World-renowned Dresden Philharmonic to perform at Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


The legendary Dresden Philharmonic and critically acclaimed violinist Julia Fischer will play an all-Brahms program at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. A pre-concert Art to Heart discussion with Laura Nash, Ph.D., director of the Fairfield University Classical Music Department, will take place from 7 to 7:40 p.m.

The program features Brahms' "Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77" and "Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68."

The Dresden Philharmonic has been captivating audiences around the globe since its inception in 1870. Some of the world's greatest composers - Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Strauss - are among the giants of classical music who have conducted the orchestra over the years. The orchestra's international tours of Europe, China, Japan, Israel, South America and the United States have added luster to the ensemble's popular appeal.

The Dresden Philharmonic traces its origins to the formal opening of the first concert hall in Dresden, a beautiful riverside city often called 'Florence on the Elbe.' The hall's opening marked a social change in the city from concerts for the aristocracy to concerts given for the enjoyment of the general public. From 1885, the "Gewerbehausorchester," as it was then known, gave full seasons of symphonic concerts in Dresden, earning its current title, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, in 1915.

The list of previous music directors of the Dresden Philharmonic includes such luminaries as Paul van Kempen, Michael Plasson and Kurt Masur. Masur, laureate conductor of the orchestra, also founded the orchestra's three choirs - the Philharmonic Choir, the Philharmonic Children's Choir and the Philharmonic Youth Choir - in 1967.

Image: Dresden PhilharmonicThe Quick Center performance features the Dresden's principal conductor, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who maintains a busy conducting schedule throughout Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. Frühbeck de Burgos also conducts the Boston Symphony in both its Boston and Tanglewood seasons and appears regularly in New York, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Montreal, including Lincoln Center's Brahms Festival this fall.

The celebrated conductor will bring his expertise with Brahms to the Quick Center. The program begins with the German master's violin concerto, an extremely challenging virtuoso piece that one early critic described as being "written not for the violin but against the violin." Over the years the piece has gained deserved recognition for tender, lyrical passages and expansive, emotional development and a zesty final movement that is a violinist's tour de force of precarious passagework and gypsy-inspired charm.

The second piece, Brahms' Symphony No. 1, follows in the tradition of the man often called the last of the great Classical composers. A fervent admirer of Beethoven, he was moved to write in this form to be linked to the tradition of the symphony as set by the great master.

Image: Fischerthe featured soloist for the evening is violinist julia fischer, who has achieved critical acclaim for her expressive artistry and a grace and poise that belies her age, just 21. dubbed "worthy of a hailstorm of superlatives" by one reviewer, the Munich-born violinist has won several prestigious prizes, including the 1995 International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition, the 1996 Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists and the 1997 Prix d'Espoir presented by the Foundation of European Industry.

She has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Chicago Symphony and received a standing ovation for her Carnegie Hall debut in 2003 with conductor Lorin Maazel.

Tickets for the Quick Center performance are $65, $53 and $40. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 6, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 72