Katie Coakley
Daily Correspondent

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March 1, 2014
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Haifa Symphony on stage at the Vilar in Beaver Creek

BEAVER CREEK — For more than 60 years, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra has been the most significant musical institute in the north of Israel. More than just a performing group, the orchestra promotes Israeli culture throughout the country and the world. Featuring Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich and led by principal guest conductor Boguslaw Dawidow, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra will fill the Vilar Performing Arts Center with the sounds of Tchaikovsky, Weber and Dvorak on Thursday.

Life of music

Making its Colorado debut as part of a 26-city United States debut tour, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra’s tour features Roman Rabinovich, a talented young pianist whose developed and confident playing belies his chronological age, during the Tchaikovsky Piano concerto.

Rabinovich was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and grew up in a musical home — the son of two piano teachers.

“I loved listening to recordings from an early age,” he said. “It was very natural for me to start playing at around age 5. One thing led to another and by age 9, I started to perform.”

Rabinovich and his family immigrated to Israel in 1994 and he made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic at age 10. Since then, Rabinovich has been heard venues such as Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, the Metropolitan Museum, Salle Cortot in Paris and the Moscow Conservatory. He was the winner of the gold medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. Most recently, in early 2013, Orchid Classics released Mr. Rabinovich’s debut recording, “Ballets Russes.”

Known for the impeccable clarity of his execution and the vivacity and virtuosity of his performances, Rabinovich is also lauded for a mature and self-assured style that is rarely found in a performer of his age. As with the Minetti Quartett, the group of young chamber musicians that presented at the Vilar Performing Arts Center a few weeks ago, Rabinovich is dedicated to a style and age of music that is often associated with performers of an earlier generation.

“It takes a lot of discipline and at times sacrifice to devote your life to music, so one really must love it; it is this love for music that propels the development of young musicians,” Rabinovich said. “I think it is fascinating for a young person to immerse oneself into something that is bigger than all of us: music. To learn about the worlds that the great composers have created, the sound worlds of Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc., enriches us as human beings and it fills our lives with meaning.”

Classic concertos

The Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel was founded in 1950 and, in recent years, it has become the focal point of musical life in Haifa and the north of Israel. Rabinovich will be performing with the orchestra for the duration of its North American tour.

“On this tour, I’m playing 28 concerts with them, with four different concertos. This is not easy, but it is also an advantage that doesn’t exist in usual circumstances, when a soloist comes for just a weekend, for two concerts and that’s it,” Rabinovich said. “At this point the orchestra and I have gotten to know each other very well so we can delve deeper into the music and find new details every time we perform.”

In addition to the Tchaikovsky Piano concerto, the evening’s program will include Weber’s Overture to the opera “Euryanthe” and the popular Dvorak work “Symphony No. 9” (“From the New World”). It’s a program that Rabinovich is excited to share with the audience in Beaver Creek.

“We are playing one of the most beloved and popular piano concertos, Tchaikovsky’s first concerto,” said Rabinovich. “It is an absolutely gorgeous piece with sweeping melodies, extremely virtuosic and inventive piano writing and wonderful colors in the orchestration. What can be better than this?”

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The VailDaily Updated Mar 2, 2014 03:51PM Published Mar 1, 2014 12:33PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.