“Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” is the first piece by Rachmaninoff that pianist Joyce Yang learned when she was 13 years old.
“I’m really comfortable playing music that’s extroverted and emotional, and this piece takes the listener on such an emotional journey,” says Yang, who performs the 1934 work with the Performance Santa Fe Orchestra on Christmas Eve.
“I love it,” she adds. “Of all the concertos in my repertoire, I play this one most often.
“I played it a total of five times in 2006 in New York and when I toured Asia with Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic.”
Yang performs “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43,” which was written for solo piano and symphony orchestra in the summer of 1934 in Switzerland, in a Performance Santa Fe concert conducted by Joe Illick that also includes Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (New World Symphony).
A Van Cliburn International Piano Competition silver medalist and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Yang is a busy soloist and recitalist who received her earliest training in Seoul, South Korea and eventually moved to the U.S to study at Juilliard.
One week after Yang’s concert, the orchestra collaborates with Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich for a New Year’s Eve concert.
Hadelich, also a Juilliard graduate and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, was the gold medalist at the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
He performs Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64,” which was the composer’s last large orchestral work, in a concert that includes Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5 in C minor.
One of the most popular concertos in the violin repertoire, Mendelssohn’s work was written over a six year period of time and premiered in 1845.
Both programs are offered as daytime family concerts.