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“Variation Voyage”
Show guest artist bio
  • where: Dell Hall directions
  • conductor: Peter Bay

The Austin Symphony (ASO) begins 2019 with legendary pianist, Leon Fleisher, and a musical trip of symphonic variations from around the world. Opening the program is Variations on “America” by Charles Ives and orchestrated by William Schuman. At 90 years young, Fleisher joins the Symphony for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12, which ends the first half and showcases Fleisher’s unwavering talent that began at the tender age of four. Starting the second half is Antonin Dvořák’s Symphonic Variations, a piece that plays with tempo, meter and harmony. Closing the program and melodic journey is the popular Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell by Benjamin Britten, more commonly known as “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.”

The Washington Post raves, “Fleisher turned in an absolutely spellbinding performance that built steadily, with a kind of distilled, august power, to a breathtaking climax…his musicianship–is nothing short of Olympian.” As a pianist and conductor, Fleisher continues to have a successful career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist and master class mentor. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, focal dystonia, which struck him at the height of success at 36 and rendered two fingers on his right hand immobile, didn’t keep him from striving to continue teaching and performing. Now with the use of both hands since the mid-‘90s, his ability to wow audiences seems to never fail.

A Steinway Spirio will be set-up in the hall for audience members to see and hear in addition to instruments provided by Violins, Etc. Another pre-performance offering is our well-attended “Concert Conversations” from 7:10 p.m.–7:30 p.m. with Bob Buckalew. Buckalew discusses the evening’s program in great detail. Attendees will leave this free pre-concert lecture feeling informed about the evening’s program.

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All artists, programs & dates subject to change

Program
Charles Ives Variations on "America"
Antonín Dvořák Symphonic Variations
César Franck Symphonic Variations, FWV 46
Benjamin Britten Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell, Op. 34