Also on the program is Chopin's exquisite First Piano Concerto, featuring the Orchestra Hall debut of pianist Ewa Kupiec, who hails from Skrowaczewski's native Poland, as well as Strauss' dramatic Also sprach Zarathustra, which was famously excerpted in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The concert is performed three times at Orchestra Hall on Thursday, October 30, at 11 a.m.; Friday, October 31, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, November 1, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $21 to $83.
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra's artistic staff since 1960—first as music director and subsequently as conductor laureate—and has led at least one set of subscription concerts during each of the orchestra's past 48 seasons. On the world stage, he is renowned as both a major conductor and a highly regarded composer.
In his native Poland, Skrowaczewski directed the Warsaw National Orchestra and three other symphonic ensembles prior to his tenure in Minnesota. He has also been principal conductor of Britain's Halle Orchestra and currently holds that title for the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. As a guest conductor, he has led top orchestras in performances and tours on five continents.
The Minnesota Orchestra has performed several of Skrowaczewski's major compositions, including, most recently, his Fantasies for Flute and Orchestra, Il Piffero della Notte, which received its world premiere in October 2007 at Orchestra Hall.
Ewa Kupiec, piano
Polish-born pianist Ewa Kupiec regularly visits Europe's finest concert halls and has enjoyed success in Japan, Australia and the U.S. She has performed with such ensembles as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Melbourne Symphony, and is regarded as a champion of modern music, having recorded Schnittke's complete works for piano and orchestra as well as an album of solo works composed for her. These concerts mark her Minnesota Orchestra debut.
Skrowaczewski's Music at Night
Skrowaczewski's Music at Night is based on material drawn from his score for the 1949 ballet Ugo et Parisina, a tragic Italian love story. Its four movements, performed without interruption, build to several emotional climaxes. The scoring stresses solo instruments, including the alto saxophone. -- www.minnesotaorchestra.org