Pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi takes the stage with Music Director Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony to perform Beethoven’s powerful “Emperor” Concerto, April 8-10. The concert also highlights the Symphony’s world-class wind and brass sections with commanding works by Stravinsky, Bach and Arvo Pärt.
The performances begin at Memorial Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Thursday, April 8, followed by two weekend concerts at Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh’s Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Friday and Saturday, April 9-10. All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.
Following prizewinning performances in world-renowned piano competitions, as well as appearances in venues from New York’s Lincoln Center to Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, Antonio Pompa-Baldi has earned a reputation as one of classical music’s most sought-after guest soloists. Naturally, he has the skill and stage presence to match. Charleston Gazette music critic David Williams hailed Pompa-Baldi’s performance of the “Emperor” Concerto last year as “the finest performance of a Beethoven concerto I have ever heard,” adding that “his tone was never forced or steely. Even in the loudest passages there was remarkable warmth. This was one of the finest performances I have heard in 18 seasons as a music critic.”
Balancing the expansive, rich texture of the “Emperor” Concerto will be Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds and Bach’s first Orchestral Suite, both emphasizing purity of the Symphony’s wind instruments. Stravinsky said that his piece “is not an ’emotive’ work, but a musical composition based on elements which are sufficient in themselves.”
The evening also features North Carolina Symphony principal trumpet Paul Randall for Estonian composer Avro Pärt’s Concerto Piccolo after B-A-C-H. The work, orchestrated for strings and solo trumpet, takes the pseudonymous keys that Bach used in The Art of the Fugue—B-flat, A, C and B-natural, written with an “h” in German notation—for a vibrant and engaging juxtaposition of classical convention with avant-garde themes.
Regular tickets to Classical Series performances in Raleigh and Chapel Hill range from $30 to $45. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, NC 27601. Memorial Hall is located on E. Cameron Ave, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
For tickets and more information, visit the North Carolina Symphony Web site at ncsymphony.org or call 919.733.2750.