“Ballades, Fantasies, and Satires” by Russian Composers at Feb. 27 Concert

Washington’s Russian Chamber Art Society will present its third concert of the season, “Ballades, Fantasies, and Satires,” Friday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court NW.  

One of the evening’s highlights will be a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s song cycle “Six Romances on Verses by English Poets,” Op. 62, by bass Grigory Soloviov, an alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. To create the cycle, the composer chose three poems by Robert Burns; one by Sir Walter Raleigh; Shakespeare’s Sonnet 66 (“Tir’d with all these, for restful death I cry”), translated by Boris Pasternak; and the nursery rhyme “The Grand Old Duke of York.” 2015 is the 40th anniversary of Shostakovich’s death.

Uniquely dedicated to the performance of Russian vocal works, the nonprofit RCAS has been presenting Washington-area concerts since 2005. Other composers whose songs will be performed on Feb. 27 – by Soloviov and by soprano Natalia Kraevsky, a St. Petersburg Conservatory graduate – include Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Dargomyzhsky, and Modest Mussorgsky.

Both Kraevsky and Soloviov will be accompanied by pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern, founder and artistic director of the Russian Chamber Art Society. A graduate of Moscow’s Gnessin Institute of Music who was a faculty artist there and at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Danchenko-Stern has taught singing in Russian at Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory for more than 20 years.

One of Danchenko-Stern’s distinguished Peabody faculty colleagues, pianist Alexander Shtarkman, will also be part of “Ballades, Fantasies, and Satires,” performing a selection of miniatures by Sergei Rachmaninoff, including the virtuosic “Polichinelle” in F-sharp minor from his “Morceaux de fantaisie” of 1892.  

Tickets for “Ballades, Fantasies, and Satires,” which include dessert and a wine reception, are $50. To purchase tickets, visit thercas.com.

The final concert in RCAS’s 2014-2015 season (same location, time, and ticket price) is “From Moscow to Hollywood: 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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