The Azusa Pacific University Symphony, conducted by Christopher Russell, presents a rare performance of music written by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. This performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 2 “October” is one of the few ever given in the United States and the first in California in the past decade. In addition, the APU Oratorio Choir, directed by John Sutton, will sing the choral finale of the piece.
Written in 1927, Shostakovich's 2nd Symphony is an experimental work and is one of the most adventurous compositions he wrote. Cast in a single movement lasting about 20 minutes, the work ends with a choral finale. It was written for the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution and Shostakovich was provided with a text honoring that event. Shostakovich admitted that he had trouble setting the text with its images of factory chimneys and Lenin but, in the end, composed one of his most original works.
The night’s program will also feature music from Soviet Russia, Prokofiev’s Lt. Kije Suite, and performances by the winners of the APU Concerto Competition. Pianist Tak-Yan Yeung will perform the first movement of Schumann's Piano Concerto and cellist Xian Zhuo will perform the first movement of Dvorak's Cello Concerto. Zhuo was one of two cellists in the United States recently selected to participate in the 14th Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.