In its review of Kahane's 2009 performance as pianist with the Colorado Symphony, The Denver Post wrote, "He was in prime form as he made this music frolic, sashay and swing and, at times, seemed to transform his Steinway grand into a rollicking saloon piano. Almost hidden in all the fun is no shortage of technical challenges, and he handled them with aplomb." Concertgoers at "Kahane & The Planets" can look forward to nothing less than keyboard wizardry as Kahane returns to Boettcher Concert Hall.
Presented for the first time in Colorado, "The Planets – An HD Odyssey" seamlessly blends the stunning visuals of NASA solar system photography with a live performance of Holst's ethereal masterpiece. While Holst's inspiration lay in astrology, the "marriage" of astronomical images with live performance adds a new dimension to The Planets that deepens the concert-going experience while evoking the grandeur of space. From Mars: The Bringer of War to Mercury: The Winged Messenger and Neptune: The Mystic, each of the seven movements is a wholly unique experience – not unlike the planets themselves.
Holst's friend and mutual critic, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, captured the essence of The Planets when he wrote, “Holst’s music reaches into the unknown, but it never loses touch with humanity.”
About Jeffrey Kahane
Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams. Currently in his 14th season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Kahane concluded his tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony in June 2010 and was also music director of the Santa Rosa Symphony for ten seasons.
Recent and upcoming performance highlights include appearances at the Aspen, Mostly Mozart and Oregon Bach festivals; play/conduct programs with the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco, National and Indianapolis symphonies; a U.S. recital tour with violinist Daniel Hope; an appearance with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and a European tour with Camerata Salzburg as conductor and soloist.
A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Kahane’s early piano studies were with Howard Weisel and Jakob Gimpel. First Prize winner at the 1983 Rubinstein Competition and a finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, he was also the recipient of a 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award in 1987.
About Gilbert Varga
Renowned for his commanding and elegant baton technique, Gilbert Varga has held positions with and guest conducted many of the world’s major orchestras. Varga’s recent engagements include the Berlin Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Museumsgesellschaft, Oslo Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Spanish National, Orchestre National de Belgique and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He also works regularly with orchestras such as Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas, Milwaukee and Indianapolis. Varga made his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2002 and has since developed a flourishing and long-standing relationship with the orchestra that sees him returning there every season. Further afield, Varga recently made his debuts with the Taipei Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, NCPA Orchestra (Beijing) and the Adelaide Symphony in Australia.
Earlier in his conducting career, Varga concentrated on work with chamber orchestras, particularly the Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra, before developing a reputation as a symphonic conductor. Past appointments include principal guest of the Malmö Symphony from 1997 to 2000 and permanent guest conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra from 1991 to 1995. From 1997 to 2008, Varga was music director of the Basque National Symphony Orchestra, leading them through ten seasons, including tours across Europe and South America.
Son of the celebrated Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga, Gilbert Varga studied under three very different and distinctive maestros: Franco Ferrara, Sergiu Celibidache and Charles Bruck.
Gilbert Varga, conductor
Jeffrey Kahane, piano
Women of the Colorado Symphony Chorus
Mary Louise Burke, associate director
KAHANE & THE PLANETS
BEETHOVEN: Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
HOLST: The Planets, Suite for Large Orchestra, Op. 32
"The Planets – An HD Odyssey" featuring NASA-generated images
Friday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 2 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: Remaining tickets for these performances currently start from $19. Tickets are on sale now at www.coloradosymphony.org, the Colorado Symphony Box Office: (303) 623-7876 or (877) 292-7979 or in-person in the lobby of Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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The state’s only full-time professional orchestra, the Colorado Symphony embraces a tradition of musical excellence by presenting a diverse array of symphonic performances throughout the year. The Colorado Symphony presents outstanding education and outreach programs, as well as Masterworks, Pops, Holiday, Family, and the exciting new Inside the Score series that has attracted a historic level of first-time concertgoers. By presenting music that is both timeless and inspiring, while taking risks with new musical collaborations and interactive concerts, the Colorado Symphony is attracting more diverse and younger audiences than ever before. The increasing popularity of Colorado Symphony concerts as well as a strong fund-raising base not only re-affirms the artistic excellence of the orchestra, but also reflects the deep-rooted enthusiasm for symphonic music felt by so many individuals across the region. For more information about the Colorado Symphony, visit www.coloradosymphony.org.