Famous Russian conductor to thrill Chilean audiences

Artistic director of Chile’s Symphony Orchestra Leonid Grin to conduct Russian inspired performances over three weekends.

Russia’s favorite conductor, Leonid Grin, is set to thrill audiences by spearheading a series of exciting concerts performed by Chile’s acclaimed Symphony Orchestra at Santiago’s Teatro Universidad de Chile.

Grin — appointed as the orchestra’s artistic director October — has conducted a number of highly successful symphony and opera performances including acclaimed recitals of the Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich symphonies, broadcast live all over Europe.

“Grin is undoubtedly one of the great masters currently active on the world stage,” said Ernesto Ottone, director of the Centro de Extensión Artística y Cultural de la Universidad de Chile (CEAC).

Each of the three upcoming concerts will pay homage to Russian composers, namely Sergei Prokofiev and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The first performance is scheduled to take place March 14 and 15. Franz von Suppe’s “Light Cavalry Overture” — described as bright, melodious music — will be followed by Prokofiev’s “Piano Concerto Number Two”. Prokofiev, who died in 1953 in his native Russia, mastered many musical genres and is considered one of the major composers of the 20th century.

Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony Number Five” will close the opening show.

March 21 and 22 will witness performances of the second concert with Chile’s polished Symphony Orchestra playing renditions of Antonín Leopold Dvořák’s “Fifth Symphony.”

Chilean violinist Roberto Díaz — president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music — is set to thrill audiences one week later March 29 and 30, with Alfred Schnittke’s “Viola Concerto” among other pieces. Díaz has collaborated with the leading conductors of our time and has carved out an avid following in the United States — he is very much in demand, and this will be his first time back in Chile after many years abroad.

“I am excited to play with Mr. Grin, whom I have met in Philadelphia on several occasions,”  Díaz told This Is Chile. “I have heard many times what a great musician and what a great conductor he is. I’m looking forward to playing the Schnittke in Chile, where I am happy to be back after several years of absence.”

2014 promises to be a special year for Chile’s opera and orchestral calendar. Oscar nominated Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín will be directing the 1921 Russian opera Káťa Kabanová, originally written by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček — at Santiago’s Teatro Municipal. The opera’s first showing is scheduled for May 4.

Káťa Kabanová, a three-act opera, is the story of a tormented woman who finds love outside her marriage, set in Russia in the 1860s. Russian Konstantin Chudovsky, chief conductor of Santiago’s Philharmonic Orchestra, will lead the musical performance.

Chile’s Philharmonic Orchestra is also under new leadership having appointed another Russian, Konstantin Chudovsky, as director towards the end of 2013.

Tickets for the performances headed by Grin are available to the general public for 6,000 pesos (US$12) and students from 2,000 pesos (US$4) from Teatro Universidad de Chile’s box office in Plaza Italia (nearest Metro: Baquedano) and via www.daleticket.cl.

The public can also buy tickets for Larraín’s Káťa Kabanová from Teatro Municipal’s box office, located at Agustinas 794, or Parque Arauco and through telephone sales (800 471 000 or 463 8888).