MANCHESTER -- The Manchester Music Festival will feature the music of three legendary Russian composers -- Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, Anton Arensky and Sergei Prokofiev -- in a program titled "Russian Meteors" and featuring Prokofiev’s electrifying and emotional "Romeo and Juliet," as part of its "Music Under the Stars" concert Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m., at the Arkell Pavilion of the Southern Vermont Art Center on West Road.
The evening’s featured artists are violinists Stefan Milenkovich and Joana Genova, violists Ariel Rudiakov and Amadi Azikiwe, cellists Ron Feldman and Benjamin Capps and pianists David Deveau and Julio Elizalde.
Prokofiev, who died in 1953, is recognized as one of the 20th Century’s most important composers.
"The power and passion of the score he wrote for the ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of his best-known and most inspired works," Ariel Rudiakov, MMF artistic director, said in supplied material. "It is stunning and haunting and has thrilled audiences around the globe. I look forward to hearing pianist Julio Elizalde perform several selections arranged for solo piano."
The program also features Arensky’s "Trio No. 1 for Piano and Strings in D Minor" and Tchaikovsky’s "Souvenir de Florence in D Minor."
Arensky, who is best known for his chamber music, wrote "Trio No. 1" for piano and strings in 1984 when he was 33 years old. "Tchaikovsky was the greatest influence in his life," Rudiakov said. "This piece was dedicated to the memory of Karl Davidoff, a legendary Russian cellist who was director of the Petersburg music conservatory when Arensky was studying there."
The concert concludes with Tchaikovsky’s "Souvenir de Florence," a romantic, melodic piece written in the summer of 1890 for two violins, two violas and two cellos. "The first movement is in sonata form and presents a rather violent first theme in D minor," Rudiakov said. "The last two movements are distinctly Russian with folk-like melodies and rhythms. The work as a whole is a tour de force, and a fitting way to end the chamber music portion of Thursday series."
Tickets are $35, $10 for students. For tickets and information call 802-362-1956 or visit mmfvt.org.