February 5, 2023
Join us for Alexandra Arrieche’s first subscription concert at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts as the Olympia Symphony’s new Music Director and Conductor! The first woman to ever conduct the Olympia Symphony, Alexandra will take you on a journey to imagine our world “beyond the firsts.”
(Note: This concert will be presented on Saturday February 4 @ 7:30 pm AND Sunday February 5 @ 3:00 pm)
EVE’S LAMENT “Oh Flowers, That Never Will Grow” – Lera Auerbach (2019)
This piece was composed for Alexandra’s mentor, Marin Alsop, for her debut concert as conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Auerbach dedicates this piece to the many women who cannot fulfill their talents in current society. Bittersweet and touching, it spotlights solos from unexpected places in the orchestra.
SYMPHONY NO. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82 – Jean Sibelius (1919)
“It is as if God Almighty had thrown down pieces of a mosaic for heaven’s floor and asked me to find out what was the original pattern,” wrote Jean Sibelius in a 1915 personal diary entry during the composition of his 5th Symphony. Each with our unique shapes, colors, edges, and brokenness, we unite to create the mosaic of our community — the bigger picture of which we all are a part.
PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 Sergei Rachmaninoff (1901)
Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto was dedicated to Dr. Nicolai Dahl, the neurologist and therapist credited with enabling Rachmaninoff to resume composing following a period of deep depression. The freedom to be open about issues of mental health continues to be a challenge in our current society. Our performance, with Alexandra’s longtime friend and colleague, pianist Michael Sheppard (https://www.sheppardarts.com
), celebrates that freedom and looks toward a future of increasing openness, honesty, and support during life’s challenges.
ABOUT MICHAEL SHEPPARD, PIANO
Known as “a virtuosic soloist possessed of power, sensitivity, earthiness, and humor” (Whitney Smith, Indianapolis Star) with the “power to make an audience sit up and pay attention…thought-provoking for performers and listeners alike” (James Manheim, All Music Guide ), Michael Sheppard studied with the legendary Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory. He was selected by the American Pianists Association as a Classical Fellow, which designation led to the recording of his Harmonia Mundi CD of 2007. In 2018 he released an experimental album of all improvisations, “12 Images.” In between those two, there was another album which has been languishing in limbo and will hopefully come out some time before the piano itself ceases to be culturally relevant. Updates about that as they occur. (His recording, not the relevancy thing.)
He has performed solo recitals and concertos around the world, as well as across the USA, including several solo Weill (Carnegie) Hall recitals and a solo Kennedy Center debut. As a funny little matter of fact, he happens to have given solo recitals in the hometowns of both Mahler (Jihlava, Czech Republic) and Elvis (Tupelo, Mississippi), and enjoys taking in the local culture wherever in the world he finds himself. Michael gives master classes, teaches regularly and plays with some of the top singers and instrumentalists around; he also coaches singers, instrumentalists, and conductors, and also has begun to conduct occasionally himself.