MUKILTEO — Hear the great Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, live and for free.
In fact, Mukilteo Community Orchestra’s season opener — 2 p.m. Sunday at Rosehill Community Center — is all about Johannes Brahms.
Directed by Trevor Lutzenhiser, the concert’s guest artist is pianist Dainius Vaicekonis, who will perform the concerto.
The program also features Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Haydn” and his “Academic Festival Overture.” Lutzenhiser plans to talk about the all-Brahms concert at 1:20 p.m., so arrive early.
The 19th century German composer of the Romantic period wrote music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, voice and chorus. Brahms was an accomplished pianist and often premiered his own works in concert, including his Piano Concerto No. 1. He was 25 when he wrote the piece.
Vaicekonis, the soloist, was educated in Lithuania and at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria, then earned a graduate degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and his doctorate from the University of Washington. He teaches piano at Seattle Pacific University and has since 2014.
Vaicekonis has been a soloist with the Lithuanian National Symphony and locally with symphonies at the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, as well as in Bremerton, Port Angeles and Mount Vernon. He is a winner of the Francis Walton Award Tour Competition and the University of Washington Concerto Competition and received recognition as a winner in the International Franz Schubert Piano Competition in Dortmund, Germany.
Vaicekonis also has performed at Benaroya’s Nordstrom Recital Hall, Meany Hall, on “Live by George” at KING-FM, “The Beat” at KUOW public radio, at Bumbershoot, the UW Summer Arts Festival and is a frequent performer in SPU’s faculty concert series. In addition, he performs extensively with his wife, Asta, as a piano duo.
“We are delighted and honored to feature Dr. Vaicekonis as our soloist for our first concert of this season,” said Lutzenhiser in a press release. “The Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor is notable for its scale and grandeur and presents a thrilling performance opportunity.”
The orchestra will open the concert with “Academic Festival Overture” and “Variations on a Theme by Haydn.”
The overture was composed when Brahms received an honorary doctorate of music from the German University in Breslau in 1880. The piece was recognized for portraying a range of student experiences from parties to academics through a masterful mixture of student songs and popular melodies. Brahms composed the Haydn theme variations in Vienna in 1873, based on his interest in a set of divertimenti for winds known as the Choral St. Antoni, a hymn sung by pilgrims on St. Anthony’s Day.
The 2017-2018 season continues Dec. 17 when the Mukilteo Community Orchestra will again partner with the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association in presenting a Young Artists Concert featuring student winners of the annual SCMTA Concerto Competition. The remaining orchestra concerts will be March 18 and May 20.
Mukilteo Community Orchestra
The Brahams concert is 2 p.m. Nov. 5, Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo. Free, but donations accepted. More at www.mukilteoorchestra.org.