A romantic rendezvous with the QCSO

February 10, 2014
For Valentine's Day weekend, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra presents an ode to love ranging from the tragic romance of Pelleas and Melisande to Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola performed by husband-and-wife duo Elissa Lee Koljonen and Roberto Díaz. The concert concludes in the always romantic Italy, described vividly by Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony. The concert will be performed on February 15 and 16. Saturday evening's concert is at the Adler Theatre in Davenport at 7:30 p.m., and followed on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at Centennial Hall in Rock Island. This concert is sponsored by John Deere.

Recognized as one of the most celebrated violinists of her generation, Elissa Lee Koljonen has thrilled audiences and critics in over one hundred cities throughout the world. Koljonen initially received international acclaim when she became the first recipient of the prestigious Henryk Szeryng Foundation Award and silver medalist of the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition. Her playing has been lauded by the Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki) as "sparkling, sensual and personal." Dan Tucker of the Chicago Tribune writes, "She displayed boundless technique and musicianship," and the Detroit News reports, "Koljonen brings to her playing not just assured technique but unflinching purpose and confidence."
 
A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Josef Hofmann, Efrem Zimbalist, and Rudolf Serkin. As a teacher of viola at Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Díaz has already had a significant impact on the life of American music and continues to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator. As a soloist, Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, whose viola concerto he performed with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and whose double concerto he will premiere in the United States during the 2013-14 season; and Edison Denisov, who invited Díaz to Moscow to work on and perform his viola concerto. Ricardo Lorenz and Roberto Sierra have written concerti for Díaz, and he will premiere a concerto by Jennifer Higdon in 2015.

On Friday, February 14, Music Director Mark Russell Smith will lead Inside the Music, this time at the Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island at 12:00 noon. This luncheon is hosted by Volunteers for Symphony. Inside the Music is a great place to grab a bite to eat for lunch and get the inside scoop on the upcoming performances. This is also a great opportunity for music lovers throughout the Quad Cities to meet the guest artists in person. The luncheon is just $15 and reservations can be made at www.qcsymphony.com or by calling 563.322.QCSO (7276). 

Also on Friday, students are invited to sit in on a dress rehearsal and get the inside perspective through Students@Symphony. During a break in the rehearsal, the students will have an opportunity to meet Mark Russell Smith, as well as Díaz and Koljonen. This program is open to any secondary or elementary student and supervising adults. Students should arrive at 7:30 p.m. and pre-register online at www.qcsymphony.com.

Smith, Díaz, and Koljonen will also be available during Concert Conversations, held in the concert hall an hour before each of the weekend's concerts. At Concert Conversations the audience is given a quick overview of the program they are about to experience. This look into the background of the concert's repertoire is led by Kai Swanson and has become and audience favorite.

Finally, after the Saturday night performance, the entire audience is invited to mingle with the guest artists and many of the musicians of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Hotel Blackhawk at Afterglow. The evening includes free hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and always remarkable repartee.
 
EVENT LISTING

Inside the Music Luncheon
Friday, February 14, at 12:00 noon
Reservations: $15
Contact: www.qcsymphony.com or 563.322.QCSO (7276)
Quad City Botanical Center, Rock Island

Students@Symphony
Friday, February 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Registration: FREE
Contact: www.qcsymphony.com or 563.322.QCSO (7276)
Adler Theatre, Davenport

Concert Conversations
Saturday, February 15, at 6:30 p.m.
Adler Theatre, Davenport
Sponsored by Rich James, Wells Fargo Financial Advisors

Masterworks III
Saturday, February 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10-$55
Contact: www.qcsymphony.com or 563.322.QCSO (7276)
Adler Theatre, Davenport
Sponsored by John Deere

Afterglow
Saturday, February 15, immediately following the concert
Hotel Blackhawk, adjacent to the Adler Theatre/RiverCenter

Concert Conversations
Sunday, February 16, at 1:00 p.m.
Centennial Hall, Rock Island
Sponsored by Rich James, Wells Fargo Financial Advisors

Masterworks III
Sunday, February 16, at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10-$40
Contact: www.qcsymphony.com or 563.322.QCSO (7276)
Centennial Hall, Rock Island
Sponsored by John Deere