Press Release: Passion abounds in Omaha Symphony’s Chopin & Swan Lake


Program includes

  • Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite
  • Chopin’s Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise Brillante
  • Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major

OMAHA, Neb., October 15, 2019- Drama and passion take center stage in the Omaha Symphony’s latest MasterWorks program, Chopin & Swan Lake, Friday and Saturday, October 18 & 19, 7:30 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Led by guest conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl, the program will include Chopin’s Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise, featuring pianist Charlie Albright in his second appearance with the Omaha Symphony. Tchaikovsky’s exquisite ballet suite for Swan Lake opens the program, while Shostakovich’s mischievous, danger-laced Symphony No. 9 will close the concert.

Chopin’s intimate Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise are among the few piano concertos for orchestra that the quintessential piano composer wrote. The Grand Polonaise, written first in 1831, is based on the polonaise, a Polish court dance that Chopin cultivated in his works and requiring a virtuosity and mastery of the keyboard. In 1834, Chopin decided to write a prelude of sorts to the Grand Polonaise, his Andante Spianato. The Spianato can easily stand apart from the Polonaise, but the two were published together in 1836 and are usually performed as a pair.

Almost as popular as Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker Suite is his Swan Lake ballet, the eight-movement suite of which the Omaha Symphony will perform on this program. Much less fanciful than the Christmas favorite, Swan Lake takes audiences through a nuanced journey of love and betrayal: the story of young Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with a beautiful princess named Odette, enchanted to appear as a swan by an evil sorceress. Siegfried thinks he chooses Odette as his bride, only to be deceived by the sorceress as Odette dies of a broken heart. Commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater in 1877, Swan Lake’s rippling harp figures and haunting oboe melody are particularly familiar.

Ankush Kumar Bahl is recognized today as a conductor with impressive technique, thoughtful interpretations, and an engaging podium presence. Bahl has been a frequent cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic under Maestro Jaap van Zweden, having assisted him and other venerable guest conductors both at Lincoln Center and on tour. He a is a protege of former New York Philharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur, and is the former assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Bahl has appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Richmond Symphony, London Symphonia, and Orchestre National de France, among others.

American pianist/composer/improviser Charlie Albright has been praised for his “jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity meshed with a distinctive musicality” by the New York Times. Recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and Gilmore Young Artist Award, Albright is also a sought-after speaker, masterclass instructor, teacher, and competition judge. He regularly appears in major concert halls, festivals, and with artists of all genres worldwide, including Bobby McFerrin, Joshua Bell, and Yo-Yo Ma. Albright’s compositions and improvisations have been likened to the “great Romantic-era composer-pianists” by Classical Source, and he has been called one of the most gifted musicians of his generation.

Tickets to Chopin & Swan Lake start at $19. They can be purchased by visiting or by calling Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606. Student Rush tickets are available one hour prior to the concert. Any student with a valid student ID may purchase up to two Student Rush tickets for $10 each.

The Omaha Symphony MasterWorks series is sponsored by Omaha Steaks.

Artists, dates, time, prices and availability are subject to change.

The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to MasterWorks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movies, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphony’s nationally recognized education and community engagement programs touch the lives of more than 40,000 people each year. For tickets or information regarding the Omaha Symphony, call 402-345-0606 or visit


Media Contact:

Stephanie Ludwig

Public Relations Manager

Office 402.661.8587

Cell 405.350.4071