On Saturday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helena Civic Center, internationally celebrated Pianist Claire Huangci will perform with the Helena Symphony Orchestra performing Grieg’s much-loved and irresistible Piano Concerto. Beginning her career at the age of 9, Ms. Huangci was billed as a prodigy, performing in concert for President Bill Clinton, winning numerous awards, and performing in concert with orchestras throughout the United States. Music Director Allan R. Scott and Ms. Huangci met nearly fifteen years ago, when Ms. Huangci won a competition that Maestro Scott served as president of the jury. Since then, they have performed throughout the country together.
Long out-growing the image of a prodigy and coming into artistic maturity, Ms. Huangci is regarded as one of the premiere interpreters of the music of Chopin, and has become one of the most sought-after pianists of her generation. American born, Ms. Huangci currently resides in Germany, and has performed throughout Europe and the United States with some of the leading orchestras, including the Essen Philharmonic, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrucken, Indianapolis Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Moscow Radio Symphony, and the Istanbul State Symphony. She has performed in concert and recital in Zurich, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, and Carnegie Hall in New York. As a recording artist, her most recent album of works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev was released in 2013.
“Grieg’s powerful Piano Concerto is one of the cornerstones of music,” says Maestro Scott. “Just the opening is one of the most famous moments in music. It is a work that is the product of youth and happiness that has some of the most appealing melodies in the themes.”
The concert opens with a musical love letter by Richard Wagner. While Wagner did compose a few other works besides his enormously large operas, the only work that is generally performed today is actually music that was never intended to be played in public. Siegfried Idyll was composed for Wagner’s wife, as a Christmas present that was played for her as she woke up Christmas morning. Unlike most of Wagner’s music, Siegfried Idyll is understated and sentimental. “I was in tears,” said Wagner’s wife.
The concert culminates with Dvořák’s idyllic and vivacious Eighth Symphony. “This symphony is a sunny and spirited work that was inspired by Dvořák’s homeland in Czechoslovakia. “While Dvořák is best remembered for his famous New World Symphony, he wrote eight other incredible symphonies, and his Symphony No. 8 is one of his most exciting,” explains Maestro Scott.
Tickets are available on line at helenasymphony.org, or by calling the Symphony Box Office (406.442.1860), or at the Symphony Box Office located on the Walking Mall at the Livestock Building (2 N. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 1) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.