Erie Philharmonic Closes Season with Mozart's Requiem
Orchestra to perform poignant piece that transcends time
SATURDAY, MAY 13
The Erie Philharmonic is finishing its 2022-2023 season with a performance of Mozart's Requiem. The piece features the Erie Philharmonic Chorus and is dedicated to the people of Ukraine. Preceding the combined composition will be Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by returning pianist Adam Golka.
"We conclude our season with a touching tribute to the people of the Ukraine, who have struggled now for over a year to maintain their freedom and regain the fragile peace they once knew," a Philharmonic representative describes. "There are few works as poignant as Mozart's Requiem in service to extraordinary times. Written near the end of his short life, the Requiem contains music that pleads for consolation in the face of sorrow. It is a work that is as grandiose and openly dramatic as it is touching and deeply personal."
Soprano Meghan Kassanders, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon, tenor Travon Walker, and bass Christopher Humbert will be featured as guest soloists performing alongside the Philharmonic Chorus under the direction of Thomas Brooks.
Requiem in D-Minor was commissioned in 1791 while Mozart worked on The Magic Flute. It is now known that Count Franz von Walsegg commissioned the piece for the anniversary of his first wife's passing, but the stranger who appeared on the composer's doorstep was sworn to secrecy. He worked tirelessly on the piece for much of the year and grew paranoid that the funeral march had been intended for him, as his health continued to deteriorate. Mozart died on Dec. 5, 1791 at the age of 35. Only the Introitus and Kyrie movements of Requiem had been completed, and Mozart's pupil Franz Xaver Sussmayr completed the piece on the orders of Mozart's widow Constanza.
Mozart's cause of death is unknown, but many theories have involved homicide or disease, including one in which rival composer Antonio Salieri poisoned him. This was most famously portrayed by the 1984 Oscar-winning film Amadeus, which starred Tom Hulce in the lead role.
Tchaikovsky started composing his first piano concerto in 1874, with the premiere taking place on Oct. 25, 1875 in Boston. German pianist Hans von Bulow performed the piece, taking over from Nikolai Rubenstein, a Russian pianist who had criticized Tchaikovsky over the style of the composition. Revisions were made for new printings of the concerto in 1888.
Adam Golka has performed with various orchestras and chamber groups around the globe, including the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Shanghai Philharmonic. He made his professional debut at the China Shanghai International Piano Competition in 2009 and was named the recipient of the Max I. Allen fellowship by the American Pianists Association the same year. Golka studied under Jose Feghali at Texas Christian University and Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. // Warner Theatre, 811 State St. // $12-$56 // For tickets and info: eriephil.org