By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
On Saturday, Oct. 11, the Heartland Symphony Orchestra will be offering listeners the opportunity to hear premier Russian music in Little Falls, some for the first time. The performance will take place at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Also for the first time, the Heartland Symphony Orchestra (HSO) will be collaborating with the St. Francis Music Center for the fall concert, at the Little Falls location only.
“Some of HSO’s musicians (current and past music teachers) will be coaching strings at St. Francis in preparation for the concert,” said Conductor Dr. Sergey Bogza.
The evening with the two orchestras came about when Bogza met Robyn Gray.
“I have wanted to do more with St. Francis,” he said. “I was hoping we could benefit each other both musically and audience-wise.”
Bobbi French, the conductor of the St. Francis Orchestra, is also the principal second violinist with the HSO.
The Oct. 11 performance will feature “Procession of the Nobles” by Rimsky-Korsakov; “In the Steppes of Central Asia” by Borodin; scenes from “Swan Lake” and a plonaise from “Eugene Onegin,” both by Tchaikovsky; “Eight Russian Songs” by Liadov; and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2.”
“This is a festive, yet touching performance,” he said.
Bogza said in the past year, the HSO has seen major growth, both in membership and artistic excellence.
“It’s exciting to see people rise up and see the potential in what they do. And then watch them achieve that,” said Bogza. “The musicians put forth tremendous energy in their performances.”
Bogza said that many of the musicians agree they were a better orchestra during the spring 2014 concert than in the fall 2013 concert.
Rehearsals begin Sept. 4 for the fall, all-Russian concert. The group will continue to practice up until the April 2015 concert.
“Russian music is closest to my heart,” said Bogza, who moved to the U.S. from Tanagrog, Russia, when just 7 years old.
Bogza said his journey to getting his doctorate in orchestral conducting has been a inspiring.
Bogza said it is similar to the journey Rachmaninoff had before composing his greatest work, “Piano Concerto No. 2.”
“Rachmaninoff was told by critics he was terrible and should never compose music. He sought the help of a psychiatrist who gave him the confidence to continue to composed his greatest music,” said Bogza. “The ‘Second Piano Concerto’ is the most performed concerto of all time and Heartland’s fall concert will have Dr. Joseph Welch, a piano professor at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., returning to perform the difficult piece.”
Bogza said he will be sharing stories of those who helped him along the way.
The HSO always welcomes new members, especially strings.
“Even if you haven’t played for awhile, dust off those instruments and contribute to the musical experience,” said Bogza.
For music lovers in Central Minnesota to hear major works performed is phenomenal, said Bogza, who feels he has a huge responsibility to give quality music.
Those unable to attend the Oct. 11 performance will have another opportunity when it is in Brainerd at the Tornstrom Auditorium Sunday, Oct. 12, at 2:30 p.m.
For more information, contact the HSO at 1 (800) 826-1997. To order tickets, go to www.heartlandsym