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San Francisco Symphony – Karina Canellakis Conducts Shostakovich
October 25, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Prokofiev – Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich – Symphony No. 7, Leningrad
Karina Canellakis – Conductor
Alexander Gavrylyuk – Piano
Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Karina Canellakis makes her San Francisco Symphony debut in a presentation of music by two Russian heavyweights: Prokofiev’s ravishingly colorful and percussive Piano Concerto No. 1, played by the Ukranian piano powerhouse Alexander Gavrylyuk (who also makes his SF Symphony debut at these concerts), and Shostakovich’s defiant 1941 bombshell, the Leningrad Symphony.
In the twilight of Imperial Russia, a brazen 21-year-old pianist submitted his own concerto as a graduation piece. A sassy and whimsical fantasy written for a formidable soloist (himself), the 1912 Piano Concerto No. 1 by Prokofiev scandalized the old guard. Less than thirty years later, Shostakovich unveiled his Seventh Symphony, but Russia was a different place. The old guard was all but extinguished; Stalin had prosecuted his Great Terror, and Hitler held Leningrad under siege.