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With Brevard Philharmonic Sunday: Award Winning Ukranian Violinist To Perform – Brevard, NC – The Transylvania Times

With Brevard Philharmonic Sunday: Award Winning Ukranian Violinist To Perform – Brevard, NC


Courtesy Photo

Aleksey Semenenko

Two spectacular internationally celebrated musicians will open the 41st season with the Brevard Philharmonic this Sunday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. in the Porter Center at Brevard College. The program: Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.

Cornelia Laemmli Orth is the first guest conductor in this, the orchestra’s “Artistic Director Search Season.” The afternoon’s guest soloist will be violinist, Aleksey Semenenko, whose artistry and intensity have won him gold medals all over Europe and earned him triumphant reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Semenenko’s demanding performance schedule takes him all over the world. When the Philharmonic caught up with him via telephone this week, he was on a sentimental journey, at home in Ukraine, where he was one of the performers at the Golden Violins of Odessa Festival.

“It’s a homecoming experience where I see and perform with so many of the friends and teachers from my childhood,” he said.

Born in 1988 he began his study of the violin at age 6.

“My father brought me to this instrument,” he said. “He was a clarinetist in the Odessa Philharmonic. He would bring me to every performance and even to rehearsals where I would sit close to him. My grandfather also played the clarinet.”

The obvious question would be, “Why then did they not recommend you take up the clarinet?”

Aleksey laughed as he answered, “They both told me, ‘Why would we want another homeless person in the family?'”

The violin proved to be the best possible choice for Semenenko, who was singled out early on and chosen to play as his school’s representative at the Golden Violins Festival at the age of 7. A year later he made his debut with the Odessa Philharmonic.

When Aleksey was 14, his father became ill.

“That was the breakpoint for me,” Aleksey said. “My father’s death was the moment I got the desire to take the violin seriously.”

From there, in 2012, he won the young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. In 2015, he was the winner of the International Boris Goldstein Violin Contest in Bern, Switzerland, and he made his debut with the Moscow Philharmonic soon after that.

Sememenko plays a 1699 Stradivarius which he was awarded after winning an audition in Hamburg, Germany.

“The rules say one can only keep this incredible instrument until the age of 30. I have only one more year with it,” he said.

The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Aleksey will play with the Brevard Philharmonic on Sunday afternoon is one of his favorite pieces.

“The music of Tchaikovsky goes straight to your heart,” he said. “I especially love playing this composer for Americans who are so open with their feelings.”

The New York Times praises his, “Powerful technique, rich tone and his romantic intensity.”

Strings Magazine raves about his, “… genuinely masterful performance, pulling the audience in from the beginning.”

The concert is sponsored by Renee Bresler and Wayne Steifle.

After each performance this season there will be a ticketed, post concert gala reception.

This occasion is designed as an opportunity for concertgoers to meet the conductor candidates in an up close and personal setting in the Porter Center‘s Scott Commons. Entrance to these receptions requires a $20 donation, limited to 100 music lovers.

Another bonus this season is the opportunity to buy a raffle ticket for an oil painting by local Brevard artist Barbara Hawk. Raffle tickets are $30 each to benefit the Philharmonic’s Music in the Schools Program and its other outreach work. The painting will be on display at every concert and at the Philharmonic’s new office. The winner will be announced at intermission at the last concert on April 8, 2018. You need not be present to win.

The Brevard Philh-armonic is a nonprofit organization comprised of local and regional musicians, presenting five concerts annually at Brevard College‘s Porter Center for the Performing Arts. Its mission is to foster in the community and in the schools an appreciation for classical music and the performing arts.

Tickets are on sale now and will be available at $25 to $35 per concert. Season ticket packages are on sale now for three, four and all five concerts.

Call (828) 884-4221 for details, stop in at our brand new office across from Brevard College at 521 N. Broad St., or use the Pick Your Seat option at brevardphilharmonic.org.

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