This preview provided by North Carolina Symphony.

The North Carolina Symphony, led by guest conductor Karina Canellakis, will perform a two-night Russian Festival that features two different programs of some of classical music’s greatest works at the 2015 Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series on Friday, June 12 and Saturday June 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. Gates open for the concert series at 5:30 p.m. Children 12 and under are free on the lawn.

Friday features violinist Jinjoo Cho performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, plus orchestral performances of Shostakovich’s Festival Overture, Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol. Saturday’s concert features pianist Sean Chen performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with the orchestra also performing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

Currently in her first season as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony, Karina Canellakis is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the most promising and exciting young American conductors. She recently made headlines filling in last minute for Jaap Van Zweden in two subscription concerts with the Dallas Symphony, conducting Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony and Mozart K.449 with soloist Emanuel Ax, receiving rave reviews.

She made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in Zankel Hall, and frequently appears as guest conductor of New York’s groundbreaking International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). This coming season, she makes her debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colorado and Toledo Symphonies, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes. This past summer Ms.Canellakis was one of only two Conducting Fellows at the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center, where she has been featured in a BSO documentary web series entitled “New Tanglewood Tales.”

Ms. Canellakis is a recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. She was the winner of the 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, founded by Marin Alsop. She has also led performances with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center.  She was a selected conductor in the Lucerne Festival Masterclass with Bernard Haitink, and conducted the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, as well as the Tonhalle Orchestra in Switzerland as part of international masterclasses.

As a violinist, Ms. Canellakis has been praised for her “big, lustrous tone…power and expressiveness” (Philadelphia Inquirer). She appears as soloist with orchestras across the United States. For several years she played regularly in both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. She has also been on several occasions guest concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway. An avid chamber musician, she spent many summers at the Marlboro Music Festival. She plays a 1782 Mantegazza violin, generously loaned to her by a private patron.

Ms. Canellakis holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, she won the 2013 Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement in orchestral conducting, as well as the American Conductors Award, Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and Isidore Komanoff Award. Among her most prominent mentors are Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi, and Sir Simon Rattle.

Jinjoo Cho, Gold Medalist of the Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, has established herself as a leading young artist of her generation noted for her vibrant musical personality, warm and engaging tone and sensual phrasing. Praised by the Times Argus of Montreal as possessing “an undeniable charisma and depth…with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine,” Ms. Cho has concertized throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe.  She has collaborated with Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern, James Gaffigan, Robert McDuffie, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Paul Neubauer, Roger Tapping and Anton Nel. Next season, she will give her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut. Born in Seoul, Korea, she moved to Cleveland at the age of 14 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her mentors have included Jaime Laredo, Paul Kantor, Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank.

Pianist Sean Chen is being hailed as a rising star with a “million-volt smile” and a “formidable set of fingers” (Dallas Morning News). In 2013, he won the American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. He also won third prize at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, becoming the first American to reach the finals since 1997. Mr. Chen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Juilliard, where he won the 2010 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, the 2010 Munz Scholarship and first prize at the 2008 Juilliard Concerto Competition. In 2014, he received his Artist Diploma at the Yale School of Music as a George W. Miles Fellowship recipient. In March 2014, International Piano magazine named Mr. Chen “One To Watch.” He is currently under the management of the American Pianists Association.

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of performances in Cary and the orchestra’s 15th season in the stunning lakeside pavilion built by the Town of Cary, a major sponsor of Summerfest. Gates open for the concerts series at 5:30 p.m., except for Independence Day, when they open at 3 p.m. Thanks to sponsor Golden Corral, children 12 and under are admitted free on the lawn, so attending a North Carolina Symphony concert at Booth Amphitheatre is a wonderful summer bargain for families.

The North Carolina Symphony’s popular Rex Healthcare Summerfest concerts bring great music for relaxed listening to Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre through July 9. While concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., concertgoers may bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs as early as 5:30 p.m. to enjoy the striking natural surroundings before the music begins. Some of music’s most exciting offerings — as well as contests and prizes, the MetLife Instrument Zoos for the kids, the Town of Cary’s Fourth of July celebration, with fireworks and so much more — make these evening performances under the stars a special treat for everyone in the family.

