March 11, 2018 Concert/Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was always one of my favorites growing up. I took pains to avoid listening to my own repertoire on long drives to and from competitions to maintain my own focus. As this work was not then part of my repertoire, we often ended up listening to the Concerto paired with his Violin Concerto in the car. I can still hum the violin concerto from beginning to end as a result. They are both robust, heroic works and couldn’t we all use a bit of hope and optimism just about now?

Music is a universal language and it’s about the connections between individuals. Yes, Tchaikovsky was waving the (old) Russian flag here in the music — I go into the subject of nationalism in music in more depth in a recent publication on Art and Music for Vantage magazine which just came out – but the sentiments and emotions expressed here are more in the spirit of bringing listeners together — almost like the feeling we got from watching the Winter Olympics which just came to a close recently.

At the performance, I like to think we are given an opportunity to feel a sense of unity by celebrating and enjoying the results of everyone’s efforts and flights of the spirit regardless of where we are from. Music has always been and will hopefully always remain a diverse and multicultural effort. That is part of what makes it so uplifting and worth advocating for — it remains for me one of the crowning achievements of civilized society.

–Tamami Honma, piano soloist


Welcome to the Winchester Orchestra blog

woOrchestraMichaelDiGiacinto2.jpgJoin the Winchester Orchestra for its exciting 2015-2106 season opener on October 23rd,  featuring the works of Sibelius, Gershwin, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, and Ravel.

1924: Year of Musical Revolution.
1924 was a year of tremendous change and upheaval throughout the world, with both Mussolini and Hitler on the rise, Soviet Russia claiming its stake on the world stage, military revolts in Brazil, and rebellion in India to name a few. On the positive side, technology was rapidly reinventing how we lived our lives with the proliferation of commercial airlines, Henry Ford’s Model-T hitting the 10 million car mark, wireless communication becoming part of everyday life, and the founding of IBM.
The change that was in the air around the world was reflected in the arts and set the stage for ground-breaking works such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which fused the jazz and classical idioms, and Honegger’s Pacific 231 which used the orchestra to take audience members on a journey on the railway system that was taking the United States by storm. While other composers were expanding music in terms of increased forces, larger forms, more strident sounds, Sibelius was leading a quiet revolution in his concise but powerful one-movement Symphony No. 7.
Rounding out the program are two stunningly beautiful pavanes (courtly dances that were popular in Renaissance Europe), written by teacher and student, Fauré and Ravel, respectively, and Saint-Saéns’ rollicking ode to All Hallow’s Eve, Danse Macabre.

Hope to see you there! Best wishes,

Michael DiGiacinto, Music Director and Conductor