Amit Peled is a multi-sport athlete: He plays basketball and cello. Torn as a teenager between pursuing sports or music, he threw himself toward music, resigning himself to the certainty that he would never be tall enough to play in the NBA.
For three weeks, instrumental and piano students in the School of Music have been performing in the Music School Festival Orchestra, giving student recitals and attending guest and master classes. Today will kick off the first recital in the first phase of the chamber music series. Five student chamber groups will perform at 2 p.m. today in McKnight Hall.
What was written in a desperate attempt to appease political and social groups became Dmitri Shostakovich’s most famous work. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 47 in D Minor brought him back into the good graces of Russian leadership, in a time when many of his friends and relatives were disappearing.
The Music School Festival Orchestra will open its concert season at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater with Shostakovich’s piece, preceded by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, Op. 93 in F Major. MSFO Music Director Timothy Muffitt chose these symphonies as a base point for the rest of the season.
Monsters, witches and a devil (well, Stalin, anyway). This was perhaps not a typical program for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, but it was in turns electrifying, poignant, lovely and menacing.
In fact, the concert Saturday night in the Amphitheater was an intriguing look at danger set in Russia. It began with the fantastical one of two monsters that abduct the characters Russlan and Ludmilla in the opera of the same name by Glinka, moved to the frightful Slavic legend of Baba Yaga and concluded with Shostakovich’s secret account of the brutality of Stalin’s regime. All led by, with a measure of irony, but a conductor at ease, the American Ira Levin.