Music Director Adam C. Riccinto and the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) will be joined by world-class guest artist, former Detroit Symphony Orchestra principal violist Alexander Mishnaevski, as the orchestra performs its spring concert at Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, April 16 at 3:30 p.m.
Sure to excite music lovers of all ages, the concert will showcase orchestral selections by Finnish master Jean Sibelius, including his famous nationalistic masterpiece Finlandia and the beautiful and rousing Symphony No. 2. The program will also spotlight the YSO brass section in Russian composer Victor Ewald’s Symphony No. 1 for Brass Quintet (1890). The highpoint of the program will be Mishnaevski’s virtuosic performances of Georg Phillip Telemann’s Viola Concerto and the beautiful Romance for Viola by Dmitri Shostakovich arr. Sebastian Bachmeier —a fantastic opportunity for audiences to hear this internationally acclaimed artist in concert.
“We are so thrilled to welcome Alexander Mishnaevski to perform with the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra’s at our April concert,” said Music Director Adam C. Riccinto. “This is a chance to hear a truly spectacular artist in performance, and listen to an amazing program of great works—with masterpieces by Sibelius, Telemann, and Shostakovich, to lesser known gems for brass. Celebrate spring with an afternoon of wonderful music!”
"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.
Finlandia is among the most enduring and recognizable works by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), who was deeply influential as a composer of symphonies and tone poems. Sibelius was also closely associated with nationalism in his music. His Finlandia, in particular, became an anthem to the Finnish resistance movement upon its premier in 1899, a time marked by censorship and oppression in Finland by Tsarist Russia. The work opens with ominous brass and percussion before moving into a chorale hymn and energetic martial tunes, ultimately closing with a victorious fanfare.
Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 premiered in Helsinki on March 8,1902, just a few years after the triumph of the patriotic Finlandia. While Sibelius denied that the symphony had similar political undertones or programmatic aspects, the work was nevertheless often associated with Sibelius’s Finland and its fight for autonomy. The four-movement work is organic in nature, with the rising, three-note motif that opens the symphony woven throughout as the work gradually evolves into an optimistic finale.
Russian-born Victor Ewald (1860-1935) was a civil engineer as well as an avid musician and composer. Ewald formally studied cello at the St Petersburg Conservatory; however, he primarily composed for brass instruments, and in fact composed some of the earliest original pieces written specifically for the modern brass quintet. His Symphony No. 1 Quintet is among the most widely performed in the brass repertoire.
Georg Philipp Telemann’s (1681-1767) Viola Concerto in G major, composed c. 1712, is among the first known concerti for viola. The work contains four movements in typical Baroque form, alternating between orchestral and solo sections. Among the most prolific of composers, Telemann’s concerto is exceptional in its solo composition and use of varied colors and rhythmic drive.
Romance for viola by Dmitri Shostakovich arr. Sebastian Bachmeier (1906-1975) is a lyrical and much beloved piece drawn from Shostakovich's own film score to the popular 1955 Soviet film The Gadfly. The sweet and sentimental love theme, inspired by Jules Massenet's famous "Meditation" from Thaïs, is one of Shostakovich’s most charming and popular works.
The YSO will perform with Alexander Mishnaevski on Sunday, April 16 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 24th anniversary with the 2022-23 season.
More information about the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra can be found at www.ypsilantisymphony.org, Instagram, TikTok, and on Facebook.