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Bringing “Panache and Poetry to Her Music,” Acclaimed Pianist Gabriela Martinez Takes the Stage with the DPO to Deliver Gershwin’s Soulful Piano Concerto in F

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

DAYTON, OH (May 16, 2018) – On Friday, June 8, 2018 and Saturday, June 9, 2018 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 eighth and final concert in the 2017–2018 Premier Health Masterworks Series, Martinez Plays Gershwin. For this concert, the Dayton Philharmonic is pleased to welcome to the stage guest pianist Gabriela Martinez. Ms. Martinez is the Olive W. Kettering Memorial Guest Artist for 2017-2018.  DPAA’s Innovation Partner for this 2017-2018 The Great Ones Season is the DP&L Foundation: Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts. 

Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra begin the final Masterworks concert of the 2017-2018 season with a nod to American composer Leonard Bernstein, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth this year. Bernstein was a beloved and internationally famous conductor—the first American-born conductor of the New York Philharmonic—but he was also known as a successful communicator for music itself. He worked to bring music and the understanding of it to the masses. Bernstein composed Facsimile: A Choreographic Essay for a ballet by the great Jerome Robbins, who shared this similar philosophy and mission within the world of dance. The collaborations between these two creative men propelled music forward in the 20th century. 

George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F premiered in 1925 at Carnegie Hall with the composer himself as soloist. Gershwin, who died at the height of his fame before he even turned forty, was at heart a songwriter. His soon-to-be standards included “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” and “Swanee.” His instrumental music, a synthesis of jazz and classical, stands out as a reflection of the American music of the time, the Jazz Age. Works such as "Rhapsody in Blue" and the Piano Concerto in F are strong examples of Gershwin’s power to lift jazz music to the classical level. Although "Rhapsody in Blue" is perhaps one of the most melodically memorable pieces in American music, the Piano Concerto in F is more formally cohesive. This concerto is the most frequently performed of any American-composed concerto. 

For this performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, the DPO is joined by Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez. The internationally acclaimed Martinez made her orchestral debut at age 7. Later, she immigrated to the United States to attend the Juilliard School, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. Her interpretations are compelling and her stage presence elegant. The Martinez repertoire extends from the established and enduring classics to contemporary works. 

Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote his Symphony No. 4 during an emotionally tumultuous time in his life. He was in the process of marrying and then separating from his wife (all in the span of two months). The feelings and drama within his life bled into his work, but with an exciting outcome. Symphony No. 4 is an intensely emotional work, and it is certainly among his most personal. To Tchaikovsky himself, the piece seemed an “emotional diary in music.” He has layered the symphony with fate and destiny as a theme, conveying helplessness, but not without hope. Completed in 1878, the symphony had Tchaikovsky finding his true voice as a symphonic composer. The work is also a wonderful example of orchestral voice, with the orchestra as a solitary voice “singing” the score. The composer dedicated this symphony to the widow Madame von Meck, a woman whom he never met face-to-face, yet someone whom he considered a confidante. Von Meck was also his benefactor, giving him the freedom to become the most accomplished Russian composer of the 19th century. 

Bernstein once said of Gershwin, “I don’t think there has been such an inspired melodist on this Earth since Tchaikovsky.” Share the evening with these three gentleman composers, DPO musicians, inspired melodies, Gabriela Martinez and all. 

Tickets for Martinez Plays Gershwin 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 for both concerts 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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