Sumptuous Strings – Le Triomphe De L’amour

Dec. 15, 2006 – Conductor Federico Cortese and the New England String Ensemble propel the holiday spirit into the New Year with a sparkling musical celebration of inspiration and optimism. Joining the Ensemble for this special concert will be solo violist, Michael Zaretsky, an artist of international acclaim and a 30-year member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The Winter Concerts take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, January 6th at the Rogers Center for the Arts in North Andover, and 3:00pm on Sunday, January 7th at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston.

Starting with the upcoming winter concert, audience members are invited to attend a “Conversation with Cortese”, a lively discussion hosted by Conductor Federico Cortese, 45-minutes prior to each concert start. Special guests at the inaugural “Conversation” will be the composer Jakov Jakoulov and solo violist Michael Zaretsky. Leading the discussion with Cortese, Zaretsky and Jaokoulov on Sunday will be Historian Harlow Robinson, Professor of History at Northeastern University, specializing in Soviet/Russian and East European cultural history and the history of music. Mr. Robinson is also a commentator for the Metropolitan Opera and a lecturer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The concert program begins with the music from Lully’s opulent ballet Le Triomphe de l’Amour; a piece radical for it’s time as it was the first appearance of professional female dancers in a public performance. Following the Lully is local composer Jakov Jakoulov’s robust Concerto for Viola featuring Michael Zaretsky.

Originally from the Soviet Union, Michael Zaretsky performed with the Moscow Philharmonic String Quartet and the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra before Leonard Bernstein brought him to Tanglewood in 1974, where he successfully auditioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As well as being a 33-year member of the BSO Mr. Zaretsky regularly makes solo appearances and has performed with the Boston Pops, Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra to name a few. In addition to the traditional viola repertoire he performs regularly, and his four highly acclaimed recordings, Mr. Zaretsky has created and performed an extensive repertoire of new music, some in collaboration with composer Jakov Jakoulov.

Moscow native Jakov Jakoulov began his musical career at age 12. Mr. Jakoulov is an author of numerous ballets, concertos, string quartets, symphonic, chamber, choral works and music for over 20 theatrical, TV and cinema productions. Recently Mr. Jakoulov’s music has been presented in several concerts and festivals such as the “Tuscan Sun” International Music Festival in Cortona, Italy, Boston Symphony Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, “Future Classics” Series with Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Chamber Concerts.

Following intermission members of NESE and loyal audience members will have the opportunity to reminisce about the miraculous inaugural concert in 1994 when neither a torrential downpour nor the gradual lost of power into complete darkness could diminish the orchestra’s spirit or level of performance. For the first time in 13-years, the New England String Ensemble will perform Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtumusik. The program concludes with Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, an emotional work about desire, devotion, beauty and suffering.

Tickets for the 2007 NESE Winter Concert are $45, $35, and $25, Students $10 off and are available on-line at www.newenglandstringensemble.com, or by calling 781-224-1117. Group discounts are available.

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