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The Russians Are Coming! (To LPO)

It’s a good thing that McCarthyism went out of fashion in the 1950s because conspiracy theorists might be on the alert for the series of Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) concerts being held at month’s end.

Sergei Prokoviev, Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Rachmaninov will be the stars front and center on Saturday night, February 26 in a post Mardi Gras celebration of post romantic and modern Russian music conducted by maestro and artistic director Carlos Miguel Prieto.

The Prokofiev Symphony No. 1 dubbed the “Classical Symphony” by the composer himself was written loosely in the style of George Frederich Handel and, to a lesser extent, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his student. It was written during a summer while Prokofiev was studying composition during the war years of 1916 and 1917. The work premiered in April of 1918.

Pianist Alexander Korsantia

Alexander Korsantia performs the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1

The Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1 will feature Georgian pianist Alexander Korsantia. As a Soviet citizen, Korsantia was the 1988 winner of the Sydney Piano Competition and also took top honors at the Artur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, he became an emigre to Canada and lived in Vancouver for well over a decade. Korsantia is now a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory and calls Boston home, taking time to perform as a concert pianist with leading orchestras across the globe.

The Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 will conclude the second portion ot the night’s performance.

The next afternoon, February 26, the LPO will host a series of concerts featuring mostly Russian composers Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Igor Stravinsky depicting creatures. “The Flight of the Bumble Bee” and “The Firebird Suite” will be just two of the selections featured on the program being held at Jesuit High School. The first performance at 2:00 p.m. will be in English. A performance in Spanish will follow at 4:00 p.m.