Join The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for a free concert as more than 100 gifted musicians, in conjunction with the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, return June 26 for an evening of exceptional classical music. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Gates open at 7 p.m.
The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer, along with The Pavilion celebrating its 20th season this year. The festival is a University of Houston Moores School of Music summer orchestral training program. Participants (Orchestral Fellows), chosen by competitive live and recorded auditions, are advanced students and young professional musicians who come from throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Asia, Canada, Central and South America. The Orchestral Fellows study and rehearse under the guidance of an international faculty of artists/teachers and conductors who also perform on the festival’s Distinguished Artist Series concerts.
On June 26, under the direction of Josep Caballé-Domenech, these young artists perform Strauss’ “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks,” Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, third and fourth movements, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor.
The program also includes a special solo performance by violinist Yi-Chun Lin, this year’s winner of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition. Lin, who performs the Shostakovich Violin Concerto, was born in Taiwan and received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music in May 2009. She plans to pursue a Master’s Degree at Mannes College The New School for Music as a full scholarship recipient.
The evening begins with “Till Eulenspiegels’s Merry Pranks,” a tone poem by Richard Strauss chronicling the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero, Till Eulenspiegel. The two themes representing Till are played respectively by the horn and clarinet. The horn theme is a lilting melody that reaches a peak, falls downward and ends in three long, loud notes, each progressively lower. The clarinet theme is crafty and wheedling, suggesting a trickster doing what he does best.
Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor was originally written by Dmitri Shostakovich, a Russian composer of the Soviet period, between 1947 and 1948. He was still working on the piece at the time of his denunciation and the work could not be performed for a period of time following his denunciation. During this time, Shostakovich and his dedicatee, David Oistrakh, worked on a number of revisions of the piece. The work was finally premiered in 1955 by the Leningrad Philharmonic under the direction of Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor contains only three movements, but its central one fulfills the dual role of slow movement and scherzo. The work employs cyclic form, with the subtle use of a motto theme, as with all of Rachmaninoff's works. What was ground breaking in this piece was its greater economy of utterance compared to its two predecessors. This sparer style enhances the emotional power of the work. The deeply tragic first movement depicts a collapse in its awesomeness and inexorability. The darkness of the piece is finally overcome in a powerful finale, not unlike that of Greek tragedy.
Come early and enjoy pre-concert activities beginning at 7 p.m., including The Pavilion Partners Instrument Petting Zoo and hands-on activities provided by Amazing Siding and Woodforest National Bank. Also enjoy a free discussion about the evening’s performance with Ira J. Black, a prominent music scholar and college professor, as he hosts Pavilion Talk from 7:15 - 7:45 p.m. Be sure to stop by the Tommy Bahama booth to register for the “Best Seats in the House.”
The Texas Music Festival Orchestra is a free event, sponsored in part by Houston Community Newspapers and The Pavilion Partners. Picnics are welcome (no beverages) and lawn chairs are available for free. Preferred parking is available in the on-site Town Center Garage, located along Six Pines Drive. Parking is $5 per vehicle for this and most performing arts events. Tickets for on-site parking can be purchased in advance at all Ticketmaster locations and The Pavilion Ticket Office. Guests also can park in any of the five free parking lots on the southwest side of The Pavilion. The free, color-coded lots are connected to The Pavilion by corresponding pathways with signs leading across The Waterway.
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's 20th Performing Arts Season is presented by The Woodlands Development Company and sponsored by Donoho’s Jewellers, Audi of America, the Community Associations of The Woodlands, Houston Community Newspapers, The Pavilion Partners, The Wortham Foundation, and Continental Airlines, official airline of The Pavilion.
If you would like more information about The Pavilion and its 20th Performing Arts Season, please visit www.woodlandscenter.org or look for The Pavilion on MySpace and Facebook.