January 24, 2024
For Immediate Release January 24, 2024
(NORTH BETHESDA, MD) — The National Philharmonic (NatPhil) enters the spring with two classical concerts conducted by Music Director Piotr Gajewski. On March 9, Gajewski leads a program of works from the 19th to the 21st centuries—all inspired by poetry, prose, or paintings. The first half comprises Lilacs by Washingtonian composer George Walker and Tales of Hemingway by Michael Daugherty. Lilacs, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996, is based on the poetry of Walt Whitman; soprano Talise Trevigne joins NatPhil for the performance. Cellist Zuill Bailey reprises his Grammy Award–winning solo turn in Daugherty’s work, which he premiered with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in 2015. The final work on the program is Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by Maurice Ravel. Inspired by an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Viktor Hartmann, the series of musical vignettes invites listeners to move through Mussorgsky’s musical gallery.
On April 6, NatPhil welcomes back pianist Claire Huangci and soprano Danielle Talamantes for a program uniting two orchestral masterworks. Huangci is soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24—darker in tone than many of Mozart’s concertos—showcasing the full range of her virtuosity. Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which is generally thought to express his longing for childhood, is being performed in its entirety. Mahler himself said that the symphony reminded him of his mother’s smile. The final movement is a song called “Das himmlische Leben” (“The Heavenly Life”), presenting a child’s vision of heaven; Talamantes is featured as vocal soloist in that song.
March and April 2024 Full Concert Schedule:
Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore
Musical Mediums: Pictures at an Exhibition
Piotr Gajewski, conductor
Talise Trevigne, soprano
Zuill Bailey, cello
Great art begets great music in this program of works inspired by poetry, prose, and paintings conducted by Maestro Piotr Gajewski. George Walker’s Lilacs puts to magnificent music the words of Walt Whitman’s 1865 poem, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” Soprano Talise Trevigne invigorates this Pulitzer Prize-winning piece for solo soprano and orchestra. Cellist Zuill Bailey returns to the NatPhil stage for Tales of Hemingway. He won a Grammy for Best Solo Performance in 2017 for this four-movement reimagining of the works of Ernest Hemingway.
From words to watercolors, the program ends with Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by Maurice Ravel. Inspired by an exhibition of drawings and watercolors by Viktor Hartmann, Pictures at an Exhibition moves audiences through a musical story, inviting listeners to let their imaginations run wild through Mussorgsky’s sonic landscape.
George Walker, Lilacs
Michael Daugherty, Tales of Hemingway
Modest Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel), Pictures at an Exhibition
Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore
Mozart & Mahler
Piotr Gajewski, conductor
Claire Huangci, piano
Danielle Talamantes, soprano
Mozart & Mahler unites two classical music powerhouses and two of National Philharmonic’s favorite guest artists under the baton of Maestro Piotr Gajewski. Pianist Claire Huangci joins NatPhil for Mozart’s striking Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, one of his most complex and virtuosic works. With a darker tone than many of his other piano works, Concerto No. 24 sweeps between moments of turmoil and serenity, showcasing Huangci’s technical prowess and the expressivity of the full orchestra.
The powerful musical arc of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 unfolds like a grand folk tale. A singular musical experience, Mahler has described it as reminding him of his mother’s smile and sounding like “a dewdrop on a flower that suddenly, illuminated by the sun, bursts into a thousand lights and colors,” and later that it “explodes into a wall of sound representing the gates of heaven.” Distinguished soloist Danielle Talamantes, soprano, joins NatPhil for the final movement, “The Heavenly Life,” in which heaven is described as a beautiful meadow full of playing children and blooming flowers, where loved ones are reunited.
W.A. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 4
Tickets ($19–$99) are available online at nationalphilharmonic.org. Kids 17 and under can attend National Philharmonic performances for free through the All Kids. All Free. All the Time. initiative.
About the National Philharmonic
Celebrated for showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces, National Philharmonic continuously strives to create remarkable educational opportunities in the community while promoting diversity and representation in classical music.
National Philharmonic is an accessible, enriching component in the Greater Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area, believing that music has the power to spark imagination and shape the world around us. As the only organization with a united orchestra and chorus in the region, over the years National Philharmonic has expanded its footprint beyond its home at Strathmore, with year-round masterclasses along with Summer String and Summer Chorale Institutes for youth, armed services programs, and partnerships with community organizations. In addition to these programs, National Philharmonic fosters a love of music in young people across the region by offering free admission to all children between the ages 7 to 17 years old.
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Camille Cintrón Devlin
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