All Press Releases for March 22, 2013

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Presents Fall of the Berlin Wall Featuring Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Sunday, April 7 in Verizon Hall

Featuring Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Co-Produced by The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts 2013

    PHILADELPHIA, PA, March 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Under the able baton of Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn, we journey to a historic moment in time with a program that commemorates the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989, leading to Germany's reunification. Performed in collaboration with a solo exhibition of photographs by James B. Abbott at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, The Fall: A Photographic Portrait of Berlin and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Abbott collaborates with Jorge Cousineau to present a multi-sensory concert experience.

A founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Chamber Orchestra's program features vocals by soprano Katie Van Kooten, mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson, tenor Norman Reinhardt, and bass-baritone Sam Handley, along with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.

The April 7 2:30 p.m. concert will be performed in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Tickets for this Chamber Orchestra performance are $24 to $81.

Aiming to memorialize one of the defining events in 20th-century history, Maestro Solzhenitsyn devised a program with a connection to the idea of freedom that he explains as follows:

The first work on the program, by Meine, represents, if you will, a yearning for freedom. The second, by Smirnov, expresses mourning for those who perished never having tasted it. And the third, Beethoven's 9th, completes the arch by celebrating the joy and power of freedom and brotherhood.

Klaus Meine | Wind of Change (Orchestrated by Daniel Capelletti)
Wind of Change was originally performed by the German rock band Scorpions, written by their lead vocalist Klaus Meine just three months prior to the fall. When the wall finally crumbled, the messages of peace and yearning for freedom emanated with the public, and Wind of Change became the unofficial anthem of the historic event. The song became a hit single in 1991, topping charts in Germany, hitting No. 4 in the United States, and reaching No. 2 in the United Kingdom. Two decades later, it remains Germany's 10th best-selling single of all time.

Mikhail Dmitrievich Smirnov | Epitaph for the Victims of Communism
Described by Maestro Solzhenitsyn as "slow and haunting," Smirnov's piece focuses on the unhappy past, and exerts a near-hypnotic effect with its frequent underpinning of the melodic line and remorseless repeated notes. The piece is sometimes also called Epitaph for the Victims of Repression. While in English "repression" has no specific connotation, in contemporary Russian, "victims of repression" has one and only meaning, and that is "victims of Communism."

Ludwig van Beethoven | Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, "Choral"
Both in length and musicians used, Symphony No. 9 is Beethoven's largest symphony. Beethoven had plans for this work as early as 1811, even before composing his Seventh and Eighth Symphony. His long-withstanding idea to make a musical setting for Friedrich Schiller's poem, Ode to Joy, was also incorporated, with Beethoven completing the score in February 1824. On Christmas Day 1989 in Berlin, famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein conducted Symphony No. 9 in celebration of the fall of the wall, and as a sign of freedom. He even replaced the word "Joy" with "Freedom" in the chorus and performed it with individuals of diverse nationalities from orchestras and choirs across the globe.

Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn is recognized as one of today's most gifted artists, and enjoys an active career as both conductor and pianist. His lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. Maestro Solzhenitsyn has partnered with world-renowned soloists, including Gary Graffman, Leila Josefowicz, Garrick Ohlsson, and Mstislav Rostropovich. Recent concerto performances have included appearances with the Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Paris Symphony Orchestras. Maestro Solzhenitsyn is a winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, serves on the piano faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, and has been featured on many radio and television specials, including CBS Sunday Morning, and ABC's Nightline.

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia is one of this country's oldest choruses, and performs choral music to create a shared transcendent experience among its singers and audiences. Through the excellence of its adventurous performances, Mendelssohn Club advances the development of choral music as an art form.

Friday Conversations at the Philadelphia Art Alliance will take place on April 5 at 6:30 PM with Chamber Orchestra Executive Director Peter H. Gistelinck, where he will present the orchestra's 2013-2014 concert season. Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Entry is $5, or free to Chamber Orchestra subscribers and Art Alliance members. Friday Conversations is also broadcast live on The Philadelphia Art Alliance is located at 251 South 18th Street, Philadelphia. For information, call 215.545.4302 or visit

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Featuring Beethoven's 9th Symphony

Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 2:30 PM
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts' Verizon Hall

Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor laureate
Katie Van Kooten, soprano | Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano
Norman Reinhardt, tenor | Sam Handley, bass baritone
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

Meine | Wind of Change
Smirnov | Epitaph for the Victims of Communism
Beethoven | Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, "Choral"

$24 - $81
215.893.1709 or

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