The 2010 Festival continues with a concert tracing Romanticism from its begin-nings with Carl Marie von Weber’s Overture to the opera Oberon, to the high romanticism of Robert Schumann’s Symphony No 2 to the post-romantic Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 3 played by Horacio Gutierrez, considered one of the greatest pianists of our time.
Weber wrote the opera Oberon on a commission from Covent Garden and moved to London to learn English to better set the lyrics to music.
Despite suffering from de-
pression and poor health Schumann was able to a joyful and uplifting mood in his Symphony No 2.
Prokofiev musical talents were recognized very early. He wrote his first opera, The Giant , at age 9. He escaped from the turmoil in Russia in 1918, moving to San Francisco. He himself played the world premier of his Piano Concerto No. 3 on Beethoven’s birthday, 1921 with the Chicago Sym-phony Orchestra.
Horacio Gutierrez was born in Cuba in 1948 and was recognized early as a child prodigy. In 1961, his family fled Castro and came to the
United States so he could study with Sergey Tranowsky, who had been Vladimir Horowitz’s first teacher in Russia. He later studied with William Mas-selos, who had been a pupil of Carl Friedberg, who had studied with Clara Schu-mann and Brahms: an unbro-ken pedagogical link from the great pianists of the Romantic Period.
The Bellingham Festival of Music Board of Directors was one of the recipients of the 2010 Mayor’s Arts Awards for their significant contribution to arts in Bellingham. After being forced to cancel the 2007 season because of the lack of funds, the Board itself took on the day-to-day ad-ministrative and fund rais-ing functions, cut costs and rebuilt the Festival to great critical acclaim. Bravo!
An elegant sit-down dinner and nearly 200 live and silent auction items offer a dazzling array of treats for every taste and every budget
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Vol. 2010, No.3
- As so many opera heroines, Weber died young of TB (at age 39). His cousin was Constanza, Mozart’s wife.
- Schumann began his career as a pianist but in attempt to strengthen his fingers unnaturally, he suffered a permanent injury to his right hand.
- Prokofiev returned to Soviet Union later in his life. He died on the same day as Stalin and because of the throngs in Red Square mourning Stalin, Prokofiev’s body was unable to be moved for three days.