This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.

The North Carolina Symphony’s 2016/17 season has been full of impressive guest soloists and the season finale, Russian Nights, brings one of the best violinists in the world to Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall. Augustin Hadelich is a 2016 Grammy Award winner and has performed with every major orchestra in the United States. Hadelich has been praised by The New York Times as a “brilliant violinist” and a “riveting storyteller” through his musicality, with a “plush, rich-textured sound.”

Hadelich’s ascent to stardom in the classical music world is even more impressive considering the tragic accident that nearly ended his career. When he was 15 years old, a fire in his family’s home in Germany burned his face and parts of his body, including his right arm, which holds the violin bow. After six months of rehabilitation, he was finally ready to pick up his instrument again and immediately knew that – even if it felt somewhat different than it had before the accident and meant that he needed to do some re-learning – he was compelled to continue to play.

Hadelich will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, a work full of heart-on-your-sleeve emotion in characteristic Russian Romantic style. This concerto is one of the staples of the violin repertoire and an audience favorite. Hadelich knows the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto intimately, recorded it recently with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The program opens with Shchedrin’s charming and cheeky Naughty Limericks. With its scampering pace, unexpected pauses, and wink-like cadenzas spotlighting various orchestra members, this lively concerto is a prime example of the Russian satiric sense of humor – and sure to make audiences smile!

Spanning a wide range of Russian music and culture, this program – and the 2016/17 season – concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, which has a fascinating political backstory. Written to appease Stalin with its over-the-top spirit of joy and triumph, much of the Russian public at the time understood the composer’s message to be subversive. To this day, the “true meaning” of the symphony remains wrapped in mystery.

Acting Principal Second Violin Jacqueline Saed Wolborsky is especially looking forward to this program because it will bring back memories of one of her favorite musical moments – performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 with the legendary conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. “It was incredibly poignant because Rostropovich was Shostakovich’s teacher!” she says. “They are performances I will never forget.”

The North Carolina Symphony looks forward to welcoming music lovers to make their own memories with this special season finale.


North Carolina Symphony
Russian Nights

Thursday, May 18 at 8:00 pm (Meet the Artists at 7:00 p,)
Lee Auditorium
Pinecrest High School (Southern Pines)

Friday & Saturday, May 19 & 20 at 8:00 pm (pre-concert talks at 7:00 pm)
Meymandi Concert Hall
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (Raleigh)

North Carolina Symphony
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Grant Llewellyn, conductor

Rodion Shchedrin: Naughty Limericks
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Online: (TicketMaster fees apply)
By phone: 919.733.2750 ($8 processing fee applies)
In-person: NCSymphony State Headquarters
    3700 Glenwood Ave., Suite 130
    Raleigh (No processing fee)

About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina’s cultural life. Its 175 concerts and events annually are greeted with enthusiasm by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties – in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony’s 66 full-time professional musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.

NCS’s state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony’s service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Collaborating with performers that range from classical artists, to banjo players, to jazz bands, NCS brings some of the world’s greatest talents to North Carolina.

Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads the most extensive education program of any U.S. orchestra. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra Education Concerts experienced by more than 55,000 4th and 5th graders each year. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.

NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has presented 47 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In March 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras – an honor that recognized the Symphony’s innovative community partnerships and creative programming that inspires increased interest in new music.

The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.