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Join the YSO and viola virtuoso Mishnaevski for an exciting program of great music


YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN, March 9, 2023— Music Director Adam C. Riccinto and the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) continue celebrating the orchestra’s 25th anniversary season with a concert at Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. The orchestra will offer an afternoon of inspiring and electrifying music, and will be joined for the second year in a row by world-class guest artist and former Detroit Symphony Orchestra principal violist Alexander “Sasha” Mishnaevski—this time performing a brand new work for electric viola that has been composed especially for him.

Sure to satisfy music lovers of all ages, the concert will feature several showstopping works, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s monumental Fourth Symphony (1877) and the dramatic Zampa Overture by French composer Ferdinand Hérold (1831). The highpoint of the program will be Mishnaevski’s virtuosic performance as he and the YSO collaborate to present the premiere of the Jazzy Suite for electric viola and orchestra by Russian composer Alexander Rosenblatt—a completely new work written just for Mishnaevski. This is a rare opportunity for audiences to experience the first performance of this new jazz-inspired composition, and become acquainted with a unique instrument played by a master.

“We are so excited to welcome Alexander Mishnaevski back to perform once again with the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra at our April concert,” said Music Director Adam C. Riccinto. “The premiere of Rosenblatt’s fantastic new Jazzy Suite with Sasha playing the electric viola will be unforgettable—and the thrilling orchestral works by Hérold and Tchaikovsky will make for a remarkable afternoon of music!”

 About Alexander Mishnaevski

"Star-caliber musicianship...soulful...virtually flawless playing...intensity, accuracy and a warm, sweet tone...uncanny rapport...technical bravura and virtuosic deftness." These are just a few of the comments made by critics about the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Principal Violist Alexander Mishnaevski. Born in Moscow, Alexander began studying the violin at the age of six, ultimately graduating from renowned Central Music School of Moscow. Teachers included M.S. Glezarova and Z.G. Gilels. After graduating, his family emigrated to the United States in 1972. Once in the US, he was accepted on full scholarship and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, studying with the legendary Dorothy Delay. While at Juilliard, Alexander changed from violin to viola at the suggestion of Isaac Stern, but graduated in both violin and viola.

Alexander became an American Citizen in 1985, and won the position in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Principal Violist in 1986. Prior, he held positions as Principal Violist for the New York Chamber Orchestra, the New York Pro Arte Ensemble, Montreal's McGill Chamber Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra (1979-85), and Orquestra Simfonica de Jalapa in Mexico (1982-84). Alexander has performed in solo, chamber music concerts and in recitals throughout the world. He has collaborated on solo and chamber music projects with eminent players including Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Joseph Silverstein, Shmuel Ashkenazy, Franz Helmerson, Elmar Oliveira, Mark Peskanov, Alexander Peskanov, Robert DeMaine, Joseph Swenson, just to name a few.

As a soloist, Alexander has appeared with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New York City Symphony, Manhattan Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma Symphony, Queens Symphony Orchestra (New York), the New Jersey State Symphony, Orquestra Simfonica de Jalapa, Taipei National Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Hong Kong and Korea. Locally, Alexander performs with the Symphony Orchestras of Detroit, Windsor, Southfield, Grosse Pointe and Dearborn. Also, Alexander has taught master classes and workshops in the US, Canada, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Mexico. For the past few years Alexander is very interested in the art of conducting, and has conducted Detroit area orchestras in Gross Pointe, Southfield, Dearborn, and Wayne State. Conducting teachers include: Neeme Jarvi, Leonid Grin, and Leonard Slatkin.

For the full program notes visit: Virtual Program | Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra


Program Notes

Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold’s Zampa Overture, composed as an overture to the composer’s comic opera Zampa, or the Marble Bride, was first performed in Paris in 1831 and enjoyed great popularity for decades. By the turn of the century, the opera began to fade from the repertoire; the expressive and tuneful overture remained popular, however, with the work becoming a staple of the orchestral repertoire. The overture exhibits strong musical statements and quick transitions between textures and musical ideas throughout the work, incorporating memorable melodies and orchestration.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Fourth Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Opus 36, between 1877 and 1879, dedicating the completed work to his patron and close friend, Nadezhda von Meck. “My Symphony is definitely the best work I have written so far,” Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother Modest in the fall of 1877, “but it needed some hard work to compose it; especially the first part.” 

The four-movement symphony is launched with the introduction of a fanfare-like theme in the first movement, which Tchaikovsky described as depicting “fate,” and the “seed” of the entire symphony. The sweet and nostalgic second movement, led by a solo oboe, is followed by a Scherzo rich in movement and pizzicato strings. The concluding Finale showcases vibrant orchestral textures evoking the folk music and festivities of the composer’s Russian heritage, before the “fate” theme returns and dramatic chords bring the work to an end.

Composer Alexander Rosenblatt was born in Moscow and studied at the Moscow Conservatory from 1975 to 1982, studying with Pavel Messner and Karen Khachaturian, and graduating with majors in piano and composition. He was the first student there to graduate with a research thesis on jazz: Piano Jazz Performance in the United States from 1940-1960. From 1983-1990 he taught at the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow (music history, principles of jazz pianism, jazz ensembles, jazz harmony and jazz orchestration). Rosenblatt has composed music for piano, cello, chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra. His compositions range from classical music to crossover and jazz, including the Jazzy Suite for electric viola and orchestra. Rosenblatt performs as a soloist and in piano duos with Oleg Sinkin or Nikolai Tokaryov. His compositions are performed all over the world, many of them published by the prestigious Schott Music publishing house. Recent compositions include a Violin Concerto (dedicated to Leopold Mozart); Chekhov’s Kasztanka for reader and orchestra; Jazz-Rococo Variations for cello and orchestra; the Fantasia-Humoresque Verdi Meets Rossini (for trumpet and chamber orchestra); Sonata No. 4 for Piano “Christina”; and more.

The YSO will perform with Alexander Mishnaevski on Sunday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln High School’s Performing Arts Center, 7425 Willis Road, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students/seniors/children, and $30/ per family, and can be purchased at the door or online at A2Tix.com.

The Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) is proud of its unique and significant cultural contribution to the Ypsilanti area. The YSO’s mission is “to share our passion for music through innovative programming, creative collaboration, and arts advocacy,” and to “actively contribute to the music appreciation and education of our musicians, organizational members and audience.” Led by Founder and Music Director Adam C. Riccinto, the Symphony marks its 25th anniversary with the 2023-24 season.

The YSO is grateful for the many businesses and individuals who shared their support by contributing auction items. The YSO also thanks its Corporate Sponsors: Bank of Ann Arbor, The City of Ypsilanti Bicentennial Committee, Dennis Green, Dykema, The Faber Piano Institute, in2being LLC., Dan and Linda Wagner, Washtenaw Parks & Recreation Commission, Wealthpoint Management, The Ypsilanti Performance Space (The Ypsi), and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. As well as our Business Sponsors: The Brian Bundesen Team, King’s Keyboard House, Meadow Montessori School, The Pho House, Ruoff Mortgage, Satchel’s BBQ, Sidetracks Bar & Grill, South Arbor Animal Hospital, and Wellspring Healing Center LLC.

More information about the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra can be found at www.ypsilantisymphony.org, on Instagram @ypsilantisymphony, on TikTok @ypsilantisymphony, on our youtube channel @ypsilantisymphonyorchestra194  and on Facebook.

Venue Information

Lincoln High School
7425 Willis Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Organizer Information

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra

P.O. Box 970942
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

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