presents an “Apotheosis of
the Dance” where Germany and Armenia meet.
By Ted AYALA
Richard Wagner famously referred to the Beethoven 7th Symphony as the “apotheosis of the dance.” With its potent rhythmic intensity and dazzling harmonic modulations, the Beethoven 7th is definitely one of the Bonn master’s most propulsive and nearly visceral exciting works.
Fusing the whirlwind rhythms of Beethoven’s muse with the melos of Armenian folklore, the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra will present a program this Saturday, March 12 of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, excerpts from Felix Mendelssohn’s music for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and a Kanun Concerto by Armenian composer Khachatur Avetisyan (1926-1996).
Though not as well known as Armenia’s favorite musical son, Aram Khachaturian, Avetisyan is one of Armenia’s most well respected composers where his contributions to the preservation of his homeland’s folk idioms have long earned him the respect of his compatriots. Avetisyan also won praise for his work beyond the boundaries of Armenia, winning awards for his compositions in East Berlin and in Moscow. His legacy continues to live on locally by way of the work of his son Mikael Avetisyan – conductor of the Glendale Philharmonic.
Avetisyan’s concerto is for a zither-like instrument known as the kanun, where it has been played for centuries in Armenia, Turkey, Greece, and Iran. Performing the solo part will be Karine Hovhannisyan, whose artistry on the kanun has won her wide approval. Hovhannisyan also studied the Kanun Concerto under the guidance of composer Avetisyan herself and brings the authority of the composer’s own voice to the work.
George Stelluto, resident conductor of the Juilliard School and a veteran of Chicago‘s Ravinia Festival, will be the PSO’s guest conductor.
Two performances on Saturday, May 12 at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium (131 S. St. John Ave.): a matinee at 2:00 p.m. and AN evening concert at 8:00 p.m. with pre-concert lectures by George Stelluto an hour before each performance.
For tickets and more information, please contact the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra at (626) 793-7172 or go online to www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org.