Conway Symphony Orchestra Presents Fire and Passion Feb. 17

Conway Symphony Orchestra Presents Fire and Passion Feb. 17

Guest Pianist Neil Rutman Featured in “From Europe with Romance”

CONWAY, ARK. (Jan. 20, 2009) – The Conway Symphony Orchestra will perform works by Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms, two of the leading composers of the Romantic Period, in “From Europe with Romance” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17 at Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway.  Guest soloist is pianist Neil Rutman. Audience members are invited to join Maestro Israel Getzov in a conductor conversation at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Reynolds Box Office, by phone at 450-3265 or toll free at 1-866-810-0012, and at  Prices range from $5 to $35, with significant discounts for children, students and the UCA community.  The concert is sponsored by the Ralph Behrens Legacy fund.

As soloist for the Mendelssohn concerto, Neil Rutman will demonstrate why he is known as one of the greatest musicians in Arkansas, according to Getzov.  Rutman has distinguished himself as a top prize winner in several international competitions

and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Washington
Post has written of Rutman that his playing “met the highest standards and his spotless
articulation gave the whole program unusual polish and virtuoso marks,” and the New York Times stated that “he won the audience over for himself with exquisite performances – both commanding and full of character.”

“These works are full of passion, of fire,” said Getzov.  “Come to the concert and enjoy an energizing break from your work week.”  The youthful virtuoso Mendelssohn wrote Piano Concerto No. 1 for himself, and his joy shines through every note.  The mature Brahms – fueled by his much storied love of Clara Schumann, the pianist, composer and wife of his mentor Robert Schumann – reached the high point of his orchestral career with Symphony No. 4.

Getzov will present a pre-concert conversation at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 17 that gives the audience a chance to hear more about the stories behind the music.  The conversation is a great learning opportunity for long-term classical music lovers and newcomers alike.

“Brahms’ final symphony may have been influenced by his long-term and emotionally passionate but probably platonic relationship with Clara Schumann,” said Getzov.  “As with all Brahms, the 4th Symphony balances the cerebral and the emotional to provide an exciting journey – one that is well worth taking again and again.”

Now in its 24th season, the Conway Symphony Orchestra exists to create meaningful experiences through performances and education.  The CSO roster is composed of both professional and pre-professional musicians performing a six-concert season, plus classroom educational programs. Through the support of corporate and individual donors, the CSO keeps tickets affordable, making the enjoyment of classical and popular music available to the entire community.

For more information, call 501-269-1066.