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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 8:47 am | Fair 42º


CAMA Puts Estonia on the Map

The Estonia National Symphony Orchestra makes American debut Thursday at The Granada

Joyce Yang will play Prokofiev with an Estonian orchestra — how’s that for international?
Joyce Yang will play Prokofiev with an Estonian orchestra — how’s that for international? (Oh Seok Hoon photo)

At 8 p.m. Thursday at The Granada, the Community Arts-Music Association (CAMA) will present a concert by the Grammy-winning Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eri Klas, and with the dazzling Korean-born pianist Joyce Yang as guest soloist. This will be the orchestra’s first American tour.

The program is a fairly restricted one, geographically speaking: two works by the favorite son Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt (Summa and Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten), Sergei Prokofiev’s “Concerto No. 3 in C Major for Piano and Orchestra” (Estonia shares its longest border with Russia), and the “Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 43,” by Jean Sibelius (Finland is visible most days from the Estonian coast).

Pärt’s music combines the formal austerity of minimalism with the mysterious and evocative sonorities of the Gregorian chant. (If you like Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”, you will probably like Pärt.) Prokofiev was himself a celebrated piano virtuoso, and his Third Piano Concerto was by far the most popular of the five he wrote. (Joyce Chang played it with the Philadelphia Orchestra when she was 12.) Sibelius’ “Second Symphony” is, in my opinion, his masterpiece: majestic, sweeping, awe-inspiring and perfectly gorgeous.

Tickets to this concert are $30, $40, $55 and $65 and are available from The Granada box office, by phone at 805.899.2222, or in person at 1214 State St.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

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