University Orchestra concert features Olevsky

October 17, 2004

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The University Orchestra, under the baton of Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr., will perform the Chopin’s “First Piano Concerto, Op. 11” on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall.

The piano soloist will be professor Estela Olevsky, who chose the work because, “The second movement of Concerto Op.11 provides the pianist with a unique opportunity to color the melodic line and have it sing, two very challenging aspects of piano playing. The bel canto style of singing is very much part of my blood (my mother was of Italian heritage).” (Bel canto focuses on the beauty of the sound, smooth phrasing with mastery of breath control and facility in virtuosic passages.) “Having an opera maestro such as Lanfranco Marcelletti as a conductor, makes me look forward to playing this work with the orchestra,” said Olevsky.

Also on the program is a Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony #5, entitled “Reformation,” which was commissioned for the 300th anniversary of The Confession of Faith, which was submitted to Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. At that time, Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, called officials from his German territories to a diet in a bid to unite them to fend off attacks of Turkish armies in eastern Austria. He also called upon the Lutheran nobility to explain their religious convictions. He hoped that the controversy around the Reformation might be resolved. Philip Melanchthon, a close friend of Martin Luther and a professor of New Testament at Wittenberg University, wrote the common confession for the Lutheran lords and free territories.

The outer two movements of Mendelssohn’s symphony are serious in nature, using material from several of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Chorales,” and stand in contract to the middle movements which are lighter in mood. After Mendelssohn had already written much of the symphony, the commission was canceled because of the composer’s Jewish heritage.

Tickets are $10 general public and $5 for students, elders, and children under 18 years of age, and are available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office (545-2511), or at the door.