Sunday, February 12, 2006

Kharkov Philharmonic

If you're in town, support the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are 9, 11 or 15 Griven (or no more than $3), and performances are given in a nicely refurbished room with good acoustics at 21 Rimarskaya Street (it's just one block back from Sumskaya and to the side of the grander Opera House). Yuri Yanko is the principal conductor.

I went for the second time last night and was treated to a performance by Rodion Zamuraev, a violinist visiting from Moscow. Zamuraev gave a quick little encore after coming out for his second bow, and though I found this a little unusual (never seen such a thing when taking in the San Francisco Symphony) I won't say it was unwarranted. Zamuraev's playing during Bruch's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was furious enough at times to get me to stop thinking and just listen. All I'm ever after.

This classical music publicist describes the orchestra's beginnings:

The Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra was founded at the beginning of the 19th century. One of the orchestra's first conductors was the Russian composer Konstantin Vilboa. The early history of the orchestra, which then performed under a different name, includes concerts conducted by the composers Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Glazunov, Sergei Taneyev, Sergei Rachmaninov, Anton Rubinstein, Alexander Scriabin and the legendary Serge Koussevitsky.

The site also says that after coming together under its present name in 1929, the Philharmonic attracted such visitors as Mstislav Mostropovich and conductor Kiril Kondrashin.

To see a schedule of performances for the current month, go here (and be prepared to read Cyrillic).