Toledo Symphony Season Opener Next Weekend -- Romantic All-Rachmaninoff Program Brings Acclaimed International Pianist to Toledo

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On September 20 & 21 at the Peristyle, the Toledo Symphony opens its 70th Anniversary Season with a dazzling All-Rachmaninoff program. Stefan Sanderling, guest pianist Philippe Bianconi, and the symphony will bring to life the composer's "impossible" Piano Concerto No. 3, made famous by the film Shine.

Pianist Philippe Bianconi

Philippe Bianconi

[Bianconi is] always close to the soul of the music, filling the space with poetry and life.

The Toledo Symphony begins its new season of classics at the Peristyle on Friday and Saturday September 20 & 21. An All-Rachmaninoff program will feature acclaimed international soloist Philippe Bianconi performing the composer's devilishly difficult Third Concerto.

The first part of the program includes Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, a showpiece for the many virtuosic players of the Toledo Symphony.

Tickets start at $22, and can be purchased at or by calling 419-246-8000.

This concert is held in honor of Frederic and Mary Wolfe. Concerts start at 8pm, and full concert series subscriptions are still available.

Philippe Bianconi

Since winning at the Van Cliburn International Competition in the 1980s, Philippe Bianconi has been leading an international career, pursuing his musical itinerary and patiently carving out his path far from the media hype.

French pianist Bianconi has been described as an artist whose playing is “always close to the soul of the music, filling the space with poetry and life” (Washington Post), “an extraordinary exhibition of musicianship, technical control and good taste which lent the music a freshness, immediacy and conviction one all too seldom encounters” (The London Times). After winning the Silver Medal in the Seventh Van Cliburn International Competition, Bianconi made an acclaimed recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1987 and, since then, has enthralled audiences and critics throughout the world.

Bianconi has appeared with North America’s finest orchestras, including those of Cleveland, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Saint-Louis, Atlanta, Dallas, Minnesota, Buffalo, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, and at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony under James Conlon. He has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Kurt Masur, David Zinman, JoAnn Falletta, Marek Janowski, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Edo de Waart, and Yoav Talmi.

In Europe, Bianconi has appeared with many orchestras, including his special performance of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto with James Conlon and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris in the sold out Paris Garnier Opera House, and with the Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Berlin Radio Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchester der Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, and Strasbourg Philharmonic. He has concertized a number of times in Australia, performing with the Melbourne Symphony, West Australian Symphony in Perth, and returns to Australia in 2012 in collaboration with the Sydney Symphony.
An active and acclaimed recital artist, Philippe Bianconi has appeared at New York’s Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Wigmore Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as in Hamburg, Milan, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney. His recent recital in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris was a huge success with the critics acclaiming him ‘the premiere pianist of France’.

Bianconi has recorded the complete solo works of Ravel, and solo albums of Schumann and Schubert on the Lyrinx label. His new album of Debussy piano music was recently released on Lyrinx. His other recordings include the Brahms Violin Sonatas with Tedi Papavrami on Aeon label, works of Shostakovitch and Prokofiev with cellist Gary Hoffman on Le Chant du Monde label, and the three Schubert lieder cycles with Hermann Prey on Denon.

Bianconi attended the Conservatory in Nice where he studied with Simone Delbert-Fevrier. In Paris he studied with Gaby Casadesus and in Freiburg-in-Breisgau with Vitalij Margulis. He was the first prize winner of both the Casadesus International Competition in Cleveland and the “Jeunesse Musicales” International Competition in Belgrade, as well as the Silver Medal of the Seventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth.

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Ashley Mirakian
Toledo Symphony
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