WMS March Concerts to Feature Cellist Nicolas Altstaedt

Muskegon, Michigan, February 6, 2015 – West Michigan Symphony’s March 13 Masterworks concert and its March 14 concert at The Block will feature guest cellist Nicolas Altstaedt.

Friday, March 13, Altstaedt joins the Symphony for its popular Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert, which encourages the audience to join the orchestra in wearing jeans for the performance.

Music Director Scott Speck will direct the Symphony in performances of two rarely-heard Beethoven masterpieces, and sandwiched between them the brilliant German virtuoso Nicolas Altstaedt will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s powerful, rhythmic, searingly passionate Cello Concerto, originally written for a young Rostropovich. The program includes:
o Beethoven’s “Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus”
o Shostakovich’s Concerto no. 1 for Cello and Orchestra featuring soloist Nicolas Altstaedt
o Symphony no. 4, Op 60, in B-flat major, by Ludwig van Beethoven

When asked what excited him about this year’s Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert, Music Director Scott Speck remarked, “Besides the delight of performing two great Beethoven masterpieces here for the first time in decades, the big news in this concert is our guest, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. We always consider ourselves lucky when we get to work with a superstar in the making.” Speck continued, “Nicolas has already captured the music world’s attention with his extraordinarily individual interpretations of the great masterworks and he is making ever-expanding waves around the music world. I’m looking forward to saying, ‘We played with Nicolas Altstaedt before he was a household name.’ Audiences shouldn’t miss this opportunity to experience him in West Michigan.”

The concert will be held at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. The law firm Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge is the guest artist sponsor.

The following evening, Saturday, March 14, Altstaedt will perform a program which has been titled “Nicolas. Cello. Virtuosic.” The Saturday night performance will be at The Block, the Symphony’s smaller, alternative venue at 360 W. Western Avenue, 2nd floor, in downtown Muskegon.

The repertoire will include:

Bach: Suite for violoncello no. 5
Dutilleux: “Trois strophes”
Britten: Suite for violoncello no. 3 Op. 87

Still in his early-30s, Altstaedt has been named Artistic Director for the Austrian-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonic and takes on that role starting its 2015-16 season. Carter Brey, Principal Cellist New York Philharmonic, described Altsaedt’s playing as having “…a seductively beautiful sheen; and his music making is informed by intelligence, humor and passion.”

Single tickets for the Masterworks concert range from $18 to $48; student tickets are $7. Tickets may be purchased online at startickets.com; by calling 231.726.3231; or in person at 360 W. Western Ave.

Tickets for The Block performance are $25. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. the concert begins at 7:30.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the WMS ticket office at 231.726.3231 x223, in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, or online at westmichigansymphony.org.

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts