Continuing its 20 th Anniversary season, the South Florida Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of world class Founder | Music Director, Sebrina María Alfonso, celebrates the beauty and complexity of nature with Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons featuring “high powered” solo violinist (the New York Times) Lara St. John. Portrayed as “… a phenomenon” by The Strad, this Canadian-born violinist returns to the Symphony as an
audience favorite. The Los Angeles Times praises: “Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava.” St. John started her violin career at age two, and first appeared as soloist with orchestra at four, made her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at 10, and toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at 12 and 13. St. John entered the Curtis Institute at 13. Teachers included Felix Galimir and Joey Corps. St. John founded her own label Ancalagon in 1999. In 2007, Bach: The Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin was the bestselling double album on iTunes. In 2009, American Record Guide said of her Vivaldi / Piazzolla disc with Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra: “I can imagine no suaver, more atmospheric performance.” In 2011, St. John won the Juno Award for her Mozart album. Soloist performances include orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Hamburg (NDR), Brazil, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kyoto, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Auckland; Boston Pops; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; China Philharmonic; Zurich Chamber Orchestra; and Camerata Ireland. Recitals in major halls: New York; Boston; San Francisco; Ravina;
Wolf Trap (Washington, D.C.); Prague; Berlin; Toronto; Montreal; and the Forbidden City. St. John’s ex Gingold Stradivarius violin exudes auditory splendor.
The Four Seasons, arguably Antonio Vivaldi’s most popular work, includes four programmatic violin concerti each giving Musical Expression to a Season. The
uninhibited and remarkably original manner of expression identify seasonal characteristics: Spring – bird songs, thunder, a shepherd’s dance, and falling rain; Summer – heat, insects, and a violent storm; Fall – a hunt; and Winter chattering teeth, stamping feet, shelter by the fire, and a howling windstorm.
The concert also includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s picturesque Symphonie No. 6 “Pastoral”, a pure expression of his love of nature and the Viennese countryside. It tells the story of a day in the country replete with peasant dancing, bird calls, and an explosive storm. The “extra-musical” purpose of this Symphony and the Four Seasons concerti, both Expressions of Nature, together inspired this concert’s title.
Furthering its celebration of contemporary American composers, the Symphony introduces Lisa Nardi’s score In This Heart from the film “Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power”. This expressive work of deep emotions is an elegy for string orchestra beginning quietly and solemnly unfolding gradually as each phrase moves through the echoes of loss to crescendos and dissonances depicting unbearable pain before winding down in quiet resignation. The piece is dedicated to those Nardi loved dearly whose departures have left her heart broken.
BEETHOVEN AND VIVALDI’S EXPRESSIONS OF NATURE TOUR:
Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 pm, Key West | Tennessee Williams Theatre. $25-85.
Keystix.com; 305-295- 7676.
Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm, Fort Lauderdale | Broward Center for the Performing
Arts– Amaturo Theater. $35-85. BrowardCenter.org. TicketMaster 954-462- 0222. Group
Sales 954-660- 6307.
Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm, Boca Raton | Spanish River Worship Center. $30-70.
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Masterworks Concert IV: Symphonie Fantastique
Boca Raton Concert, April 15, 2018
Fort Lauderdale Concert, April 17, 2018
Miami Concert, April 18, 2018
Key West Concert, April 19, 2018