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Romantic April program features Chopin’s Concerto No. 1, music from French opera and ballet

April 14, 2017

Next week, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will continue its Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Series with “Golka Plays Chopin,” led by Music Director Aram Demirjian. The concert full of romantic music, including a renowned piano concerto, will take place on Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre and is sponsored by John H. Daniel Co. Tickets start at just $15 and are available at

Demirjian leads the KSO in a program of romance and beauty with French composer Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, the first of his two published piano concertos which he composed at age 20. Polish-American pianist Adam Golka will join the Knoxville Symphony to open this program on the piano. The second half of the program features two well-known French composers, Georges Bizet and Maurice Ravel, and one lesser-known Argentinian-American composer, Osvaldo Golijov. The KSO will perform “Overture & Romance” from Bizet’s 1863 opera, The Pearl Fishers; followed by a more contemporary response to Bizet with Osvaldo Golijov’s “Night of the Flying Horses.” The program concludes with Ravel’s “Daphnis & Chloe Suite No. 2” from the 1912 ballet.

Aram Demirjian KSO Music Director

KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian

Demirjian said, “The KSO’s April Masterworks concert is about one thing: romance. Chopin, in throes of regret after a failed relationship, described the second movement of his Piano Concerto as ‘a Romance, calm and melancholy … looking gently towards a spot which calls to mind a thousand happy memories.’

“Two stories of star-crossed love are awakened by contrasting but related pieces by French composer Bizet (I Hear a Dream) and (Night of the Flying Horses). And finally, the naive, youthful love of the mythological Daphnis and Chloe is brought to life in Ravel’s effervescent style, featuring one of the most electrifying finales in all of symphonic music.”

Patrons can attend pre-concert chats at 6:30 p.m. in the concert hall before each performance. Guest performers will offer their personal perspective, and audience members will have a chance for Q&A with the artists. This is a unique get-to-know-you opportunity.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 865-291-3310 or visiting our website. Single tickets range from $15-$85. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 865-521-2337.

Demirjian was appointed as the KSO’s eighth music director in June 2016 and has been welcomed by East Tennessee audiences with fervor. Originally from Boston, he joins the KSO family after a four-year tenure as associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. Demirjian was one of only two conductors in the inaugural class of the distinguished Orchestral Conducting program at New England Conservatory, where he earned his Master of Music. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in music and government from Harvard University, where his conducting journey began with a two-year appointment as music director of the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. Demirjian’s goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, background, or circumstance, has access to great symphonic music.

ADAM GOLKA pianist

Adam Golka

Golka has been regularly on the concert stage since the age of 16, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. Golka has appeared as a soloist with dozens of orchestras and recently was selected by Sir András Schiff to perform recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, Tonhalle Zürich, as well as in Berlin and New York.

He also has premiered solo works written for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown and Jarosław Gołembiowski. His début disc, featuring the first sonata of Brahms and the Hammerklavier Sonata of Beethoven, was released in 2014 on First Hand Records.

For most of his teenage years and as a young adult, he studied with the late José Feghali, whom he considers his most significant influence. He also spent four years at the Peabody Conservatory studying with Leon Fleisher. Golka acts as Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Established in 1935, and now under the leadership of Music Director Aram Demirjian, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs more than 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.