Music Preview: MARIINSKY ORCHESTRA (North American tour with Valery Gergiev at Segerstrom)

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by Tony Frankel on October 7, 2018

in Music,Theater-Regional


As part of their 2018 tour, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will arrive at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Saturday October 20, 2018, at 8:00. This is the first stop for the inestimable orchestra, the finest I have ever heard. The program features Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, followed by two works by Stravinsky: his Violin Concerto featuring violinist Kristóf Baráti, and the thrilling, energetic Firebird. (A pre-concert lecture by Brian Lauritzen will begin at 7:00.)

Few orchestras can match the Mariinsky’s authority, blend, and fullness of sound. Every member is a stunning virtuoso, making this the most exciting orchestra to see live. The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre enjoys a long and distinguished history as one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia. Founded in the 18th century during the reign of Peter the Great and housed in St. Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theatre since 1860, the Orchestra entered its “golden age” in the second half of the 19th century under the musical direction of Eduard Napravnik, whose leadership for more than a half century (1863-1916) secured its reputation as one of the finest in Europe. Gergiev was first appointed as the Musical Director of the Mariinsky Theatre at the age of 35 in 1988 and has been the Artistic and General Director since 1996.

Hungarian Kristóf Baráti is held in the highest esteem by conductors such as Dutoit, Saraste, and Janowski. Born into a family of musicians, Baráti spent much of his childhood in Venezuela, where he played as soloist with many of the country’s leading orchestras, returning to Budapest to study at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. One of Hungary’s foremost artists he was awarded the prestigious Kossuth Prize in 2014 following in the footsteps of artists such as Iván Fischer and András Schiff. A true master of the violin, his performances are probing and intense with a flawless technique and dazzling expressive range. He plays the 1703 “Lady Harmsworth” made by Antonio Stradivarius. His two engagements with the Mariinsky (they have a somewhat different program at The Soraya in Northridge on Oct. 25) are the only two U.S. stops for this in-demand player, who returns to Europe for the 2018/19 season.

Mariinsky Orchestra
North American Tour, 2018
presented by Philharmonic Society of Orange County
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
615 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa
Valery Gergiev, conductor
Kristóf Baráti, violin
DEBUSSY: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
(Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun)
STRAVINSKY: Violin Concerto | The Firebird (complete)
Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8
for tickets, call 949.553.2422 or visit Philharmonic Society
for more dates and cities, visit Mariinsky on Tour

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