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On Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present the third concert in the 2018–2019 Premier Health Masterworks Series, entitled Misha Plays Liszt. The DPO is thrilled to welcome renowned pianist Misha Dichter to the stage for this performance. Mr. Dichter is the Olive W. Kettering Memorial Endowed Guest Artist for the DPAA 2018-2019 Vistas Season.
This October the Dayton Philharmonic presents music from three of the most creative musical minds of all time. Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman opens the program by taking the audience to the streets of an idealized New York City in wartime 1944. The musical On The Town has its roots in the ballet Fancy Free, choreographed by Jerome Robbins to Leonard Bernstein’s score. Then Lenny, America’s newly minted heartthrob composer/conductor, chanced upon his Broadway friends Betty Comden and Adolphe Greene in Hollywood. Why not expand the music from Fancy Free into a big musical and take Broadway by storm? They did, and 462 performances later it sparked a legacy of great singable, danceable tunes, not to mention a hit film. The dance music (extracted from the original musical) performed on this program captures the spirit, romance and joy of “New York, New York, what a wonderful town…”
Then DPO then turns to a work of pianistic lightning, performed by a seasoned master of his craft. The out-and-out flamboyance of Franz Liszt‘s first Piano Concerto can obscure its innovative structure. When portrayed well, it seems as though the whole piece is improvised on the spot. Such is not the case. It is carefully calculated to be a dazzling exhibition of concerto dialogue as the piano confronts, battles, capitulates, and exhorts, all the while confronting the orchestra that, nonetheless, stands up to the onslaught as a willing partner. This is no delicate, polite parlor conversation; it truly emanates from the Romantic world.
Guest pianist Misha Dichter’s family fled Europe during World War II and arrived in California when he was two. Just three years later, he started piano study. Over time, Dichter has virtually defined the role of piano virtuoso, playing works of wide scope from almost all the major composers and with almost every major orchestra. He has recorded with principal labels such as RCA and Philips. His recordings of the complete Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies and the Liszt Piano Concertos helped set the standard for other performers worldwide.
After finally completing his first symphony, with performances that generated enthusiastic critical acclaim, Johannes Brahms quickly followed suit with his second work in the genre. Written over the course of one summer in 1877 (his first took 14 years), his Symphony No. 2 is another one that marches down the halls of time as one of the greats. It is full and rich, lyrical and sunny, and features a profusion of memorable melodies. Before the debut performance, the subversive Brahms taunted his friends, saying that the orchestra should play it with black crepe on their sleeves and the score should be printed with a black border. Hardly! Its obvious exuberance is a fitting climax for a program that expresses the joy of place and time, the joy of expression and the joy of just being alive.
Tickets for Misha Plays Liszt range from $12 to $65 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org