The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra is Russia’s longest-running orchestra and a global ambassador for its rich tapestry of symphonic treasures. Originally commissioned as a private ensemble in 1882 by Alexander III, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra has flourished into a showcase for such esteemed Russian soloists as Sergei Prokofiev, a haven for fiery conductors like Richard Strauss, and the preferred performers of world premieres from such legendary composers as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Dmitri Shostakovich. After its towering debut performance here in 2013, the orchestra makes its return to Purdue.
Joining the orchestra onstage for this electrifying evening is Nikolai Lugansky, who has been among Russia’s most preeminent pianists for nearly 30 years. Lugansky is a three-time winner of Germany’s ECHO Klassik Award and, in 2013, earned a People’s Artist of Russia award. Lugansky will perform Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, one of Brahms’ most beloved and one in which soloist and orchestra stand as equals in the music’s thematic development. The program will also feature Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, a 1937 work of stunning complexity and beauty in which the composer attempted to reconcile personal and political crises following his first denunciation.
The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra spilled forth music in the purest form possible —straight from each score’s soul and into the hearts of the listeners.
—The Washington Post