Hays Symphony's 2016-2017 concert season built on Russian masterworks

Sadikov head shot


08/12/16 cd/kb
HAYS, Kan. -- The 103rd season of the Hays Symphony Orchestra features almost exclusively Russian music, intended as a tribute to the Volga-German heritage and cultural identity of Hays.

The 2016-2017 season is the second year of artistic direction under the baton of Shah Sadikov, assistant professor of music and theatre at Fort Hays State University.

The season's inaugural concert, Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus, begins with a gala and a pre-concert presentation (6:45 p.m.) by Dr. Jeff Jordan, director of FHSU bands, and will end with a Russian Desserts reception sponsored by friends of the Hays Symphony and Cathy's Breads, Hays.

"The opening gala and free concert is our gift to the community. We hope the public will come explore and celebrate the rich and vibrant music of Russia," said Cathy Drabkin, volunteer director of marketing for the orchestra.

"The gala will include displays of the orchestra's history, hands-on activities for kids and opportunities to win free tickets for subsequent concerts," she said.

Free tickets for the opening concert are available by contacting the Hays Symphony at hayssymphony@fhsu.edu.

The inaugural concert, with guest conductor Ben Cline, chair of the Department of Music and Theatre at FHSU, begins at 7:30 p.m. The evening's repertoire includes Tchaikovsky's "Marche Slave," Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Español" and Rachmaninoff's universally-recognized Piano Concerto No. 2. Dr. Irena Ravitskaya, FHSU associate professor of piano, will be the soloist. Dr. Ravitskaya, who immigrated to the United States in 1995, is originally from Moldova (formerly of the Soviet Union).

All concerts in the symphony's season are at 7:30 p.m. in Beach/Schmidt, unless otherwise noted.

The Fall Classics Concert is Saturday, Oct. 15. The featured performer is Sunnat Ibragimov, guest cello soloist for Tchaikovsky's "Rococo Variations." Igrabimov, a native of Uzbekistan, is a graduate student at Park University's International Center for Music in Parkville, Mo.

The performance also includes Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade," the musical retelling of "One Thousand and One Nights." This oriental-influenced piece weaves the story of the Arabian queen through the plaintive lines of a violin solo.

Next in the season's lineup is a family Halloween concert on Sunday, Oct. 30, featuring the children's favorite "Peter and the Wolf," which spotlights the different instruments of the orchestra through a Russian folktale. Actors from the Hays Community Theater will dramatize the performance, with Brenda Meder, director of the Hays Arts Council, serving as narrator. The concert includes a host of pre-concert activities, including a costume contest, an instrument petting zoo, a Russian story time and photo ops with The Wolf.

The spring semester begins with a Valentine's Concert on Saturday, Feb. 11, as Maestro Faruk Sadikov guest conducts iconic orchestral favorites "Romeo and Juliet" and the "Polovtsian Dances." Sadikov, from Uzbekistan, is the father of HSO music director Shah Sadikov and an internationally known conductor.

Piano soloist Tatiana Tessman also joins the symphony for a performance of Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini." Tessman, artist in residence and director of keyboard studies at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, was born in Russia.

HSO members perform as part of the Cottonwood Festival on Saturday, March 11, continuing to feature Tchaikovsky in beloved chamber music works such as "Souvenir de Florence" and his "Serenade for Strings."

Saturday, April 1, the Hays Symphony will present a very special event with Stravinsky's "Soldier's Tale," in which music and drama are married in a Faustian tale of a deserting soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for unlimited wealth. Guest actor Mark Robbins (KC Actors Theater) narrates, with FHSU theatre students portraying the story's characters.

The HSO season concludes on Saturday, May 6, with the President's Concert, in which the orchestra will perform Stravinsky's notoriously difficult "Rite of Spring." The work, infused with raw vitality and primitive power of radical modernism, caused near riots at its Paris premiere in 1913.

Concert tickets, available at the box office 30 minutes before each performance, are $15 for adults. Tickets are free for all children and students. For a concert brochure listing all season details, contact the Hays Symphony at hayssymphony@fhsu.edu.

For more information contact Shah Sadikov, 785-628-4533, or Drabkin at 785-623-4187.

The full schedule is at www.fhsu.edu/music-and-theatre/ensembles/symphony/.

Cutline: Shokhrukh "Shah" Sadikov, assistant professor of music and theatre

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