Planets and Prokofiev
Glacier Symphony and Chorale opens its 34th concert season with “The Planets and Prokofiev” celebrating the 100th year anniversary of Gustav Holst’s masterpiece
Glacier Symphony and Chorale opens its 34th concert season under the baton of John Zoltek, with “The Planets and Prokofiev” on October 15 and 16 featuring composer Gustav Holst’s magnum opus, “The Planets.” The concert will also feature Prokofiev’s powerful Piano Concerto No. 3 with acclaimed Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, performing. Concerts will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. at Flathead High Performance Hall in Kalispell.
Holst, an Englishman, described “The Planets” as “a series of mood pictures.” Composed 100 years ago, the work is by far his most popular and had a profound influence on orchestral music.
The piece arose from his love of Theosophy a spiritual movement that was a reaction to the industrial materialism of the mid-1800s. Holst is said to have patterned the piece on an astrological book called “The Art of Synthesis” by Alan Leo, who divided each chapter into the astrological characteristics of the known planets. Thus Holst titled the seven movements of his symphony in the following way: Mars-the Bringer of War; Venus-the Bringer of Peace; Mercury – the Winged Messenger; Jupiter-the Bringer of Jollity; Saturn the Bringer of Old Age; Uranus-the Magician and Neptune-the Mystic.
“The Planets” is one of the most spectacular orchestra pieces to hear live in concert. Its thundering intensity, cosmic lyricism and textural mystery have strongly influenced space music depicted by orchestras from the early days of Sci-Fi film to John Williams and beyond. “ Zoltek says.
Ilya Yakushev is an emerging Russian pianist who won the 2005 World Piano Competition. He will be the soloist in Prokofiev’s virtuosic and modernist Piano Concerto No. 3 for piano and orchestra, composed from 1916/17, a work regarded as one of Prokofiev’s best and certainly most popular piano concerto. As a piano prodigy, Yakushev received his first award at age 12 as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. He later attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music and subsequently came to New York City to attend Mannes College of Music. He has performed in various prestigious venues worldwide in Europe and the US.
Yakushev was invited by Maestro Zoltek to perform the Prokofiev and open the Masterworks season. “Ilya is a technically brilliant pianist from the Russian tradition whose energetic and engaging stage manner will be a real treat for our audience” says Zoltek.
Yakushev and Prokofiev have a similar cultural background, both having been born in St. Petersburg, Russia and both beginning the piano at an early age. Prokofiev wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 in 1921 and became a prolific composer known for his many concerto’s, sonata’s and choral works among them Peter and the Wolf, Alexander Nevsky and the Romeo and Juliet ballet.
With the opening of the season the Glacier Symphony and Chorale offers season ticket packages. “We offer big city performances at small town prices,” comments John Zoltek. And to that end the GSC strives to make each concert affordable via a ‘get acquainted’ package called First Timers – Half Off providing any new subscriber to the GSC a half price season ticket package.
Buy tickets online at www.gscmusic.org (no service fees) or by calling the GSC Box Office, 406-407-7000. Tickets for single adult seats begin at $15 (box office fees apply on telephone orders). Youth through grade 12 are admitted free of charge to this Masterworks concert.