will continue this season with two more performances at the Wadsworth:
· Reunited Masterpieces: From Adam and Eve to George and Martha Feb. 21, 2010 at 2pm in the Morgan Great Hall
· Music Inspired by the museum’s collection of 20th Century Art May 2, 2010 at 2 pm in Avery Court

Sigal has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader. Born in Moscow, Russia, he began violin studies at age five. He moved to the US in 1995 when he was invited by to a prestigious fellowship at the New World Symphony. A devoted chamber musician, "Lenny" frequently appears with the Miami Friends of Chamber Music and the Avery Ensemble, and has served as Artistic Director of the Miami Chamber Symphony.

Ticket Prices: A three-concert subscription to the 2009-2010 Sunday Serenades Series is $60. Single tickets to this performance are $30; $25 for Atheneum Members or HSO Subscribers. Ticket price includes general admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum on the days of the concerts. Brunch at The Russell at the Wadsworth is also available.
Tickets are available in person Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm at Hartford Symphony Orchestra Ticket Services, 99 Pratt St., Suite 50 in Hartford, by calling (860) 244-2999, or online at

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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