Renowned UAB Pianist joins the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for their opening Masterworks Concert, October 4 & 5

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The Alabama Symphony Orchestra enters it’s 99th Anniversary Season this year and opens its Masterworks Series of concerts with Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Stravinsky’s groundbreaking Petruskha. The concert will be performed on Friday and Saturday, October 4 & 5 (7PM) at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center – Jemison Concert Hall. Find out why you need to go. Tickets start at $24, available HERE Use code PIANONOW to get 15% off the ticket price.

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will open their 2019/20 Masterworks Series on October 5. Photo via ASO

Whether you consider yourself a classical music expert or you’ve yet to discover the magic of attending a live symphony orchestra performance, there’s nothing quite like hearing that first note of music at a live symphonic performance; whether it be your first time, or your hundredth. There’s just something about it! It doesn’t matter how good your home stereo system is: seeing and hearing it live is something very special, and we have the amazing Alabama Symphony Orchestra based right here in Birmingham.

Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Stravinsky’s Petruskha

Carlos Icaray, ASO Music Director. Photo via ASO

On October 4 & 5 at 7PM, Carlos Izcaray, ASO Music Director, will conduct Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto – a masterpiece weaving together a solo pianist (Yakov Kasman) and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. The ASO will also perform Stravinsky’s groundbreaking Petrushka, Smith’s The Star Spangled Banner, and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.

Izcaray is looking forward to beginning the 2019-20 Masterworks series with emotive pieces of classical music.

“Our opening Masterworks concert has always a special kind of excitement, as we join our audience once again and embark on a musical exploration. Petrushka by Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto are both iconic pieces of the Russian repertoire, which is known for its incredible emotional richness. We’re fortunate to have a first grade symphony that can transport us all to that special place, and we’re also delighted to share the stage with Birmingham-based Yakov Kasman. We can’t wait to start!”

Carlos Icaray, ASO Music Director.

Audience members will be able to gain insight into the music that will be played by joining the ASO for Concert Comments each night at 6:15pm in the Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall.

Why is Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto so special?

In the world of classical musical composition, this is recognized as a true piano masterpiece.

You’ll know the music when you hear it:

The second movement of Rachmaninoff’s composition is probably best known in popular culture thanks to the song, “All by Myself.” The song recorded by Eric Carmen and later Celine Dion, is based on the second movement of this piece. The song was also used in Bridget Jones Diary where Renee Zellweger famously sings to the song in her pajamas.  

It starts off solely with piano before interconnecting beautifully with the full orchestra and coming to a towering ending that gets faster, and faster, and faster! The climactic finale really does have to be seen and heard to be believed!

If you can read music, and play the piano, you may just have a cold sweat looking at the very end of the piece! It’s quite an electric ending!

Tickets to see this piece of music performed as part of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s opening Masterworks concert start at $24, available HERE. Use code PIANONOW to get 15% off the ticket price.

Yakov Kasman, UAB Distinguished Professor of Piano

Yakov Kasman – UAB Distinguished Professor of Piano. Photo via ASO

Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto will be performed by Yakov Kasman, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist in 1997 and UAB Distinguished Professor of Piano. 

Kasman has performed concerts in the United States, Russia, and Asia, and appeared as a soloist with more than fifty orchestras.

“For me, every invitation to perform as a soloist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra is an honor. I have known this orchestra for many years; our first performance together happened almost twenty years ago, and since then I have played seven different piano concertos (some of them several times over the years) with the ASO”, said Kasman.

On performing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, Kasman describes it as “a very special treat, both for the performers and the audience, as it is one of the most beloved and recognizable classical compositions ever written. It has some amazingly gorgeous tunes, recognizable even to those not particularly interested in classical music. I very much look forward to performing this great work with our own Alabama Symphony.”

Check out this video of Kasman’s genius-like piano, performing Ravel.

Get your tickets for ASO’s Opening Masterworks for 2019-20 now!

Get your tickets to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra now! Photo via ASO

The ASO will perform Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Stravinsky’s groundbreaking Petruskha for the opening concert of their 2019-20 Masterworks Series.

The concerts are at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center – Jemison Concert Hall:

Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7PM

Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 7PM

(Gain insight into the music by joining the ASO for Concert Comments each night at 6:15pm in the Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall)

Tickets start at $24, available HERE or by calling the box office at (205) 975-2787. Use code PIANONOW to get 15% off the ticket price.

ASO Masterworks is presented by EBSCO Industries, Inc. & Vulcan Value Partners.

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Author: Jon Eastwood

Originally from Wales (UK) and a fluent Welsh speaker. Longtime sustainability and recycling champion. Former county recycling manager in the UK. Career highlights include introducing innovative recycling systems and achieving a point where households throw out trash just once a month. Competed in international coastal rowing championships and followed Wales throughout Europe in their Rugby and Soccer endeavours.