The Rapides Symphony’s Saturday, March 16th concert will feature music of three composers that were composing at almost the same time in the mid to late 1800’s–Robert Schumann, Peter Tchaikovsky, and Johannes Brahms. The music world is a small one, so it’s only natural that these world-famous contemporaneous composers knew each other. Schumann and Brahms enjoyed a mentor-student relationship which was immensely important to Brahms’ career as a composer. Brahms and Tchaikovsky also grew to be friendly, though it did not start that way. Neither were fond of the other’s music. Tchaikovsky even called Brahms’ music “self-inflated mediocrity.”
My personal opinion is that far from being mediocre, Brahms is perhaps the greatest of all composers. His music is a perfect balance of the heart and the mind. Large musical structures are perfectly constructed, the orchestra is handled with tremendous skill, and the music comes from the heart without being sentimental. His second symphony, which we will perform on this concert, is among the best symphonies ever written.
The first two pieces on the concert will showcase the winners of the Symphony’s biennial “Concerto Competition.” Our Youth Division winner is cellist Adalus Low Manzini, an undergraduate student at LSU. She will perform the first movement of Schumann’s “Cello Concert in A Minor”. The Young Adult Division winner, Emily Owens will perform the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s one and only “Violin Concerto”. Emily is currently a graduate student at Northwestern State University. The concert will be led by guest conductor Franz Schottky, traveling to Alexandria from Munich, Germany.
It will be a concert you don’t want to miss on Saturday, March 16th at 7:30pm at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. You can get tickets online at RapidesSymphony.org or by calling (318) 442-9709. If you want to know a little bit more about the music that you will hear, please join us for a pre-concert “Listen Up” presentation in the lobby of Coughlin-Saunders starting at 6:45pm. I hope to see you all there!