Seattle Symphony features Elgars Enigma variations
August 28, 2008 · Updated 8:58 AM
Seattle Seattle Symphonys Masterpiece series presents a program for string lovers and more featuring Dvoraks Serenade for Strings, Barbers Cello Concerto and Elgars Enigma Variations. Cellist Mark Kosower will make his Seattle Symphony debut in the demanding role of soloist in Barbers Cello Concerto. Performances will be led by Music Director Gerard Schwarz on Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m.
Edward Elgar conceived his Enigma Variations as a set of musical portraits of his close-knit circle of friends. Although Elgar freely divulged the identities of the friends on which the 14 thematic variations were based, he designated the first theme as simply Enigma. And so it remains an enigma, for, to this day, neither the inspiration for the Engima theme nor the larger programmatic theme of the piece has been revealed.
Dvoraks Serenade for Strings, much like other traditional serenades, is a light-hearted composition infused with the spirit of dance. Dvorak wrote the pieces within a two-week period during a time of personal joy and contentment. The piece reflects this contentment and celebrates the strings as instruments capable of beautiful lyricism and animation.
American composer Samuel Barber cultivated the spirit of Romanticism in the middle of the 20th century. His Cello Concerto has, in its finest moments, a Brahms-like grandeur about it, while making virtuosic demands of the soloist. Mark Kosower will be the featured soloist in this program. Of Kosowers performance of Barbers Cello Concerto, The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote, Kosower played the challenging Barber Concerto with great intensity, skill, commitment. The sound he produces is a big one that fills the hall. A consistently lovely tone .... an exciting performance.
Mark Kosower is the newly-appointed Principal Cello of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany. He is also on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed with many of the worlds major symphonies and received numerous awards including the Avery Fisher Career Grant (2002), Juilliard Cello Concerto Competition (2000), Grand Prize in the Seventh Irving Klein International String Competition, Grand Prize at WAMSO Young Artist Competition (1994) and Seventh Concours Rostropovich. He holds a bachelors degree and an artist diploma in Cello Performance from Indiana University. He is currently pursuing a masters degree at The Juilliard School.
Single tickets from $15 to $89 can be purchased by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at 206-215-4747 or toll-free at 866-833-4747, faxing the Symphony at 206-215-4748, ordering online at www.seattlesymphony.org with the Select-Your-Own-Seat option, or visiting the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office in Benaroya Hall at Third Avenue & Union Street, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m.