Chautauqua Institution creates the perfect platform to inspire and liberate an orchestra, according to pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk.
Returning for his 11th season performing with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, he speaks from experience. Gavrylyuk will play with the CSO at 8:15 p.m. July 23 in the Amphitheater.
“I had the opportunity to form a very close relationship with the orchestra during the last 10 years,” Gavrylyuk said. “I must say that the concept and the philosophy of Chautauqua, which is so open-minded and so multi-layered, shows so many colors of human expression in a very free manner.”
The priorities at the Institution are set correctly, Gavrylyuk said, because music is always put first.
Gavrylyuk will solo on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1. The CSO will also play Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” arranged for orchestra by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka.”
The solo piece, Rachmaninoff’s first official work, was written when he was graduating from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He wrote other works before this concerto, Gavrylyuk said, but this was the first he thought worthy of publishing at the time.
“It doesn’t have so many tormented, deep, tragic shades as some of his later works,” Gavrylyuk said. “But it has drama and passion and this kind of unstoppable, youthful love feeling throughout the piece and the glory of that love by the end of the concerto.”
Rachmaninoff also edited his own piece, said Gavrylyuk. The CSO will perform the second version of the work.
Gavrylyuk first entered the world of music at the urging of his parents, who wanted him to sing in a choir. He started with singing, but quickly found his talent in piano. He said he got to where he is today by “the long and narrow road” of studying and practicing music.
At about age 18, he realized the bigger meaning of music and the role it can play in society, he said.