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Culture news, 05.03.2012 00:21

Russian symphony performs for hundreds at Bedell Hall

Bedell Performance Hall

More than 500 area symphony fans attended a performance of Tschaikowski St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday night at the Bedell Performance Hall.
The orchestra, from St. Petersburg, Russia, with Roman Leontiev, conductor, performed "Prelude and Liebestod" from the opera "Tristan und Isolde" by Wagner; Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19, with Alexander Pirozhenko, pianist; and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor.
Sue Welborn and her husband, Briney, drove from Bloomfield, Mo., to attend the symphony.
"We love music," Welborn said. "It's wonderful to have theater in your own back yard. We always attended symphonies in St. Louis, but it is a three-hour drive there and back for us. We go a lot less now that we have performances like these. Even the local symphonies by the college are wonderful."
Christine Aid of Cape Girardeau agreed. "I don't get to come as often as I'd like," she said. "This is a time to relax and have some wonderful music."
The symphony drew all ages. Mary Ann Haynes of Cape Girardeau brought her nephew, Josh McIntyre, a fifth-grader at St. Vincent's School. The concert was Josh's early birthday present and his first symphony.
"My mother used to take me to the Muny in St. Louis," Haynes said. "I wanted Josh to have the same experience. I think people need to appreciate all kinds of music. He has even been listening to some Shubert and Tchaikovsky getting ready for this."
Before the performance, Josh admitted he didn't know what to expect. "I'm looking forward to hearing the bassoons though." McIntyre said he is playing the recorder in school, and next year he hopes to begin the saxophone.
The River Campus has played host to several other forms of Russian art including ballets, dancing and other music groups. River Campus box office manager Ellen Farrow said ticket sales for this performance were comparable with other symphony performances at the River Campus.
"Ticket sales are right up there with all of them," Farrow said. "All the symphonies, local as well as touring, seem to do well here."
The orchestra was founded in post-World War II Russia and named after one of the country's most famous composers. When the ensemble started performing, it worked in different classical pieces from genres like Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic and more modern pieces.
The Tschaikowski St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra tours regularly all over the world and has had concert tours in Europe, China and Japan. In addition, the orchestra has performed in some of the famous St. Petersburg halls, such as the Dmitry Shostakovich St. Petersburg Philharmonic Grand Hall, State Academic Capella, Smolny Cathedral and City Cultural Center. The orchestra offers many educational and charity programs aimed at exposing children and young people with a vast repertoire of music and performs at the Young People's Concerts in St. Petersburg on a regular basis.

News source: Southeast Missourian

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