From Music Director Daniel Meyer
I don’t often build an entire program around a single artist, but when that artist is the amazing pianist Marc-André Hamelin, I make an exception. I had the great fortune of collaborating with Marc last season as he stepped-in at the last minute to replace an ailing Yefim Bronfman for our Opening Night concert with the Asheville Symphony. He performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, and he played it like, well, an emperor. With complete control and mastery of the concerto’s technical challenges, Marc was able to project a sovereign control over the piece’s many opportunities to project power, strength, and poetry.
I knew instantly that if we had the chance to bring him back to Erie, I wanted to collaborate with him again. This time, he is bringing the music of Rachmaninoff. The Second Concerto is arguably the most-loved by audiences, and it probably has to do with the near perfect combination of lush, romantic harmonies woven into an emotional language that speaks directly to us. I am thrilled at this opportunity to collaborate with such a special artist again on such a special piece, and he certainly merits top-billing in this opening concert. Marc has also generously agreed to share his talent and passion for great music with our community in several unique ways in the week leading up to the concert. Please join us for one of those free community events and let Marc know how happy you are to have him back in Erie with the Philharmonic.
But I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t admit how excited I am to get back to making music with my friends at the Erie Philharmonic. I am so proud of how we have grown together over the past few years and are making music in a way that shows off the virtuosity of our musicians. This virtuosity then enables us to cut to the very core of what each composer is trying to say in his music. I chose an all-Russian program to feature this combination of technique and emotion, and I hope you agree that this combination shows off what the Philharmonic can do in many facets. Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, Shostakovich’s Tahiti Trot, and especially Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol all delight in vivid colors and serve as perfect vehicles for our wonderful musicians of the Philharmonic.
I look forward to seeing you on this special Opening Night with the Erie Philharmonic and Marc-André Hamelin. Thank you for your passion for great music and great performances!
See you at the Philharmonic,
Music Director, Erie Philharmonic