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Performance Details

  • Date Saturday, March 9, 2019
  • Time 8:00 pm
  • Venue Carpenter Theatre
  • Conductor Steven Smith
  • Piano Adam Neiman
  • Steven Smith Kataklysmos
  • Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Opus 1
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Opus 74 "Pathetique"

Experience the power of exceptional music with the Richmond Symphony and Guest Artist Adam Neiman, piano. This Altria Masterworks concert will feature Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.1 in F-sharp Minor, Op.1, Tchaikovsky’s  Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74, and Music Director Steven Smith’s Kataklysmos. 

Grammy Award-nominee Adam Neiman has captured the attention of audiences and critics alike since his Los Angeles debut at age 11 at Royce Hall. He is hailed as one of the foremost pianists of his generation, with a distinguished international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans more than sixty concerti. Having performed with a number of leading orchestras and ensembles, Neiman is celebrated for his commanding musicianship and exceptional technique.

Rachmaninoff wrote and performed his First Piano Concerto while he was still a student at the Moscow Conservatory. After a disappointing initial reception, the composer eventually reworked the piece, refining its orchestral design, while maintaining its characteristically youthful enthusiasm. The piano’s dominant role in the piece was a clear vehicle to show off Rachmaninoff’s talent as a pianist. With effusive piano passages and sumptuous orchestral accompaniment, the listener will hear the emergence of all the musical skills the composer has become known and reputed for.

After he finished writing  Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique,” Tchaikovsky confessed, “I consider this symphony the best thing I have ever done. In any case, it is the most deeply felt. And I love it as I have never loved any of my compositions.” In this piece, Tchaikovsky attempted to capture the essence of life and the fullness of human feeling. The first movement is characterized by an initial theme that is full of impulsive passion, followed by a second theme that is slow and hushed. The second and third movements divert from a traditional symphony, with a distorted waltz and an unexpected march, both based on descending melodic motives, giving it a brooding and sorrowful character. The symphony ends with the same gloominess with which it begins.

Richmond Symphony audiences know of Steven Smith as their Music Director. However, he is also an award-winning composer. Steven Smith says through his music, he attempts to convey the magnificence, breadth and life force of the natural world, “I believe in the inter-connectedness of all things. Through my compositions I hope to raise overall awareness of the importance of our environment, its residents, human and otherwise, and foster an appreciation and reverence for the world we all share.”  Smith’s Kataklysmos was inspired by the ancient and continuing effects of geologic forces upon the earth’s landscape. Moving through volcanic eruption, stillness, evolution, and re-formation, the piece ends with boisterous rhythmic activity, reflecting emotions akin to childhood feelings of awe at being surrounded by such a magical natural realm.

Learn more about Steven Smith, Conductor.

Learn more about Adam Neiman, Piano.

Program Notes


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