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Russian pianist makes his debut with Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Jan. 18, 2010. SPRINGFIELD -- Russian and European influences will be evident on the stage of Symphony Hall Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. when the Springfield Symphony Orchestra hosts its first concert of 2010. The musical menu includes compositions by Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Donizetti. Upon his return from France this month after directing "The Nutcracker" for the Paris Opera for the holidays, Springfield Symphony Orchestra music director Maestro Kevin Rhodes is looking forward to welcoming young piano soloist Alexander Ghindin, who is flying in from Moscow. Ghindin has rapidly established himself as a seasoned artist and a major force on the international piano scene said Rhodes. In 1994, at age 17, he became the youngest winner ever of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition. Ghindin later won kudos at Brussels' Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 2007, he won the First Prize of the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Ghindin is a graduate of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and has been a soloist with the London and Munich philharmonic orchestras, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra. He will perform Sergey Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto No. 1." Then audience will also be treated to Brahms' "Symphony No. 2" -- a pastoral and cheerful composition. Audiences will also hear the raw and emotional music of composer Gaetano Donizetti as Rhodes leads the orchestra in "Roberto Devereau Overture." An informal half-hour discussion about the evening's concert, "Classical Conversations," will take place at 7 p.m. with Rhodes. The audience is invited to meet Rhodes, Ghindin and the musicians following the concert in the Mahogany Room. Audiences can preview the concert by logging on to www.SpringfieldSymphony.org and clicking on "Program Notes" to read about and hear a podcast of Rhodes' talk about the performance. MassMutual Financial Group is the official season sponsor. The concert is sponsored by the Wood Family Foundation. The media sponsor is the Valley Advocate. Tickets are on sale at the Springfield Symphony Box Office, 1350 Main St., downtown Springfield, or can by charged (VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover) by calling 733-2291 or visiting www.SpringfieldSymphony.org. Tickets range from $10 to $57 with secure free parking. Tickets for youths ages four to 17 are half price. A discount of 25 percent is available for groups of 10 or more. Springfield Symphony Orchestra performances are made possible through the generosity of donors, concertgoers, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.