MANSFIELD -- Columbus Symphony Orchestra Music Director Rossen Milanov and the Columbus Symphony open the 2018-19 Masterworks season with a concert inspired by the 1940 Disney classic, Fantasia.
Bach’s majestic music, as seen through the eyes of legendary conductor Stokowski, and Wagner’s terrifying “Ride of the Valkyries” are paired with the rich orchestral palettes of Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Strauss’ iconic Also Sprach Zarathustra, made famous by the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Columbus Symphony presents In Full Splendor: Opening Night at the Symphony at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 22, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance.
Prelude – Patrons are invited to join Christopher Purdy and CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov in the theatre at 7pm for a 30-minute, pre-concert discussion about the works to be performed.
About CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov
Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain.
In 2017, Milanov received an Arts Prize from The Columbus Foundation for presenting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as part of CSO’s 2017 Picnic with the Pops summer series. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded its reach by connecting original programming with community-wide initiatives, such as focusing on women composers and nature conservancy, presenting original festivals, and supporting and commissioning new music.
Milanov has established himself as a conductor with considerable national and international presence, appearing with the Colorado, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Seattle, and Fort Worth symphonies, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and Link Up education projects with Carnegie Hall featuring the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Civic Orchestra in Chicago.
Internationally, he has collaborated with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romand, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Aalborg, Latvian, and Hungarian National Symphony Orchestras, Slovenain Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras in Toronto, Vancouver, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic (South Africa), Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, and New Zealand.
In the Far East, he has appeared with NHK, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Singapore Symphonies, and the Malaysian and Hong Kong Philharmonics.
Milanov has collaborated with some of the world’s preeminent artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff, and André Watts. During his 11-year tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he conducted more than 200 performances. In 2015, he completed a 15-year tenure as music director of nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey.
In 2013, he wrapped up a 17-year tenure with the New Symphony Orchestra in his native city of Sofia, Bulgaria. His passion for new music has resulted in numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Derek Bermel, Mason Bates, Caroline Shaw, Phillip Glass, Richard Danielpour, Nicolas Maw, and Gabriel Prokofiev, among others.
Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcomed presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. He has collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin for Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo for the Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Mazzepa and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle (awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus for Verdi’s La Traviata.
An experienced ballet conductor, he has been seen at New York City Ballet and collaborated with some of the best-known choreographers of our time, such Mats Ek, Benjamin Millepied, and most recently, Alexei Ratmansky in the critically acclaimed revival of Swan Lake in Zurich with the Zurich Ballet, and in Paris with La Scala Ballet.
Milanov studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where he received the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.
A passionate chef, he often dedicates his culinary talents to various charities.
About composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
A Baroque composer and musician, Bach is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations as well as for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival, he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
His Toccata and Fugue in D minor was first published in 1833, during the Bach Revival era, through the efforts of Felix Mendelssohn. Familiarity with the piece was enhanced in the second half of the 19th century, but its popularity increased significantly in the 20th century due to being included in Disney's Fantasia (in English composer Leopold Stokowski's orchestral transcription). Today, it is considered the most famous work in the organ repertoire.
About composer Richard Wagner (1813–83)
Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, and conductor chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, he wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. The "Ride of the Valkyries" refers to the beginning of Act 3 of Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), the second of four operas constituting Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
The story of Die Walküre is based on the valkyrie of Norse mythology, one of a host of female figures who choose who dies in battle and who lives. The valkyries take their chosen dead to Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin, where they eat their fill and are brought mead by the valkries as they prepare for the great battle of Ragnarök.
In “Ride of the Valkyries,” four of the eight valkyrie sisters of Brünnhilde gather on a mountain peak to prepare for the transportation of fallen heroes to Valhalla. As they are joined by the other four, they greet each other and sing their battle-cry.
About composer Paul Dukas (1865–1935)
French composer, critic, scholar, and teacher Paul Dukas was intensely self-critical, causing him to abandon or destroy many of his compositions. His best-known, surviving work, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'apprenti sorcier), is a symphonic poem written in 1897, and was based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1797 poem of the same name.
In the poem, an old sorcerer leaves his apprentice behind in his workshop with a list of chores to complete. To make quick work of the list, the not-yet-fully-trained apprentice uses magic to enchant a broom to do the work for him. But when the broom soon floods the floor with water, the apprentice realizes he doesn’t know how to stop the magic.
About composer Richard Strauss (1864–1949)
Straus was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras, best known for his operas. He was also a prominent conductor in Western Europe and the Americas, enjoying quasi-celebrity status as his compositions became standards of orchestral and operatic repertoire.
Composed in 1896, Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) is a tone poem inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical novel of the same name. The book chronicles the fictitious travels and speeches of Zarathustra. While Zarathustra's namesake was the founder of the Zoroastrianism religion, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is one who turns traditional morality on its head.
Strauss conducted the first performance of Also sprach Zarathustra in Frankfurt on November 27, 1896. Its initial fanfare–titled "Sunrise" in the composer's program notes–became well known after its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.