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Published: Thursday, 3/11/2010

Noted pianist Kirill Gerstein returns with rhapsodies

Last year, Toledoans waxed rhapsodic about pianist Kirill Gerstein when he made his local performing debut with the Toledo Symphony. On March 20, Gerstein, maybe the hottest name in the international keyboard world right now, will return for a triumphant concert at 8 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle.

The latest winner of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, Gerstein was already performing internationally at a molto vivace tempo, appearing with major U.S. orchestras and on stages in Europe and South America.

The January announcement of this latest award added a new layer of luster to the 29-year-old former child prodigy whose musical path has crisscrossed the worlds of jazz and classical music.

In Toledo, Gerstein will offer two rhapsodies — one of the most intense and romantic forms of music — with the symphony: Sergei Rachmaninoff's “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” and George Gershwin's all-American classic, “Rhapsody in Blue.”

While it's a homecoming for Gerstein, for guest conductor Julian Wachner the concert will be a Toledo debut.

Wachner is a triple-threat musician with notable conducting activity in opera (Opera McGill in Montreal); with orchestra and chorus (the Grammy-winning Washington Chorus at Kennedy Center), and as a composer with 80 major works. The program, a memorial in honor of Caroline Jobst Reimann with major support from the Norman C. Nitschke Foundation, will open with Tchaikovsky's “Sleeping Beauty Suite.”

Tickets for the concert are $20-$50 at 419-246-8000 or toledosymphony.com.

Gerstein also will present a master class at Bowling Green State University, 2:30-4:30 p.m. March 19 in Bryan Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. For more information call 419-372-8610.

The Toledo Museum of Art will continue its free series, Classics Amidst the Classics, with a recital by University of Toledo faculty soprano Carol Dusdieker at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Great Gallery. With piano accompaniment by Davis Hart, Dusdieker will perform works by Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Mozart, and Fernando Obradors.

The Toledo Ballet will present “Press One for More Options,” an original theatrical dance creation by Michael Lang, at 7 p.m. March 20 in the Valentine Theatre. Joining dancers from the ballet will be drummers from the ALMA company. A variety of dance forms will be represented in this work by Michael Lang, artistic director of the Toledo Ballet Association.

Tickets are $20-$35 at the Valentine box office, 419-242-2787.

Owens Community College will present the Wright State University Woodwind Quintet in a free public concert and a performer's clinic on March 18 in the Owens Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Also known as the Wright Winds, the group has performed widely since its founding in 1985.

Members Christopher Chaffee, flute; Katherine deGruchy, oboe; Randall Paul, clarinet; Bill Jobert, bassoon, and Sean Vore, horn, are affiliated with the state institution in Dayton and regularly perform and offer clinics across the country. Their performance will be at 11 a.m. March 18, with a clinic at 1 p.m. Both events are in the Mainstage Theatre.

Other musical events at BGSU include a Music at the Forefront Series recital by soprano Tony Arnold and violinist Movses Pogossian at 8 p.m. Monday in Bryan Hall of the Moore Center. Arnold is known for her interpretations of contemporary music and Pogossian, a native of Armenia, made his American debut in 1990 with the Boston Pops.

Music from Bowling Green at the Manor House will feature voice students of Christopher Scholl at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Toledo's Wildwood Metropark, a free public recital.

The BGSU Faculty Artist Series will continue March 17 with pianist Laura Melton performing works by Sebastian Currier, Haydn, and Brahms in a free public concert in Bryan Hall.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will perform 8 p.m. concerts March 19 and 20 in the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium, part of the current University Musical Society season. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will appear with the orchestra during its March 19 program featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Liszt. Just before the March 20 concert, the musical society will present the orchestra and its conductor with the 2010 Distinguished Artist Award. Following that, the symphony and the UMS Choral Union will perform the Brahms Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.”

Tickets for both concerts are $10-$75 at ums.org or 734-764-2538.

Items for News of Music should be sent to svallongo@theblade.com at least two weeks ahead of performance date.



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