Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Choose Your Own Program at HSO Valentine's Day Concerts

Edward Cumming Leads Romantic Concerts
Featuring Sibelius, Mozart & Vaughan Williams

Led by Music Director Edward Cumming, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will give audiences the opportunity to experience one of two different Mozart concerti at its Valentine Concerts on Thursday, Feb. 11, Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 pm and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 pm in the Belding Theater at the Bushnell.
Joined by pianist Andrius Zlabys, the HSO will perform Mozart’s 24th Piano Concerto on Thursday and Saturday and Mozart’s 9th 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.
"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!" Cumming said.
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 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 Zlabys.
Ticket Prices are $32.50 - $72.50; $12.50 with a student ID. 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 500 in Hartford, by calling (860) 244-2999, or online at

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra participates in the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Let*s GO Arts! program that offers 2-for-1 tickets to arts and entertainment events, and discounts at restaurants and clubs. Let*s GO Arts! members can receive 2-for-1 full price tickets to HSO Masterworks and POPS! concerts.

These concerts are presented in part by the Alexander Campbell McNally Memorial Fund. The Masterworks Series is presented by MetLife Foundation with additional support from The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, and additional concert support from the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Inc. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Sponsors listed as of December 23, 2009.

Marking its 66th season in 2009-2010, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is Connecticut’s premier musical organization. The Hartford Symphony is the second largest orchestra in New England and is widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. Dedicated to the performance of live symphonic music and the presentation of quality education and community programs, each season the Hartford Symphony plays to audiences numbering approximately 125,000 and reaches thousands statewide through its broadcast concerts on WNPR Connecticut Public Radio. Supported by more than 4,500 subscribers and 2,000 donors, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s extensive array of Musical Pathways educational activities serves more than 64,000 individuals in Hartford and surrounding communities annually. For more information about the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, please visit www.HartfordSymphony.Org.

EDITORS: To request an interview, photos, or press access to these events, please contact Katie Bonner at (860) 246-8742 ext. 317 or at Please update calendar listings to reflect performance schedule and admission information above.

IMAGES attached the HSO with Music Director Edward Cumming (credit: Steve Laschever); pianist Andrius Zlabys.

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

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