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HBPA to host Moscow Chamber Orchestra

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Moscow Chamber Orchestra, one of the world’s great chamber ensembles, will perform at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12 in Memorial Hall at Bethel College in North Newton as part of the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series. Conductor is Constantine Orbelian. The program will include Bach’s "Concerto in D minor for Keyboard and Strings" with guest pianist Marianna Rashkovetsky of Boston, Mass. Other selections for this concert are Boccherini’s "Symphony in D minor ‘La Casa del Diavolo’," Sarasate’s "Gypsy Airs (Zigeunerweisen)," Tchaikovsky’s "Pezzo Capriccioso in B minor" and Vivaldi’s "Concerto for Four Violins in B minor."

"We are honored to host an orchestra of this caliber for HBPA," says Christopher Koch, director of the Bethel College Sinfonia and a member of the HBPA planning committee. "This is an ensemble of the highest artistic and professional standards. The audience will hear an expressive, energetic and memorable performance."

Founded in 1956 by conductor and violist Rudolf Barshai, the orchestra is known in Russia as the Russian State Academic Chamber Orchestra. The title "academic" honors an orchestra for its outstanding international artistic stature over a period of years. The Moscow Chamber Orchestra performs more 120 concerts each year, including 80 in international settings.

The 1991 appointment of American pianist and conductor Constantine Orbelian to the role of music director and conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra brought the orchestra into a new era of international activity and acclaim. Under his baton, the orchestra has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

The group’s recordings for Delos include a number of rarely-recorded works of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Among the group’s numerous recordings are "Olga Guryakova sings Russian Arias and Romances," "The Music of Frank Bridge," "Handel Arias from Rinaldo and Orlando," "Russian Soul" and "Rossini Overtures."

The North Newton performance is the ensemble’s only central Kansas venue during the 2003-04 season. During this tour the group also has concerts scheduled in 11 U.S. states as well as Russia, Estonia, Prague, Frankfurt, Munich, London and Istanbul.

This presentation is supported by the Heartland Arts Fund, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Kansas Arts Commission, as well as foundations, corporations, and individuals in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Tickets range from $12 to $15 for adults and $5 to $15 for students. For tickets, call (620) 327-8158 or (316) 284-5281.

The final concert in the HBPA 2003-04 series is the Kansas City Chorale at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 16 in Memorial Hall at Bethel College, North Newton.

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