Tag Archives: Michael Colina
Michelle Kanaar | File Photo

Symphony’s 2013 Season marked by threes

Three may be the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s magic number this summer.

The CSO 2013 season features three world premieres: The Romeo and Juliet Project, a collaborative extravaganza featuring Chautauqua’s best in dance, theater and voice; Laurence Roman’s “Concertino for Flute and Orchestra,” featuring Richard Sherman, CSO principal flutist; and Michael Colina’s “Three Dances for Cello and Orchestra,” in which Jaime Laredo will conduct cellist Sharon Robinson, his wife.

There are also three evenings of anniversary performances. This year marks the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten and Pyotr Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” as well as the 200th birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. CSO will honor each of these composers throughout the season.

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Guest violinist Anastasia Khitruk performs in the world-premiere performance of Michael Colina’s “Baba Yaga” with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

CSO, Levin, Khitruk shine Saturday in an evening of debuts

Monsters, witches and a devil (well, Stalin, anyway). This was perhaps not a typical program for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, but it was in turns electrifying, poignant, lovely and menacing.

In fact, the concert Saturday night in the Amphitheater was an intriguing look at danger set in Russia. It began with the fantastical one of two monsters that abduct the characters Russlan and Ludmilla in the opera of the same name by Glinka, moved to the frightful Slavic legend of Baba Yaga and concluded with Shostakovich’s secret account of the brutality of Stalin’s regime. All led by, with a measure of irony, but a conductor at ease, the American Ira Levin.

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A visit from Baba Yaga and the CSO

Saturday night, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Michael Colina’s “Baba Yaga: Fantasia for Violin and Orchestra.” It will be guest conductor Ira Levin’s American debut, and violinist Anastasia Khitruk’s first time performing on the Amphitheater stage.

The piece is a product of a rare three-part collaboration, in which Colina did most of the creative heavy-lifting, but Levin offered suggestions on orchestration, and Khitruk was given a voice in the violin part, especially the cadenzas. The three also collaborated together on the recording of Colina’s “Three Cabinets of Wonder,” a violin concerto recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2010. “Baba Yaga” has also been recorded with the London Symphony and is due to release this fall.

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