The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's next performance at Mahalia Jackson Theatre features Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2. Comprised of four movements, the symphony was written in 1906-7, and premiered in St. Petersburg on 8 February 1908 under the conduction of Sergei Rachmaninoff himself. It utilizes a musical sequence identified as a quality unique to traditional Russian compositions as established by renowned composers like Tchaikovsky.
Though the criticisms against his first symphony left Rachmaninoff feeling insecure about his talent as a composer to the point of depression, Symphony No. 2 received great applause at its premiere, and cemented Rachmaninoff's role as “Russia's leading young composer.”
Billed alongside Rachmaninoff, LPO will perform Stephen Danker's Symphony No. 10. Danker, a Juilliard graduate who worked and resided in New Orleans for a number of years before Katrina, was commissioned in 1990 to compose electronic music for Audubon Institute's Aquarium of the Americas, where the computer-controlled system remains in effect to this day. The LPO has been honoured to perform six premieres of Danker's nine symphonies thus far.
Also on the performance program for the evening is Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2. The piece was drafted during Liszt's virtuoso period, circa 1839, but he didn't finish the entire score until a decade later due in part to the composer's inexperience with orchestra-writing.
Improv wiz Gabriela Montero will join LPO as guest pianist for Liszt's Concerto. Originally from Venezuela, Montero has been performing publicly since the age of five. A scholarship granted to her by the Venezuelan government allowed her the chance to study in the U.S., where she now lives with her family in Massachusetts.
Leading LPO's Fiesta Sinfonica will be Carlos Miguel Prieto, a man considered to be “one of the most dynamic young conductors on the classical stage today.” His credits include guest-conducting for symphony orchestras out of Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Colorado, Honolulu, and San Antonio. He has also conducted ensembles throughout Europe, Russia, Israel, and Latin America.