Tickets and Subscriptions

General admission lawn seating to “Russian Festival I” and “Russian Festival II” is $28 in advance, $30 at the door. Covered table seating is also available for $31 in advance, $33 at the door. Children 12 and under are admitted free for lawn seating at all Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series concerts.

Flex tickets on the lawn and covered tables are also available for the entire series, on sale through June 8. Beginning at $108, flex tickets allow music lovers the easiest access to the Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series, for savings of up to 40% when compared to single-concert ticket prices. For more on becoming a series subscriber, visit the Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series page at

This year’s series lineup also includes:

  • On Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20, audiences will enjoy two great evenings of music from stage and screen performed by the Symphony, and led by David Glover.

    • Friday night’s program is An Evening of Broadway, with music from Annie, Oliver, Wicked, and more.
    • Saturday night’s concert will be Symphonic Wizardry, featuring the Music of Harry Potter, a musical journey inspired by the world of Harry Potter, with selections from How to Train Your Dragon, Ghostbusters, and others.
  • Back by popular demand on Saturday, June 27, guest conductor Brent Havens, the North Carolina Symphony and a rocking tribute band salute The Music of the Eagles. Hits include “Hotel California,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Witchy Woman,” “Desperado,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “One of These Nights,” and many more.
  • The Symphony’s free “Independence Day” concert with fireworks on July 4. The gates open at 3 p.m., so come early to Booth Amphitheatre and grab the best seats on the lawn for the area’s biggest Fourth of July fireworks display. This concert filled with patriotic favorites will feature David Glover and tenor Scott MacLeod.
  • The Finale of the Rex Healthcare Summerfest 2015 series on Thursday, July 9, will feature a concert presented by the North Carolina Symphony that showcases talents of the Hot Sardines, an electrifying band from Manhattan that is captivating audiences world-wide. (The North Carolina Symphony is presenting, but not performing at this concert.)

Summerfest 2015 is presented by Rex Healthcare.  Co-sponsors are the Town of Cary and First Citizens Bank, Summerfest partners are Golden Corral, MetLife, CaptiveAire, Synergy Spa / Collins & Franklin Plastic Surgery, North State Bank, Deloitte, LORD Corporation, Raleigh Windows & Siding, and Crabtree Valley Mall. Media sponsors are Cary Magazine, FOX 50,, MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM.

Booth Amphitheatre is located at 8003 Regency Parkway in Cary, N.C.

The 10-concert Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series offers music lovers a perfect family outing, and once again, concertgoers who display the biggest and boldest culinary skills can win prizes. The Whole Foods Market of Cary Picnic of the Week contest returns for the sixth year. Throughout the summer, groups of concertgoers selected as the best picnickers of that weekend’s concert will receive a $100 gift basket from Whole Foods Market of Cary. Two honorable mentions in the form of $25 gift cards will also be awarded. Select Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series concerts also feature other pre-concert activities, including MetLife Instrument Zoos for kids of all ages.

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 66 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, and Associate Conductor David Glover.

Based in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington — as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year — and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.

Program Listing:

“Russian Festival I”
Karina Canellakis, conductor
Jinjoo Cho, violin
June 12, 2015

SHOSTAKOVICH Festive Overture, Op. 96

TCHAIKOVSKY Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35
      i. Allegro moderato
     II. Canzonetta: Andante
    III. Finale: Allegro vivacissimo
            Jinjoo Cho, violin

BORODIN “Polovtzian Dances” from Prince Igor
     I. Dance of the Polovtzian Maidens
    II. Polovtzian Dance with Chorus

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Cappriccio espagnol, Opus 34 1887
     I. Alborada
    II. Variazioni
   III. Alborada
  IV. Scena e canto Gitano
   V. Fandango asturiano


“Russian Festival II”
Karina Canellakis, conductor
Sean Chen, piano
June 13, 2015

RACHMANINOFF Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano And Orchestra, Op. 18
     I. Moderato
    II. Adagio sostenuto
   III. Allegro scherzando
            Sean Chen, piano

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade, Opus 35 1888
     I. Largo e maestoso – Allegro non troppo
    II. Lento – Allegro molto
   III. Andantino quasi allegretto
  IV. Allegro molto