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Dayton Philharmonic Kicks Off Its 2017–2018 Premier Health Masterworks Series with a Tantalizing Taste of Bernstein, a Hearty Helping of Harrison and a Dashing Dvořák Symphony for Dessert

Communications & Media Manager 
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 

DAYTON, OH (September 5, 2017) – On Friday, September 22 at 8:00 pm and Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present the first concert in the 2017–2018 Premier Health Masterworks Series, Dvořák’s Eighth: Shadow and Light. The DPO proudly welcomes to the stage talented pianist Kristofer Rucinski for this performance. Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s Innovation Partner for this 2017–2018 The Great Ones Season is the DP&L Foundation: Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts. 

Audience members are invited to be a part of a special night either at the concert hall or listening at home when Discover Classical WDPR 88.1 FM and WDPG 89.9 FM broadcasts this special Masterworks opening night concert in its entirety.  Live broadcast will commence when the performance begins at 8:00 pm on Friday, September 22.  Discover Classical’s live broadcast of Dvořák’s Eighth: Shadow and Light will be hosted by Shaun Yu. 

August 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. This 2017–2018 season of Masterworks Concerts commemorates this event by featuring the composer’s works throughout the year. For this concert, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra presents Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. The Overture, which is a “short orchestral firework,” is both a fitting opening to the comic operetta, based on Voltaire’s Candide, and to the The Great Ones Masterworks season. 

American composer Lou Harrison is not as much of a household name as other composers, yet he should be. Considered a member of the “West Coast Maverick school of composers,” he questioned or rebelled against certain aspects of Western musical tradition in his compositions. Harrison worked to create new harmonies and tunings, giving his music an original, distinctive voice in American music. This evening’s performance features Harrison’s Piano Concerto, which was written for jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. This concerto is a lively, challenging piece of music. There are four movements to this concerto, with the second movement, “The Stampede,” featuring the use of forearm chords and an octave bar—just one example of the dexterity required to play this piece. Tonight’s guest pianist, Kristofer Rucinski, is well versed in Harrison’s music and has previously performed the Piano Concerto to rousing ovations. The dexterous Rucinski will not travel far for the performance; he’s a native of Ashland, Kentucky and is currently a graduate assistant at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. 

The evening’s musical spontaneity continues with Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8. As with the most memorable of Dvořák’s music, this composition is an homage to his Czech homeland. Although Dvořák did not use actual folk tunes within his music, he is famous for absorbing folk music elements and carrying their essence into his compositions. Listen carefully—the second movement of the symphony is almost a tone poem of Czech village life. Antonín Dvořák knew such villages well, as he grew up in a small village along the banks of a river not far from Prague. Although he was supposed to apprentice in a trade, it didn’t take long before his father noticed his son’s musical prowess and instead sent him to school for musical training. A talented violinist and violist, Dvořák played in the orchestra under the conduction of Smetana but eventually left the orchestra to have more time for composing. Dvořák may have lived a simple, uncomplicated life, yet more than 200 years later, he would be regarded as the greatest Czech composer. 

From Bernstein to Harrison to Dvořák, this evening’s music is truly that . . . original. 

Tickets for Dvořák’s Eighth: Shadow and Light range from $16 to $65 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at  Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit

About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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