The El Paso Symphony Orchestra (EPSO) led by conductor Bohuslav Rattay will ring in the New Year with Grammy award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey in concerts fittingly titled A Grammy Performance. Zuill Bailey, sponsored by Mrs. Robert M. Graham, Sr., and EPSO will take the Plaza Theatre stage on January 17 and 18, 2020, 7:30pm. These concerts celebrate the 15th annual collaboration between the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and El Paso Pro-Musica, whose joint mission is to present world-renowned artists to perform on multiple stages throughout El Paso, reaching a broader audience.
The concerts first half feature two of the pinnacles of the romantic classical repertoire: Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. The concerts open with Bailey and EPSO performing Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto which is one of the best-loved of 19th-century concertos. Next is Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, which he wrote while going through a severe depression. Learning to escape depression through his work, Tchaikovsky wrote the Rococo Variations for Cello and Orchestra, one of his most nostalgic affirmations of love to what he perceived as the virtuousness of the eighteenth century.
The second half of the performances highlight the orchestra in Dvořák Symphony No. 7, op. 70 in D minor. Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony was commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1883 and is a departure from the composer’s usual musical style, which is known for its brightness and folk theme-filled melodies. While still containing some Slavic elements, the Seventh Symphony is a little less bright and contains less folk material than his earlier works, with prevalent tragic and dark themes.
LEARN MORE: Join EPSO and Dr. James Welsch, EPSO Assistant Conductor, prior to each performance at Opening Notes, 6:30pm in the Philanthropy Theatre, to get insights on the program, composers and artist.
ABOUT ZUILL BAILEY: Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award winner, distinguished soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, Artistic Director and teacher. His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today. Recent highlights include appearances with orchestras such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Israel, San Francisco, Toronto, Nashville, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and the Philharmonia (UK) with conductors Itzhak Perlman, Carlos Kalmar, Neeme Jarvi, Jun Markl, Stanislav Skrowaczewski, Alan Gilbert, Andrey Borekyo, Krzysztof Urbanski, Giancarlo Guerrero, Andrew Litton, Grant Llewellyn and James DePriest. He was honored as the distinguished Alumnus of 2014 by Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute.
Zuill Bailey is an internationally renowned recording artist with over 20 titles. His extensive discography includes the Bach Cello Suites, the newly released Schumann, Haydn Cello Concertos and Britten Cello Symphony/Cello Sonata CD’s, all of which immediately soared to the Number One spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. The Grammy Award-winning Tales of Hemingway swept the board with three Grammy Awards including Best Solo Performance by Zuill Bailey. Mr. Bailey performs on the “rosette” 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. He is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington), guest Artistic Director of the Mesa Arts Center (Arizona) and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The El Paso Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Opening Notes: Friday, January 17 & Saturday, January 18, 2020, 6:30pm Philanthropy Theatre (Free)
Concerts: “A GRAMMY PERFORMANCE”
Friday, January 17 & Saturday, January 18, 2020, 7:30pm Plaza Theatre
El Paso Symphony Orchestra
Bohuslav Rattay, Conductor
Zuill Bailey, Cello
Saint-Saëns Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1, op. 33 in A minor
Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33
Dvořák Symphony No. 7, op. 70 in D minor
Tickets: $46, $41, $35, $22, $16 and $9 and $12 for students plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchase at epso.org, ticketmaster.com or by calling the EPSO office at (915) 532-3776.