On Saturday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helena Civic Center, internationally celebrated cellist and acclaimed recording artist Ovidiu Marinescu will perform with the Helena Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Marinescu remains one of the Helena Symphony’s most popular guest artists, and last appeared with the HSO over three years ago, and is back by popular demand. As part of the Symphony’s 60th Anniversary Season, Mr. Marinescu will perform a new work composed by Symphony Composer in Residence Kile Smith. Titled And Seeing the Multitudes, the work is inspired by the well-known Beatitudes from scripture as an ethereal mediation for cello solo and orchestra. Commissioned by the Helena Symphony, Mr. Smith dedicated the new work to Music Director Allan R. Scott and Mr. Marinescu, who have been collaborating for over a decade.
One of the outstanding musicians of his native Romania, Cellist Ovidiu Marinescu was chosen to play at Carnegie Hall for Romanian President Constantinescu on an official visit to the United States. Soon after, he made his debut with the New York Chamber Symphony, followed by performances in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and recently at Carnegie Hall. He has appeared with orchestras throughout the world, including in Russian, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, most of Eastern Europe, and dozens of cities in the United States. As a critically acclaimed recording artist, Mr. Marinescu’s recently released recording of Bach’s Cello Suites has receiving international praise, selling over 50,000 copies.
The concert opens with American legend Samuel Barber’s Dance of Vengeance from the ballet Medea. “This is a wonderfully raw and powerful fifteen minutes of music,” explains Maestro Scott. “Barber unleashes an emotionally charged and rhythmically driven work that transitions through feelings of love, sorrow, pain, and, jealousy. It leaves us somewhat terrified, agitated, and mentally, emotionally, and even psychologically exhausted, which are certainly all timeless traits of humanity.” Mostly remembered for the heart-throbbing Adagio for Strings (used in many films), Barber (who died in 1980) is one of the most important figures in all of American music.
The performance concludes with Serge Prokofiev’s epic Fifth Symphony. Composed at the close of World War II in Europe, Prokofiev’s (1881-1953) Symphony No. 5 is one of the most celebrated works of the 20th century. From its majestic woodwinds and brilliant percussion, this work is an audience favorite. “Prokofiev’s Fifth is a celebration of the human spirit after enduring immense struggles,” says Maestro Scott. “The entire concert explores the emotions of us as a community that hopes, triumphs, and faces despair at times with failure and other times with grace.”
Tickets are available on line 24 hours a day 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. Tickets range from $52 to $12.