SACRAMENTO — In the world of American orchestras with modest annual budgets, the Sacramento Philharmonic has carved a unique niche. The “Songs of Hope” concerts in 2008 and 2010 positioned the orchestra as an agent for cross-cultural understanding, as noted in the Winter 2012 edition of Symphony Magazine.
Programs that fused Middle Eastern themes and Western orchestral harmonies, along with artists from diverse cultures, proved stimulating for audiences and musicians alike. “We take it on ourselves to show what various peoples have in common,” explained Philharmonic Music Director/Conductor Michael Morgan. Drawing attention to similarities and differences can help bridge a gap between cultures, even those with a history of tension and conflict.
This theme continues in concerts on March 31 and April 1.
Guest conductor Tjeknavorian spans musical and international cultures
Loris Tjeknavorian was born in 1937, in Iran, to an immigrant Armenian family. He lived most of his life in Austria, the USA, the UK, and Armenia, studying violin in Tehran and then in Vienna. He has conducted from Tehran to Yerevan and from London to Los Angeles. Equally successful as a composer, his works are inspired by music and stories passed down through the ages.
Masters of composition from diverse cultures
The philharmonic’s final program of the season opens with Armenian composer Aram Khatchaturian’s vividly colorful Three Pieces from the Gayaneh Ballet, followed by Rainbow Body, a work by American composer Christopher Theofanidis, inspired by Tibetan Buddhist ideals and the music of medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen.
Maestro Tjeknavorian’s Ararat Suite is based on the Old Testament, Genesis Chapter 8 and depicts the foundation of Christianity in Armenia. Maestro Tjeknavorian will conduct his composition. Rounding out this rich concert is Tchaikovsky’s splendid Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique.”
Tchaikovsky’s Inspiration will be performed on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. at the Community Center Theater and on Sunday, April 1, at 2 p.m. at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College. To purchase single tickets call the Sacramento Community Center Theater at. (916) 808-5181 or Three Stages at (916) 608-6888.
For more information visit www.sacphil.org.
“Speaking of Music”
Ticket-holders are invited to a free informal talk/conversation one hour prior to the concert. Michael Morgan will discuss the concert program and interview guest conductor Loris Tjeknavorian.