World acclaimed Israeli American Cellist Amit Peled returns to perform Dvořák’s brilliant Cello Concerto. Brahms’ heartfelt and hauntingly tender Third Symphony opens the concert.

Masterworks IV is presented with thanks to AARP Montana, Touchmark, and Mosaic Architecture


Amit Peled

Praised by The Strad magazine and The New York Times, internationally renowned Israeli-American Cellist Amit Peled is acclaimed as one of the most exciting and virtuosic instrumentalists on the concert stage today. Having performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Konzerthaus Berlin, Mr. Peled has released over a dozen recordings on the Naxos, Centaur, Delos, and CTM Classics labels.

A professor since 2003 at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, he has performed and presented master classes around the world including at the Marlboro and Newport Music Festivals and the Heifetz International Music Summer Institute in the United States, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove in England, and Keshet Eilon in Israel. Mr. Peled performs on a cello made by the Italian master Giovanni Grancino, ca. 1695, on generous loan from the Roux Family Foundation.


Dvořák’s Cello Concert

Composed during the height of his fame, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto was the last composition he wrote while in the United States. Dvořák once remarked that “the cello is a beautiful instrument, but…as a solo instrument it isn’t much good.”  He thought that it was difficult to bring out the solo cello sonority above the entire orchestra.  But after attending a performance of then principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto, Dvořák seemed to be immediately inspired to write his own.

“The Concerto is a brilliant showcase for both the soloist and the orchestra.  The technically and emotionally demanding cello voice is masterfully interwoven with the rich colors of the Romantic-era orchestra,” explains Maestro Scott.  “Especially remarkable are the numerous occasions where the solo cello is paired with woodwinds and horns in such an intimate and chamber-like manner. Dvořák also allows the larger orchestral sections to complement rather than compete with the soloist, which is rare in a work for solo instrument and orchestra.”

It goes without saying that the Concerto has an unmistakable Slavic folk quality, and perhaps even a genuine nostalgia that can be attributed to Dvořák’s homesickness for the Bohemian countryside he loved so deeply. Like most of Dvořák’s music, the Cello Concerto retains characteristics of his peasant background that are not intellectually distant or deliberately manipulative, but direct, open, and honest.


Brahms’ Third Symphony

After playing through a two-piano version of the Third Symphony, Clara Schumann said that “all the movements seem to be of one piece, one beat of the heart.”  “The ‘free but joyful’ theme is repeated throughout the first movement, but with some ambiguity as the A-flat is sometimes an A natural – thereby going back and forth between major and minor tonalities. This sense of uncertainty continues with the middle two movements, which tend to bring an element of melancholy,” says Maestro Scott.

“The third movement especially adds alternating ‘sighs’ as the orchestra seems to inhale and exhale a heart-captivating melody that is pure-Brahms simple magic. Strikingly, the first three movements have a quiet ending. Contributing more to the ambiguous reflectiveness of the work, Brahms begins the final movement with a mysterious theme until violent outbursts cry with some sense of certainty and even heroic intensity. Eventually themes from earlier movements reemerge that make a musical cliffhanger between the major and minor battle. There is no over-arching tragedy or overt triumphant fanfares, but a quiet unwinding that comfortably settles into F major. With the final “free but joyful” shimmering chords heard effortlessly; Brahms leaves us with a personal statement of quiet resignation coupled with a gentle acceptance.”


Masterworks Series presented by AARP Montana

The Helena Symphony continues our partnership with AARP to bring exceptional symphonic music to thousands across western Montana. As the Masterworks Series presented by AARP Montana, this continued collaboration will support audiences within the concert hall, bringing the highest quality symphonic performances and guest artists to Helena. The Helena Symphony is grateful for the generosity of the entire AARP Montana team!

Other Season highlights include a double feature of opera and ballet with Cavalleria Rusticana and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and two additional Montana premieres, All Seeing Sky by John Psathas and Alexander Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. Season 69 also includes several free Educational Concerts, a black-tie Masquerade, and much more!

Single concert tickets can be purchased ($65-$20 plus a $5 transaction fee) online at, by calling the Symphony Box Office (406.442.1860), or visiting the Symphony Box Office located on the Walking Mall at the Placer Building (21 N. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 100) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


See below for Season concert listing.

Maestro Scott and guest artists are available for interviews by contacting

the Symphony at 406.442.1860 or [email protected]


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