George Li Returns to Perform Rachmaninoff with the Erie Philharmonic
Renowned pianist channels majesty of Russian master
SATURDAY, NOV. 11
The Erie Philharmonic will be taking audiences on a stormy journey of beauty and intensity as famed pianist George Li returns to the Warner Theatre to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Accompanying the famous composition will be Nancy Galbraith's Tormenta Del Sur and Surrand Dvorack's Symphony No. 7, as each piece will build on the other to culminate in performances that showcase musical mastery and touch the soul of every listener.
"Traverse an emotionally-charged landscape by Rachmaninoff with a virtuoso performance by the extraordinary pianist, George Li. George wowed Erie audiences in 2021 with an unforgettable performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto. Now he's back with plenty of notice and is ready to captivate our audience yet again," the Erie Philharmonic describes in a statement. "Li's stunning mastery of the keyboard will be on full display as he interprets the beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, striking each note with precision and feeling."
Li first debuted in 2010 at Boston's Steinway Hall at the age of 10 and performed for President Barack Obama in 2011 at the White House. Four years later, he would win the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition. He has played with orchestras across the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Well-known for his collaborations with the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Li has toured with the orchestra around the world, including performances at the Paris Philharmonie and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2022 with an Artist Diploma, where he completed a dual degree program with a master's in music from the conservatory and a bachelor's in English literature from Harvard.
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini premiered on Nov. 7, 1934, at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore. Rachmaninoff, an accomplished pianist, played alongside the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. The piece is inspired by Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini's Caprices for Solo Violin, with all 24 variations inspired by the final Caprice set in the key of A minor. The 18th variation has been used in movies and television shows, including Groundhog Day, The Walking Dead, and The Good Wife. Rachmaninoff was born in 1873 and studied at the Moscow Conservatory of Music under Russian composer Anton Arensky.
Additionally the Erie Philharmonic will perform Nancy Galbraith's Tormenta Del Sur. Galbraith teaches as the head of composition at Carnegie Mellon University and holds the Vira I. Heinz Professorship in Music endowed chair at the College of Fine Arts. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic premiered her symphonic and chamber works. She has written works for choir, concert band, and solo repertoire for piano and organ. Tormenta del Sur premiered with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Tucuman under the direction of Eduardo Alonso-Crespos on Sept. 24, 1995 in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina. The Philharmonic will also be performing Antonin Dvorak's 7th Symphony, which originally premiered in 1885.
8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. // Warner Theatre, 811 State St. // $17-$61 // Tickets and info: eriephil.org