Fresh from their recent sell-out opera success, Penrith Symphony Orchestra head in a different direction in the upcoming concert of their Symphonic Series, Borodin, Shostakovich & Dvok.
On Saturday, September 14, guest conductor Luke Spicer guides PSO on a journey to faraway places in a program rich in exoticism and colour. Beginning this expedition is In the Steppes of Central Asia; ride the endless horizon with the trade caravans of the Caucasus, in Borodin's vivid tone poem. The concert will also feature a piano concerto by Shostakovich, and conclude with one of Dvok's most popular symphonies.
Spicer, who is making his conducting debut with the orchestra, began musical life as a viola player, a role in which he garnered considerable acclaim as a chamber musician. Upon picking up the conductor's baton, he has achieved considerable success, obtaining a Masters of Conducting from the Sydney Conservatorium, and is steadily building a reputation as an exciting young talent. He is currently the Principal Conductor of Sydney University Symphony Orchestra and has worked with the Tasmanian Symphony, Canberra Symphony, Rockdale Opera and the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.
Piano soloist Ronan Apcar, winner of the 2018 Conservatorium High School Concerto Competition, will join the orchestra for the performance of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2. Completed in 1952, this buoyant and affectionate work was written by the composer for his son Maxim's 19th birthday. Delightfully free spirited and one of his happiest compositions, it is easy to see why the piece was an immediate and enduring audience favourite.
Apcar is excited about performing with PSO.
"It's a tremendous opportunity to play a concerto with an orchestra and I'm really looking forward to working with PSO."
The second half of the concert is equally bright and wistful, with Dvok's eighth symphony sure to draw the listener in with its endless melody and almost improvisatory character. One of the composer's brightest works, it was completed over the summer of 1889 in just two and a half months, incorporating his beloved Bohemian folk music in a score packed full with memorable melodies.
This performance is on at 8pm on Saturday, September 14, at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith. There is a free pre-concert talk presented by the conductor at 7.20pm.
Book now at the box office of The Joan, online at www.thejoan.com.au, or call 4723 7600. Tickets will be available at the door, but seats are selling fast for this performance.