The landmark 5th Symphony of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich highlights the Winter Concert of the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra (NSPO) on Sunday, February 26, at 3 p.m. at Swampscott High School. The concert program also includes Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto featuring soloist Adrian Jojatu and Tchaikovsky’s lively “Capriccio Italian.”
Tickets will be available at the door for $30.00; seniors and students $25.00; and children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.nspo.org.
NSPO Music Director Robert Lehmann touted the Shostakovich symphony for its “…vigor, passion, melody, and triumphal ending…” and commented on its political significance. “The symphony contains the composer’s ‘secretly overt’ message,” noted Dr. Lehmann. “Shostakovich had earned the ire of the Soviet government, including Joseph Stalin himself, for the composition in 1934 of the opera “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”, which featured a racy plot and daring musical score. Stalin condemned the work and critics scorned Shostakovich.”
Dr. Lehmann explained how, after the opera, Shostakovich faced an impossible practical and ethical dilemma: How could he ingratiate himself back into Soviet artistic life, and survive, and yet remain true to himself and to his artistry and beliefs? The dilemma inspired him to write his Fifth Symphony, which pleased the politburo and which he called “an artist’s reply to just criticism.” Inwardly, the Symphony evokes the despair that Shostakovich shared with many of his countrymen of life under Stalin.
Soloist Adrian Jojatu has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including a stint as Principal Bassoon of the Boston Pops. He is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Bucharest and was the former Assistant Principal Bassoonist of the Radio Chamber Orchestra of Bucharest. He has performed in New England with the Boston Pops, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, Indian Hill Orchestra and the Rhode Island Symphony.
This year marks NSPO’s 75th anniversary year and its 74th concert season (having lost its entire 2020-2021 season to the Covid 19 pandemic). Staffed largely by volunteer players, the NSPO is committed to providing access to quality music at an affordable price to communities north of Boston. The Orchestra strives to develop, train and provide opportunities for young and amateur musicians while providing a large range of programs covering the full range of symphonic and pops repertoire for a diverse public. For full concert information, visit www.nspo.org or contact email@example.com.
The NSPO is committed to the health and safety of all patrons and musicians. While the NSPO will not require Covid vaccination proof or other measures, patrons who are at high risk for infection are encouraged to wear a mask and always maintain “social distancing” inside Swampscott High School