Glacier Symphony presents ‘Scheherazade’ and Chopin concerto

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Glacier Symphony’s Feb. 17 concert “Romancing the Soul” will feature guest pianist Andrew Staupe.

Continue your Valentine’s Day experience with the Glacier Symphony’s “Romancing the Soul” concert Sunday, Feb. 17. The symphony, under the direction of conductor John Zoltek, will offer “Scheherazade,” the dynamic and colorful orchestral suite by Russian composer and master of orchestration, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Considered to be one of the most popular showpieces of classical music, the gorgeous melodies, exotic orchestral colors and vibrant rhythms transport you to the imaginary world of “One Thousand and One Nights” upon which the musical work was inspired.

“Sheherazade” serves as a first step toward the appreciation and love of romantic classical music and is beloved by both new and seasoned listeners, Zoltek said.

“This is an exciting and beautiful piece that has immediate audience appeal,” he said. “It literally reaches out and creates a dramatic setting with its very first notes and phrases.”

Concertmaster Sally Jerde will be in the spotlight playing a number of rhapsodic solo violin passages.

Guest pianist Andrew Staupe will open the concert with his masterful interpretation of Chopin’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.”

“I always enjoy performing with Andrew. He is excellent and one of my favorite pianists who will bring his full powers to realize the deep beauty of this impressively poetic piece,” Zoltek said, adding that the concerto’s primary focus is on the piano throughout its 40-minute length. “By contrast, the orchestra, although present, takes a largely subsidiary role, creating much more of a subtly supportive accompaniment rather than the usual musical dialogue and exchange.”

Chopin’s concerto gives lovers of piano music a real taste of Chopin’s virtuosity as a young pianist destined to make his mark on the musical scene in early 19th century Paris.

“The work literally glistens with poetic lines set in the brilliant original piano techniques and colors of Chopin,” Zoltek said

Pianist Andrew Staupe is emerging as one of the distinctive voices of a new generation of pianists. He has appeared as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony and many other orchestras throughout the United States. He has performed extensively in Europe, appearing in The Netherlands, Russia, the Czech Republic, Austria, and a number of other countries.

An avid chamber musician, Staupe has jammed with legendary vocalist Bobby McFerrin, played tangos with the Assad Brothers, and has performed with numerous noted musicians. Staupe is an assistant professor of piano at the University of Utah, and gives frequent master classes around the country.

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