Missoula Symphony Orchestra Opens Season with “Nordic Lights,” Tchaikovsky and Internationally Renowned Pianist
(Missoula, Montana) – The Missoula Symphony Orchestra opens the season with a concert of Nordic composers and a big, dramatic program. Along with guest pianist, Martina Filjak, MSO performs “Nordic Lights” on Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 29 at 3 p.m., in the Dennison Theatre on the UM campus.
According to Music Director Darko Butorac, the program selection for the first concert of the season was a natural choice. “When we found out Martina was coming, the program came together easily,” he says. “Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto is one of the most popular piano concertos known to man, and to play it you have to have amazing talent. We certainly have that in Martina!” Croatian pianist Martina Filjak is the winner of one of the most prestigious competitions, the Cleveland International Piano Competition, and is more likely to be found in a concert hall in Vienna than Missoula. “Martina’s a huge lover of nature, so we wooed her with Missoula’s natural charm.”
Filjak’s connection to and love of nature also helped shape the rest of the program, according to Butorac. Nordic composer Jean Sibelius was known to look for inspiration in the landscape of his native Finland, not dissimilar to that of Montana. “Sibelius’s muse was the mountains, the lakes, the forests, the nature of his northern land. I like to think he would have been equally inspired by what we see outside our windows every day,” he says. The orchestra will perform Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, which Butorac describes as one of the most popular and melodically inspired symphonies ever written. “Sibelius is mysterious, spiritual, introspective—it’s a great contrast to Tchaikovsky’s in-your-face concerto.”
“Nordic Lights” marks the beginning of the Missoula Symphony’s concert season, running September through April. Butorac says that concertgoers can anticipate a great variety of music this season, including Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and Wagner’s Ring Symphony. In recent years, the season offerings have grown beyond the traditional five concert pairs to include a boisterous Family Concert, the free Symphony in the Park, a monthly Downbeat Downlow podcast, and pre-concert chats. The pre-concert chats are held next door to the Dennison Theatre in the Gallagher Business Building one hour before show time. There are still season tickets available, which include the always sold-out Holiday Pops concert.
Tickets for “Nordic Lights” and season tickets are available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street.
Press Release: September 17, 2013
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193