The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra will perform Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet
The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2022-23 Masterworks series with a program of timeless romantic masterpieces Friday night at Buddy Holly Hall.
The program, titled “Romeo and Juliet: A Timeless Romance,” includes Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with guest violinist Benjamin Beilman, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.
“Our seasonal theme is ‘Symphonic Scenes,’ which means we wanted to integrate movies with classical music,” said LSO Music Director Maestro David Cho. “Romeo and Juliet is a frequently visited subject in literature that has been turned into an incredible film. In 1968, Franco Zeffirelli made the most popular film on the subject.”
Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet was written in 1935 to accompany a ballet on the same subject, Cho said, although the ballet’s ending is slightly different from the original Shakespearean tragedy.
“Prokofiev was known as a ‘bad boy’ Russian composer,” Cho said. “His music is very exciting, angular and dramatic to reflect the ballet’s happier ending, which at the time was a big controversy.
“Prokofiev’s music is shocking, tragic, and yet there is a certain happiness in it.
According to Cho, Friday’s entire program should be full of dynamic emotion with Tchaikovsky’s two plays to follow.
“Since we’re talking about romance, tragedy and emotions, Tchaikovsky’s music has emotions…on its sleeve,” Cho said. “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is truly one of the most beloved and romantic concertos in the classical music repertoire.
“To complement the tragedy and desperate feelings of Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 will supplement and provide a well-rounded diet for our listeners, for the symphony is both tragic – has emotions on its sleeve – and also very heroic, too.”
The second masterpiece concert is scheduled for October 21. Titled “Romance on the West Side,” the concert will feature music from the 1998 film “The Red Violin” composed by John Corigliano, who would later come to Lubbock for a residency. , said Cho. This concert will also feature selections from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein.
Texas Tech’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Sarah McKoin, will also perform at this concert. The ensemble will play Corigliano’s Symphony No. 3, “Circus Maximus”.
Future concerts in LSO’s Masterworks series include Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly”; “A Dance in Vienna”, which will feature the work of Brahms and Schoenberg; and “Catch Me with Dvořák”, featuring music by John Williams from the film “Catch Me If You Can”, as well as Williams’ Tuba Concerto and Dvořák’s iconic Symphony No. 9. The series will end in April with music by Shostakovich and Bizet.
“(The final concert) is called ‘Carmen in Gold’ because we are playing Bizet’s Suite Carmen arranged by a Russian composer Shchedrin, and we will have a winner of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition who will come to play Piano Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich,” Cho said. This concert will feature Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Kenny Brobergon on piano and LSO Principal Trumpet Will Strieder.
Cho said the symphony is collaborating with Alamo Drafthouse this season to screen a program’s correlative film ahead of the weekend concert. More information on the entire Lubbock Symphony season can be found at lubbocksymphony.org.
Tickets for the Friday evening concert are available online at lubbocksymphony.org, and student rush tickets will be sold at the Buddy Holly Hall box office for $10 with ID one hour before the show starts. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-performance conference “ClefNotes” at 6:30 p.m.