Masterworks bring it home for symphony
This weekend's concerts mean something special for the Honolulu Symphony: It's time to return "home" to the Blaisdell Concert Hall. The Halekulani MasterWorks season continues with our dynamic new leader, Andreas Delfs, and a concert filled with the immensely satisfying music of Smetana, Brahms and Beethoven.
With soloist Benedetto Lupo on piano:
» In concert: 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday
» Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall
» Tickets: $21 to $74; military 50 percent off; students and seniors 20 off. Available at Ticketmaster outlets (877) 750-4400 or www.ticketmaster.com
» Call: 792-2000 (weekdays) or 524-0815, ext. 245 (evenings), or visit www.honolulusymphony.com
The symphony spent part of the fall traveling to new venues, from Mamiya Theatre to Hawaii Theatre, presenting beautiful music to new audiences and in different formats. The Honolulu Symphony Chorus also co-presented a free community concert at Kawaiaha'o Church that entertained more than 600 people with choral masterpieces by Poulenc and Vivaldi.
In late November and early December, symphony musicians traveled to the Big Island and Maui to present concerts in schools. Included in the tour were two opportunities to see our musicians in a working rehearsal. These rehearsals, co-presented by the University of Hawaii-Hilo music department and Maui's Ebb and Flow Arts, were free and provided a rare chance for the public to see the creative process in action. Many who attended remarked how fascinating it was to see the musicians at work and to ask them questions.
The education tours comprised more than 20 performances featuring woodwind and brass quintets, a string quartet, two string duos and a woodwind trio. It was an incredible experience for the schoolchildren, some of whom had never seen orchestral instruments up close, much less experienced a live performance.
Our musicians opened a world of possibilities to these kids, from career opportunities to understanding that hard work in any endeavor -- not just music -- can be very rewarding. (Who knows, our musicians may have sparked the interest of a future composer, sound engineer or band leader.)
This weekend, look forward to an early holiday gift. Pianist Benedetto Lupo makes his Honolulu Symphony debut, performing Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. This is an extremely demanding piece -- and we can expect an amazing performance. Lupo won the bronze medal at the 1989 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and has enjoyed a remarkable career since.
Brahms' Fourth Symphony completes the concert -- an awe-inspiring masterpiece that is a perfect vehicle for the orchestra's glorious sound. It's an excellent way to reconnect with the experience of having the full orchestra back at the Blaisdell. Brahms' Fourth is often called a "life-affirming" symphony -- ideal for the holiday season.