Opening Night: Russian Masters Insights From Eric


Dearest Orlando,

We’re in full swing here at the Philharmonic! Tchaikovsky rehearsals have started for our Opening Night concert on October 1st! We’re in our new rehearsal hall and it sounds incredible! As always we will open our Season with The Star-Spangled Banner, and because we are featuring the heroic, romantic and poetic Russian composers this year, we will perform the Stravinsky arrangement of this piece. It’s so beautiful and grand! We start the season together in song!

Opening Night is all about LOVE! Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev) and the 4th symphony of Tchaikovsky embody the raw emotions that the Russian composers are so masterful at portraying. You might know that Prokofiev is truly one of the greatest Hollywood composers. His pallet of colors was so vast that he can paint you a landscape with an orchestra! Our soloist Steve Copes arrived today and we can’t wait to jump into the Berg Violin Concerto with him. I think one thing you will notice about his performance is how intimate he makes a stage feel. He is a chamber musician, a communicator and he has the rare ability to make a concert hall feel like a living room. We worked on this piece together in Germany a few years ago and I can’t wait to do it with our great orchestra!

The Berg is a piece of mourning, loss and love and it is devastating. You will definitely hear the sounds of Jazz, Brahms, as well as the fractured pain of loss.

There is a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 from 1929 by the Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mengelberg conducting that has been one of my favorites for years. My teacher was born in 1911, and hearing this reminds me of the type of musical language he was immersed in. This was a world before high speed transportation or internet and it was a time of individualism. Each city had a distinct sounding orchestra!

Looking forward, our next Classics Series concert in December is with seven-time (what?!) Grammy winner and piano Superstar Emanuel Ax. In just a few weeks, the Philharmonic will perform Bernstein’s zany opera Candide at The Plaza Live on October 13, 14, and 16.

I can’t wait to see you all at Opening Night on October 1. It’s going to be an incredibly exciting Season! Orlando deserves the greatest music and I know we will have fun exploring it all together!


Music Director

To purchase tickets for Opening Night click here.