Pianist Sara Daneshpour Headlines with Rachmaninov’s Masterpiece

Posted Jan 24, 2022 | ASO News, Events, Press Releases, 

Alexandria, VA—Under the direction of Music Director James Ross, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will present Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Sara Daneshpour on Saturday, February 12, 2022 (7:30 p.m.) at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and Sunday, February 13, 2022 (3:00 p.m.) at the George Washington Masonic Memorial.

A native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Daneshpour has garnered awards internationally and received acclaim as a sought-after touring artist. New York Concert Review wrote of her artistry, “She lavished color on oft-neglected line, illuminated subtle beauties, and raged through the storms, always with stunning polish.” Sara Daneshpour joined the Astral Artists roster as a winner of its 2010 National Auditions.

The program, titled Dark Glow, opens with Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ well-known and beloved tone poem Finlandia. Strings take center stage with Beethoven’s Quartet for Strings in C-sharp minor, expanded for orchestra by Maestro Jim Ross. One of his last works composed when he was completely deaf, the piece explores a range of joy and heartbreak. The program also features George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, inspired by his grandmother, who was born into slavery. A trailblazer among composers throughout his life, Walker was the first African American awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996. The program culminates with Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, a set of 24 variations based on Paganini’s theme for violin.

“Even in wintery times of darkness, a power of renewal lurks and glows beneath the surface of this music like fire in an igloo,” says Maestro Ross. “In all of these pieces, the greatest struggle seems also to give birth to some of the most cataclysmically warm melodies ever conceived—tunes that hurtle well beyond the innocence of the pieces that birthed them.”

Audience members, musicians, staff, and volunteers are required to wear a mask while inside the hall and during performances. ASO is also requiring all attendees, musicians, volunteers and staff be fully-vaccinated, including a booster, if applicable. Alexandria Symphony Orchestra is committed to providing a safe concert environment for our patrons, musicians and staff. Schlesinger Concert Hall recently installed a state-of-the-art ventilation system. ASO will communicate with ticket buyers well in advance of each performance to establish what specific safety measures will be required to attend.

Both venues are currently operating at 100%. Seating is very limited at the George Washington Masonic Memorial, so book your tickets early.