[Feb 1, 2]
Symphony of the Redwoods Welcomes Return of Accomplished Pianist for Upcoming Winter Concerts
Pianist James D'León will return to Mendocino County to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 in B flat minor with the Symphony of the Redwoods. Led by music director Dr. Allan Pollack, the concerts will include Prokofiev’s Symphony #1 in D major, Opus 25 "Classical", Stravinsky’s Suite for Orchestra from The Firebird, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 in B flat minor, Opus 23, with D'León as the featured soloist. Performances will take place on Saturday, February 1 at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 2 at 2pm at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg.
Almost 80 years after Tchaikovsky wrote his first piano concerto, it became the first piece of classical music to sell one-million records, thanks to Van Cliburn, renowned American pianist and champion of the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Cliburn was also a Juilliard classmate with D'León’s late teacher George Sementovsky. “Van would play through sections for George in his preparation to win the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow,” explained D'León. “I particularly remember him telling me that he advised Van to change his hand positions in order to have a stronger sound in the opening chords of the concerto. Naturally, I do the same in the opening section.” D'León has previously performed in Mendocino County with the Symphony of the Redwoods and in the Mendocino Music Festival. “My fondest memory at both venues is the warmth of the musicians, conductor, and the audience,” he said. “I always look forward to returning to the area, since such warmth makes me feel comfortable and relaxed enough to actually have fun performing the music.”
Thanks to generous fundraising contributions, the Symphony of the Redwoods is thrilled to introduce a brand-new pre-concert lectures series. The winter concert lectures will be presented by Phillip Lenberg, music professor at Mendocino College in Ukiah and conductor of the Ukiah Symphony. Arrive early to see Lenberg interview the featured soloist James D'León live on stage. Pre-concert lectures will take place in Cotton Auditorium at 6:30pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday and last for 30 minutes. The lectures are free of charge.
All Symphony of the Redwoods concerts will be at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N. Harold St, Fort Bragg. Advance concert tickets are available for $22 online at symphonyoftheredwoods.org, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Out of This World in Mendocino. Tickets at the door are $25. Attendees ages 18 and under are always free. For more information, please contact 707-946-0898 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the Symphony of the Redwoods on Facebook at www.facebook.com/symphonyoftheredwoods.