MUSICAL TITANS | Paul Huang, violin

MARCH 12, 2022 | 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM | KING CENTER

Concert Sponsors: Dr. Richard Weber & Family | Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Sponsor: Hugh Normile

BEETHOVENLeonore Overture No. 3 | TCHAIKOVSKY – Violin Concerto | SHOSTAKOVICH – Symphony No. 1

Paul Huang

Beethoven wrote a total of four overtures for his only opera Leonore, but rejected the first three, including the one on this program, and settled on a fourth and changed the name of the opera to Fidelio. It’s Leonore No. 3 that is most often performed today, most often on its own. Tchaikovsky’s only violin concerto was once deemed “unplayable” and didn’t receive its premiere until three years after it was written. In addition to its technical demands, the concerto is full of stunning lyricism, as only Tchaikovsky could write, including nods to Russian and Slavic folk music. Shostakovich was only 18 when he composed his First Symphony, written as a graduation assignment from Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) Conservatory. He broke all of the compositional rules he had learned and quickly developed his personal style, which included unexpected harmonies and surprising meter changes. In spite of it being unconventional, his professors recognized genius when they heard it and the new symphony quickly received its premiere by the Leningrad (formerly Petrograd) Philharmonic and, within a year, had its U.S. premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. Almost overnight, Shostakovich had become world famous.

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