Fei-Fei Dong was a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and earned praise from the Dallas Morning News for her "winning stage presence." She is coming to Kleinhans Music Hall to join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in one of the most winning concertos ever written, the Piano Concerto in A Minor of the romantic German composer Robert Schumann.
Her performance rounds out a program anyone would love. It also features Beethoven's Symphony No. 4. And it has a very popular opening piece, Johannes Brahms' "Variations on a Theme by Haydn." The melody Brahms credited to Haydn was actually a traditional sacred theme known as the St. Anthony Chorale. It is so serene and uplifting that it is sometimes heard at weddings, as the opening processional. The variations are among the most luminous and lovely music Brahms ever wrote, and the piece ends in a blaze of drama and light.
Brahms' life was closely intertwined with the lives of Robert and Clara Schumann, so it is a pleasure to find Schumann on the same program. The Piano Concerto in A Minor is a masterpiece with both tenderness and bravura. The exciting last movement hints at a galloping melody from Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto. Beethoven's Fourth Symphony is a pleasure even a newcomer should enjoy.
There is a British guest conductor, Rebecca Miller. She has made many appearances throughout Europe at the helm of well-known orchestras, including the London Mozart Players and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and has even conducted for Queen Elizabeth II.
The concert are at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 23 and 8 p.m. Feb. 24. Come early the morning of Feb. 23 for coffee and doughnuts. Arrive at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 for a chat with the artists.
Admission is $29-$84. Call 885-5000 or visit bpo.org.
Story topics: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra