GALLIPOLIS — Big city music comes to Gallipolis on Sept. 10 when the concert master of the Philadelphia Orchestra, David Kim performs with the Ohio Valley Symphony.
Kim will be performing on a 1757 J. B. Guadagnini violin almost 100 years older than the historic Ariel theatre.
According to Lora Snow, executive director of the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre, the concert pairs up two titans of composition, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff with Kim, concert master of one of the world’s greatest orchestras.
Snow notes that Rachmaninoff had close ties with the Philadelphia Orchestra, even taking the baton to lead the group in a 1929 recording. In his later years, he said he composed with the sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra in his head and he dedicated his final composition to the group.
Written in 1878 in just one month’s time, the Violin Concerto was inspired by a violinist friend of Tchaikovsky. Russian folk songs contributed to the Slavic thematic content which was panned by critics at it’s premiere and declared to be “unplayable” by its first dedicatee. Fortunately for OVS audiences, Snow said, Kim will “prove them all wrong with stunning musicianship and dazzling virtuosity.”
Returning for his second collaboration with the Ohio Valley Symphony, Kim brings his music to the Ariel stage as he has the world over. Kim performs at international festivals such as Brevard, MasterWorks (USA) and Pacific (Japan). Besides leading the Philadelphia Orchestra from his concertmaster chair, he has appeared as a soloist with them as well as numerous orchestras around the world. He has a number of honorary doctorates from Eastern University, the University of Rhode Island and Dickinson College, among others.
Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 is the second half of the program. Premiered in 1908 to great applause and earning him the Glinka Award, the Symphony No. 2 has become a staple of the orchestral repertoire. One romantic melody follows another throughout the piece. There is a clarinet solo that winds its way through the slow movement which was used in the 2015 Best Picture “Birdman.”
To get a perspective on making music, the public is welcome to attend OVS rehearsals for free at 7-10 p.m. Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Open rehearsals are a way for young and old alike to become more familiar with symphonic music, and they offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes into preparing an orchestral performance.
Concertgoers — new or veteran — have another chance to learn more about the music with a free pre-concert chat hosted by Steven Huang, director of orchestras at Ohio University and OVS program annotator. Held in the third-floor Ariel Chamber theatre, the pre-concert talks are interactive and informal, and begin at 6:45 p.m.
Tickets for the Ohio Valley Symphony’s concerts are $24 for adults, $22 seniors and $12 for students. Tickets are available on the website at arieltheatre.org or ohiovalleysymphony.org or at the box office. Funding for the Ohio Valley Symphony is provided in part by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment.
The Ariel is located at 426 Second Ave. in downtown Gallipolis.