Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Music Director Marin Alsop have been acclaimed for their performances and recordings of Czech master Antonin Dvorák. Tonight, November 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and November 17 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, the BSO will perform Dvorák's lyrical Eighth Symphony and Brahms' poetic Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by pianist Denis Kozhukhin in his BSO debut.
Dvorák composed and orchestrated his Eighth Symphony within an incredible two-and-a-half –month period from August 26 to November 8, 1889 in Vysoká u P?íbrami, Bohemia. He dedicated the score "To the Bohemian Academy of Emperor Franz Joseph for the Encouragement of Arts and Literature, in thanks for my election." The February 2, 1890 premiere was conducted by the composer himself, and although not as frequently performed as his famous Ninth Symphony ("From the New World"), this cheery Bohemian symphony is no to be missed.
Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin, winner of the 2010 Queen Elizabeth Competition for which Marin Alsop was a judge, will be making his BSO debut with Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. Brahms began work on his difficult Piano Concerto No. 2 22 years after his first piano concerto. It took him three years to complete this piece, which he dedicated to his teacher Eduard Marxsen. The November 9, 1881 premiere featured the composer as the soloist and was a huge success. Brahms then took his concerto on tour across Europe.