Often described as the composer’s masterpiece, the Symphonic Variations by César Franck is a dramatic improvisational-like work of thematic metamorphosis for solo piano and orchestra. Dedicated and first performed by his son on his nineteenth birthday, Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is a joyful work filled with youthful vitality and the romance of the prior century. The idea of fate, “a fatal force that prevents our strivings for happiness from succeeding,” continues to haunt Tchaikovsky in his dark and brooding Symphony No. 5.

Kristian Alexander | music director Sheng Cai | pianist Michael Berec | host