Young musicians join with symphony for concert series
Adjectives such as "impressive" and "prodigious" aptly describe this weekend's series of concerts with the combined musical forces of the Honolulu Symphony and the Hawaii Youth Symphony.
Honolulu Symphony Orchestra performs with the Hawaii Youth Symphony, conducted by Henry Miyamura and Gregory Vajda:
» On stage: 8 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday
» Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall
» Tickets: $15 to $68; $10 students. Discount of 20 percent for seniors and military.
» Call: 792-2000 (days); 524-0815, ext. 245 (evenings); or visit www.honolulusymphony.com
Rimsky-Korsakov's "Russian Easter" Overture
Michael Foumai's "Dynasty, Concerto for Orchestra"
Rachmaninoff's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in C minor, with pianist Lilya Zilberstein
Beethoven's "Leonore" Overture No. 3 in C major
This collaborative effort will feature a side-by-side performance of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius' "Finlandia," a powerfully glorious tone poem filled with typically Nordic majesty and haunting melodies.
It will be exhilarating to have more than 145 musicians performing together, filling the Blaisdell Concert Hall with sound.
Many in the symphony teach children and teenagers in our community, so this will be a uniquely wonderful performance for us all.
The Hawaii Youth Symphony, with its conductor, Henry Miyamura, will begin the "Youthful Energy" concerts with the "Russian Easter" Overture, by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who captures the excitement of this holiday of the Russian Orthodox Church. Chimes and melodies based on canticles of the Orthodox Church transport the audience to a distant place and time.
"Dynasty: Concerto for Orchestra," by Michael Foumai, a former violinist with the Youth Symphony and current concertmaster of the University of Hawaii Symphony, provides a splendid opportunity to enjoy another aspect of young talent. Commissioned by Miyamura for the Youth Symphony, "Dynasty" is a reduction of a larger work based on the Chinese tale "The Butterfly Lovers," which has inspired many composers.
Our featured guest artist will be pianist Lilya Zilberstein, a distinguished virtuoso and winner of the 1987 Busoni International Piano Competition. Zilberstein is a native of Moscow who now makes her home in Germany. She will perform Sergey Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, with its memorable and passionately beautiful Russian themes.
Leading us through the Rachmaninoff and our concluding work, Beethoven's "Leonore" Overture No. 3, will be Gregory Vajda in his Honolulu Symphony debut. One of music's most sought-after conductors, Vajda is also a composer and clarinetist, and serves as resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Born in Hungary, the maestro is the son of renowned soprano Veronika Kincses. This season, his conducting engagements take him around the world, from Hawaii to Chicago to Montreal, and on to Germany and Hungary.
This week's program will feature many of Hawaii's most gifted young musicians, an acclaimed pianist, a "young titan" conductor and some of the greatest music ever written. Do come and join us for this milestone performance.
Violinist Claire Sakai Hazzard is associate concertmaster of the Honolulu Symphony.