The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra wraps up their 2021-22 season by welcoming international talent in a dance inspired program by Dvořák and Moszkowski
Springtime is in the air as the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra closes out their 2021-22 season, aptly titled Dancing for Joy. Maestro Linus Lerner will hand over the baton to guest conductor Eric Lederhandler, finishing a season of music meant to deliver joy during a global pandemic. The Belgian conductor will lead the orchestra through Dvořák’s Festival March and Slavonic Dances. SASO also welcomes Italian pianist Pasquale Iannone in a performance of Moritz Moszkowski’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Internationally acclaimed conductor Eric Lederhandler studied at the Brussels Conservatory and began his career conducting at the Grosser Sendesaal in Vienna for the Austrian National Broadcasting Corporation in Vienna. He has since conducted around the world, collaborating frequently with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphonic Orchestra, Limburg Symphonic Orchestra in Holland, and the Sewanee Orchestra in the US. He was recently appointed as Music Director of the Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra in China and is regularly invited to the Sichuan Conservatory where he gives master classes in conducting.
Antonín Dvořák’s career was launched after the 37-year old composer was commissioned to write Slavonic Dances. Inspired by the way that Brahms’s incorporated folk melodies from his native Hungary into Hungarian Dances, Dvořák melded the musical traditions of Bohemia into his own modern style. The success of Slavonic Dances helped him become the first Czech composer to achieve worldwide recognition. Festival March followed shortly after,
written to mark the wedding ceremony of Emperor Franz Joseph I and the Empress Elisabeth.
A pianist of international renown, Pasquale Iannone has won international competitions and appeared with orchestras in Italy, U.S., South Korea, South Africa, Germany, and more. He has recorded and released the music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Brahms. Iannone is also active as an educator and festival organizer, organizing concert Series and a Summer Piano Festival in Italy.
Piano Concerto in E, Op. 59 was dedicated by composer Moritz Moszkowski to young piano virtuoso Josef Hofmann, who had studied briefly with Moszkowski in his teens. The German composer, who was of Jewish-Polish descent, was influenced by romantic-era composers and went on to develop his own style. The optimistic character and memorable themes are expressed with grace by Iannone, who has performed the piece all over the world.