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Works of Wit and Weight: The Instrumental Concertos of Shostakovich
Wednesday, January 18th
Our Classical KING FM Seattle Symphony Podcast this week features Kevin Ahfat, the Canadian-born pianist and winner of the SSO’s Inaugural International Piano Competition plays the 1st and 2nd Shostakovich Piano Concertos with SSO Associate Conductor Pablo Rus Broseta leading the concerts. Kevin is one of one of three soloists in Seattle this week for performances in the Shostakovich Concerto Festival on Thursday, January 19th and Friday, January 20th in Benaroya Hall. KING FM’s Dave Beck talks with the young concert artist about Kevin’s excitement at returning to play again in Seattle. The pianist also discusses the witty and lighthearted nature of these piano works by Shostakovich, standing in stark contrast to the angry, brooding moments characterizing much of the composer’s violin and cello concertos.
The other soloists in the festival this week are cellist Edgar Moreau and violinist Aleksey Semenenko. You’ll hear the SSO and guest artists play six instrumental concertos by Shostakovich over two nights.
Broadway’s Megan Hilty: A Happy Homecoming
Wednesday, January 11th
Dave Beck speaks with the featured performer in the Seattle Symphony Pops concerts happening in Benaroya Hall Friday, January 13th through Sunday, January 15th. “Luck Be a Lady: Megan Hilty Sings Sinatra and More” showcases the tunes of songwriters ranging from Cole Porter to Barry Manilow. The show’s star grew up in the Puget Sound area. Megan Hilty was born in Bellevue, went to Sammamish High School and now performs on Broadway and on television with performers like her friend Bernadette Peters on the NBC television series Smash. Megan Hilty talks about her early training as a classical singer, her collaboration with the songwriting team that gave us the smash hit Broadway musical Hairspray, and about the rewards and demands of being a mom and a busy performing artist.
Messiaen and Beethoven: Music of Hope in Times of Despair
Wednesday, January 3rd
The search for purpose, hope and meaning in the face of devastating circumstances is one of the themes running through the two highly contrasting works that make up this week’s Seattle Symphony Masterworks program in Benaroya Hall. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is the creation of a man whose physical deterioration left him unable to hear or speak. And Olivier Messiaen’s “Three Little Liturgies of the Divine Presence” springs from the imagination of an artist recently liberated from a World War II German prison camp. The Seattle Symphony, six vocal and instrumental soloists, the Northwest Boychoir and Seattle Symphony Chorale prepared by Joseph Crnko will present these works in concerts in Benaroya Hall on January 5th, 7th and 8th 2017. SSO Music Director Ludovic Morlot will lead the performances. Ludovic joins KING FM’s Dave Beck with thoughts on why this pairing of diverse works, separated in time by about 120 years, makes for such a compelling presentation.