Russian Chamber Art Society to Present “Tchaikovsky is Forever”

“Tchaikovsky is Forever,” the 2014 holiday concert of Washington’s Russian ChamberArt Society, will take place Friday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court NW. 

A festive prelude to the 175th anniversary year of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), the beloved composer of perennial favorites such as “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” and the “1812 Overture,” the Dec. 5 concert will showcase his less familiar butexquisite works for voice.

The program includes arias from the operas “The Queen of Spades,” “The Enchantress,” “The Maiden of Orleans,” and “Eugene Oneigin” and art songs from several periods of Tchaikovsky’s career, all sung in the original Russian. The singers are soprano Natalia Conte, mezzo-soprano Susana Poretsky, and tenor Viktor Antipenko.

“One of his favorite musical forms, for which he was justly admired, was the Russian art song, or romance, in which he could speak to the intimate personal experiences common to all walks of life,” said pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern, founder and artistic director of the Russian Chamber Art Society. Uniquely dedicated to the performance of Russian vocal works, the nonprofit RCAS has been presenting Washington-area concerts since 2005. 

A graduate of Moscow’s Gnessin Institute of Music who was a faculty artist there andat the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Danchenko-Stern has taught singing in Russian at Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory for more than 20 years.

Along with Conte (a former student), Poretsky, and Antipenko, Danchenko-Stern will be joined on Dec. 5 by two of her distinguished Peabody faculty colleagues: her brother, violinist Victor Danchenko, and pianist Alexander Shtarkman.

Danchenko will play “Méditation and Valse-Scherzo” and Shtarkman will play the last three movements of “The Seasons”: “October: Autumn Song,” “November: Troika,” and, appropriately, “December: Christmas.”

Tickets for “Tchaikovsky is Forever,” which include dessert and a wine reception, are $50. To purchase tickets, visit thercas.com.

The remaining concerts in the RCAS season (same location, time, and ticket price) are: “Ballades, Fantasies, and Satires,” on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, and “From Moscow toHollywood: Music from the Movies,” on Friday, April 17, 2015.For more information about the Russian Chamber Art Society, visit thercas.com.

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