Muskegon, Michigan, Jan. 11, 2016 —West Michigan Symphony presents Viva Italia! – an evening of classical music with an Italian flair featuring award-winning violinist Philippe Quint, Friday, Feb. 5, at the Frauenthal Theater in Muskegon.
Music Director Scott Speck conducts evening’s opening piece, the overture to “The Italian Girl in Algiers” written by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. Famously known for his operas “The Barber of Seville” and “William Tell,” Rossini was a prolific composer, writing 39 operas by the time he was 37 years old. Some say he once joked, “Give me the laundress’ bill and I will even set that to music.”
Next, in what is regarded as one of the greatest violin concertos of all time, guest artist Philippe Quint performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. Winner of the “Ambassador of Arts” award by the Brownstone and Gateway Organizations, Russian-born violinist Quint studied at Moscow’s Special Music School for the Gifted and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine. After moving to the United States, Quint earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Julliard. Philippe Quint has received several Grammy nominations for his albums and performs extensively worldwide as a soloist.
“I am very excited to make my debut with West Michigan Symphony on Feb. 5.” stated Quint, “It will be a great pleasure to collaborate with my good friend Scott Speck. In a way, we will be celebrating an anniversary of performing the Mendelssohn Concerto about 10 years ago in Mobile, Alabama. It is one of those evergreen Concertos that never gets old and I am looking forward to coming back to this musical warhorse together with Scott.”
The final piece in the Friday evening concert will be Felix Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4, Op. 90, presented by the West Michigan Symphony. During a trip to Italy in 1830-1831 Mendelssohn drew inspiration from the people, landscape and culture, especially the visual arts. Mendelssohn was not only a musician, but an accomplished amateur artist, which may have helped him hone his appreciation for the arts as a whole. The work underwent several revisions and it when it was finally published after Mendelssohn’s death in 1851, there was some doubt as to what actual version of the symphony was used, but it is nonetheless one of Mendelssohn’s most popular compositions.
Viva Italia! will be performed Friday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Frauenthal Theater, 425 W. Western Ave. in downtown Muskegon. Tickets are $20-49 and $7 for students.
The following evening, Saturday, Feb. 6, Philippe Quint will perform an unaccompanied solo violin recital at The Block titled L’Historie du Violon Solo.
When asked what’s in store for the Saturday evening concert, Quint replied, “This program will feature and showcase my stunning partner in all music crimes – the 1738 Guarneri Del Gesu violin named “The Ex – Senhauser” which is on loan to me through the generous efforts of Stradivari Society in Chicago and Mary B. Galvin Foundation.” Quint continued, “The auspicious challenging program will cover a large spectrum of rarely heard works written for solo violin from Johan Sebastian Bach and Nicolo Paganini to John Corigliano.”
Doors open for L’Historie du Violon Solo at 6:30 and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. The Block is located at 360 W. Western Ave., second floor. Tickets for this concert are $25-35.
Tickets to both concerts can be purchased by calling the WMS ticket office at 231.726.3231, in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, or online at westmichigansymphony.org.