Violin virtuoso set for Gardnerville performance
RENO — TOCCATA-Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presents celebrated American violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn performing one of the 10 greatest violin concertos of all time. And more than 100 singers and instrumentalists bring you Mendelssohn’s spectacular “Elijah.” Choose from performances in Incline, South Lake, Gardnerville, and Reno, from Feb. 9 to 17.
Pitcairn has a well-deserved reputation as one of America’s most beloved soloists. She made her New York debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 2000 with the New York String Orchestra, and has since performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in nearly every European country, as well as China and Hong Kong.
She performs with one of the world’s most legendary instruments, the “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius of 1720, said to have inspired the Academy award-winning film, “The Red Violin.” Passionate about youth and education, the artist serves as president and artistic director of the Luzerne Music Center, which provides training for gifted young musicians ages 9 to 18 in upstate New York.
A brilliant violinist himself, Wieniawski’s “Violin Concerto #2” is filled with beautiful, singing melodies, flashy embellishments, and virtuoso bowing techniques. The last movement in particular, “in the gypsy style,” shows off some fancy, difficult bowing. Pitcairn is as expert at these techniques (remember her Sarasate encores at previous TOCCATA concerts?) as she is at bringing all the beauty and passion of the music to every audience member.
“Elijah” is the crowning glory of Mendelssohn’s illustrious career. The spectacular plot lends itself to high drama and evocative scenes, but Mendelssohn also gives us gorgeous, soaring music. Expect angels singing from on high, and depictions of the storm, earthquake, lightning and fierce wind that precede the “still small voice” of God. And, spoiler alert, Elijah ascends to heaven in a fiery chariot.
Tickets are $30 for adults ($40 preferred seating); $25 for seniors; free for youth under 23 ($15 preferred seating). Donations of any size are always appreciated: ticket sales don’t cover expenses.
The concert will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane. Other performances will Saturday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m., Incline Village – Cornerstone Church, 300 Country Club Drive; Sunday, Feb. 10, 4 p.m., South Lake Tahoe/Stateline – Montbleu Theater, 55 Highway 50; Sunday, Feb. 17, 4 p.m., Reno – St. Rose of Lima Church, 100 Bishop Manogue Drive