Tito Muñoz, Conductor
Maxim Lando, Piano
Women of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Dr. Robert Taylor, Director)
About the Show
The stars align in this program with Holst’s The Planets, Starburst by Jessie Montgomery, and Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, plus guest conductor Tito Muñoz, pianist Maxim Lando, and the Women of the CSO Chorus.
Conductor Tito Muñoz has appeared with many of the most prominent orchestras in North America, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He also maintains a strong international conducting presence.
Jessie Montgomery‘s Starburst, like its name suggests, is an energetic, complex, yet brief piece of brilliant music. Heavy on strings and dynamic in nature, Starburst is described by Montgomery “as a play on the imagery of rapidly changing musical colors.”
Musical America wrote that guest pianist Maxim Lando “possesses an easy technique, a natural flair at the keyboard, and excitingly eclectic tastes. It’s safe to say the young American pianist is firmly on his way.” Sergei Prokofiev, at about the same age as Lando is now, premiered his challenging and ambitious Piano Concerto No. 2. With its lengthy solo passages and solid reputation as one of the great 20th century piano concertos, this performance with Lando and the CSO together is guaranteed to be out of this world.
Gustav Holst‘s The Planets carries us away from our home “blue planet” to musically explore the others in our solar system through seven suites. The juxtaposition from suite to suite often creates drama, especially as each planet is personified through its aligned astrological character. Mars, The Bringer of War, with its fiery, menacing, and almost militaristic sound is followed by Venus’ more ethereal, lighter tones as The Bringer of Peace. The closing suite Neptune, The Mystic, is soft and mystical, as its name suggests, and has the memorable addition of women’s vocals to drift away at the end.
MORE ON THE MUSIC:
- The Plain Dealer called Tito Muñoz “…one of the more gifted conductors of his day.“
- The Planets has inspired a world of music from rock tunes and movie scores to composers like John Williams – and everything in between – during the 20th century and it still maintains its influence today.