What do a milestone birthday, a beloved piano concerto, and a call for Finnish independence have in common? They make up the program for the opening concert of the Central Ohio Symphony’s 41st season.
Music Director Jaime Morales-Matos will begin his 17th year on the local podium when he and the musicians perform on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Gray Chapel Auditorium on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in Delaware.
One of the highlights of the opening concert is the world premiere of the revision of Divertimento for Strings by central Ohio composer Christopher Weait, celebrating his 80th birthday this year.
“Chris was our music director for a decade and is now our music director laureate,” said Warren W. Hyer, executive director of the Symphony. “He has a long history as an acclaimed musician, teacher, conductor, and composer, and is well-known throughout central Ohio. Until Jaime took the podium, Chris had the longest tenure of any conductor with this orchestra and was instrumental in laying the foundation for the masterful group it has become under Jaime’s direction.”
Also featured at the opening concert will be Israeli-American pianist Dror Biran, piano faculty at College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Biran, who performs internationally and has won several major piano competitions, will be performing the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Peter Tchaikovsky, described by many as among the most beloved in the piano repertoire.
Rounding out opening night will be Symphony No. 2 by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Written during a time when Finland was seeking independence from Russia, the work is sometimes dubbed the “Symphony of Independence.” Hyer noted the work is “an emotional test of any orchestra” in terms of the sweeping scope of the music.
“We are excited to bring this concert to our audience,” added Hyer. “Jaime is eager to perform the Sibelius, Dror will be exciting to watch, and we are thrilled to be celebrating Chris’s lifetime achievements in the classical world.”
Season tickets or tickets for this concert only may be purchased at the Symphony Source, 24 E. Winter St. in downtown Delaware, online at www.centralohiosymphony.org, or at the box office the night of the concert.
More information about the concert and ticket availability is available on the Symphony website, www.centralohiosymphony.org, at the Symphony office at 24 E. Winter St., or by calling the Symphony at 740-362-1799.