Press Release: Omaha Symphony’s temperamental Tchaikovsky’s 5thends in a blaze of brass & timpani

Program also includes Tchaikovsky’s Cossack Dancefrom Mazeppa, Dvořák’sViolin Concerto

OMAHA, Neb., May 1, 2019- Beauty, serenity, turbulence, struggle: all words that can describe Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, the title work in the Omaha Symphony’s latest MasterWorks program. The concerts will take place Friday and Saturday, May 10 & 11, at 7:30 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Led by guest conductor Ruth Reinhardt, the program will include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, and will open with the composer’s Cossack Dance from his opera Mazeppa. Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A Minor featuring Alexi Kenney will round out the program. Both conductor and guest violinist are making their Omaha Symphony debuts.

Tchaikovsky’s music always invites comparisons to his life, and his Fifth Symphony is no different: ten years after the completion of his Fourth, he worried that he’d lost his muse and was existentially adrift. The composer’s own feelings of melancholy and hypersensitivity lead many to believe the psychic conflict Tchaikovsky was feeling personally became manifest in his music. The Fifth reflects his uncertainty from the start: a lonely clarinet duo leads the strings in a slow march towards the unknown; things look bleak until the tempo perks up, the same march spreading to the rest of the winds. This is a turbulent ride Tchaikovsky has started - the music grows more powerful and driving, with moments of optimism throughout. The finale ends triumphantly in a blaze of brass and timpani.

Dvořák’s Violin Concerto was composed for virtuoso violinist Joseph Joachim, for whom Brahms had also composed his violin concerto. Joachim helped Dvořák transform the work into a repertoire staple, although the violinist never actually performed it, most likely due to the unconventional lack of orchestral exposition in the first movement, which allows the soloist to take over. The finale evokes the lively village dances of Dvořák’s native Bohemia.

Guest conductor Ruth Reinhardt is quickly establishing herself as one of today’s most dynamic and nuanced young conductors. She served as the assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony for two years under Jaap van Zweden, and recently made her debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Last season, Reinhardt was selected as a Dudamel Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and also served as the assistant conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in 2018. She has guest conducted with the Indianapolis, San Diego, and North Carolina symphonies, and made her debut with the Fort Worth, Orlando, Portland, Santa Fe, and Sarasota symphonies this season.

The recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by the New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” He has performed as a soloist with the Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Jacksonville, Santa Fe, Portland, California, and Amarillo symphonies, and also appears as guest concertmaster of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets to Tchaikovsky’s 5th start at $19. They can be purchased by visiting www.omahasymphony.orgor 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. Anne Thorne Weaver is the orchestra sponsor for Tchaikovsky’s 5th.

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


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