Violinist Spivakov and Russian Symphony to Perform

The Russian State Symphony Orchestra will perform an all-Russian program with virtuoso violinist Vladimir Spivakov as part of Wake Forest University’s Secrest Artists Series on Sunday, Feb. 7. The Russian orchestra will perform in place of the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin originally scheduled for the same date.

Conducted by Valery Polyansky, the concert of music by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff will begin at 3 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

Spivakov will be the soloist for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, a piece he has recorded for BMG Classics on the RCA Red Seal label.

The Russian State Symphony Orchestra was founded in the 1960s and was originally know as the Soviet Philharmonic. In 1981, Gennady Rozhdestvensky became conductor and the orchestra began touring extensively throughout the world and recorded all of the great symphonies of Bruckner, Shostakovich, Honegger, Schnittke and Williams.

Now under Valery Polyansky’s leadership, the Russian State Symphony ranks among the very best of the Russian symphonic companies. According to the French newspaper, Le Monde, the “music sparkled and glittered as it was performed magnificently by the musicians from Moscow….The eyes of all artists were fixed on Polyansky, one could feel absolute mutual understanding existing between them and the conductor….The orchestra achieved an exceptional blend of sounds, now tender, then powerful, unusually vivid coloring.”

The performance at Wake Forest is the orchestra’s first in the Southeast and follows appearances at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Symphony Hall in Boston.

Founder of the acclaimed chamber ensemble Moscow Virtuosi, Spivakov performed with that group at Wake Forest in 1993. He has also performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Houston Symphony. His December 1994 performance at the Vatican with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra was broadcast on worldwide television.

The New York Times described Spivakov as “a refined and aristrocratic artist,” while the Boston Globe praised his performance as “both elegant and exuberant.”

Tickets for the concert are $17.50 for adults, $12.50 for students and senior citizens. They will be available at the performance and from the University Theater box office at 758-5295 beginning Feb. 1. The box office is open weekdays from noon-5:30 p.m.

For information, call the Secrest Series office at 336-758-5757.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events