Warsaw Concerto, pops selections this Sunday at TICO

By David Amos

David Amos

David Amos

Oksana Germain

Oksana Germain

SAN DIEGO — On this coming Sunday, July 19th at 3 p.m., the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO) will be performing at the synagogue’s Cohen Social Hall its annual Pops Concert. Below I am describing some of the great and beloved music of this program, but the highlight will be the rarely heard Warsaw Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by the British composer Richard Addinsell.

This concerto was extremely popular with orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, during and after World War II. It was modeled after the rich and romantic sonorities of Rachmaninoff, and it is barely ten minutes long. It also triggered a whole series of short pieces which were labeled “tabloid concertos”. The composer originally wrote the Warsaw Concerto as a film score to a 1941 English film titled Dangerous Moonlight , which is about the Polish struggle against the 1939 invasion by the Nazis. Another notable example of this was the music to Hitchcock’s suspense drama Spellbound. That score, which earned an Oscar to composer Miklos Rosza, emerged later as the “Spellbound Concerto” for two pianos and orchestra.

The soloist for the Tifereth Israel concert this Sunday will be the gifted pianist Oksana Germain. She began her musical studies at the age of five, becoming an accomplished performer while still in her early teens. In 2010 at the age of 15, she was a San Diego Symphony Best and Brightest Young Artist winner. For this, she was a soloist with the SDSO in its 100th year Anniversary Gala that year, performing the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Among her other awards are a People’s Choice Award at John Perry’s Klaviersommer Piano Festival in Germany in 2011, Most Promising in the 2012 La Jolla Symphony Young Artists Competition, three first-place wins in the San Diego VOCE Chamber Music Competitions, two first-place gold medals in the California International Young Artist Competition Music Festival and three Associated arts scholarships.

By 2013, she was serving as the rehearsal accompanist for the Pacific Women’s Chorus in Solana Beach, as well as the rehearsal pianist for the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra, while also studying with Dr. Sarkis Baltaian in Arcadia. She will continue this September as a second year student at the Eastman School of Music.

For the other parts of the program, the TICO orchestra will play two Sousa Marches (including, of course, The Stars and Stripes Forever), Music from the classic epic film The SeaHawk, two Johann Strauss II works, the Emperor Waltz, arguably the best of his waltzes, and the lighthearted Champagne Polka. For a serious, but exciting segment, will be the Alexander Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor, with melodies you will surely recognize, and Broadway blockbuster melodies, Send in the Clowns, and a medley with There’s No Business Like Show Business, The Phantom of the Opera, One, Don’t Rain on my Parade, If he Walked into My Life, and Everything is Coming Up Roses.

Student-conductor and member of TICO, Eric Burke, will conduct Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4.

For more information on this concert, or for the next season mailing list, individual or group tickets, reservations or directions, call the synagogue’s office, (619) 697 6001, or you can buy your tickets online at www.tiferethisrael.com/TICO.

Amos is the conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO) and has guest conducted professional orchestras around the world.  You may comment to him at [email protected]


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