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Emanuel Ax Returns to ASO Stage for Two Extraordinary Keyboard Works

December 16, 2011
  • Who: Emanuel Ax with the austin Symphony Orchestra
  • When: January 13 & 14, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Dell Hall, Long Center for the Performing Arts
  • Cost: Tickets start at $19

Maestro Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony invite patrons to “Listen Up!” in the new year when the ASO invites world-acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax to share the stage for two extraordinary keyboard works. Performances will be held on Friday and Saturday, January 13th & 14th in Dell Hall. The concerts are proudly sponsored by ConocoPhillips with Guest Artist sponsorship provided by Texas Mutual Insurance Company.

PROGRAM
Mozart – Overture to Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario)
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19
Moniuszko – Bajka (A Fairy Tale)
Szymanowski – Symphony No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 60

Your evening begins with Wolfgang Mozart’s overture to his one-act comic opera _Der Schauspiedirketor (The Impresario)). The Overture is a small masterpiece, built around a vigorous fugue, and mixes trivial lightness with lyrical themes. Spirited and filled with vitality, the Overture, though written as part of the opera, is frequently performed as a concert piece.

Pianist Emanuel Ax then takes center stage for Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Mr. Ax captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. The piano concerto that Mr. Ax will perform was Beethoven’s first major orchestral work.

After a brief intermission, the ASO returns to present the Fantastic Overture from Bajka (A Fairy Tale) by Stanisław Moniuszko. Generally referred to as the father of Polish national opera, (characterized by elements of Italian opera), Moniuszko’s musical style is filled with patriotic themes of the peoples of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, rhythms of Polish dances, and folklore. As a representative of Polish Romantic orchestral music, Bajka became one of the most popular and widespread short concert works from a Polish composer of Moniuszko’s era.

Mr. Ax returns to the stage to close the evening with Karol Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra. Another Polish native, Szymanowski’s music demonstrated the breadth of his cultural knowledge, particularly in his settings of a variety of Polish literary texts.

Patrons can enjoy the Pre-Concert Talks with Bob Buckalew at 7:10 p.m. on the orchestra level of Dell Hall.

Tickets for Emanuel Ax with the Austin Symphony start at $19. Student rush tickets are also available 20 minutes prior to performance for $5 cash and current student ID. Charge tickets online at http://www.austinsymphony.org where you will find seating maps, price options and a wealth of concert information. Tickets are also available at the Austin Symphony Box Office, 11th and Red River or call 476-6064 or 1-888-4-MAESTRO (toll-free).