Alexandria Symphony’s pre-concert event with Rachmaninoff scholars—and his great-granddaughter

Posted on: April 15, 2019

“Based on the long lines of attendees and palpable excitement when the doors opened for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s season finale Saturday night, one might have thought famed composer Sergei Rachmaninoff himself was present for the event that celebrated his life and music,” writes Eileen Abbott in Thursday’s (4/11) Alexandria Times (VA). The concert featured the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with Marianna Prjevalskaya. “Attendees were able to gain a new appreciation for Rachmainoff by being treated to a talk prior to the performance by his great-grandaughter, Natalie Wanamaker Javier, who joined esteemed Rachmaninoff scholar Francis Crociata … and Library of Congress music specialist Kate Rivers on a panel. It was a rare behind-the-scenes look at the enigmatic and fascinating composer and piano virtuoso who died in 1943…. [Music Director James] Ross, who has received praise for infusing energy into and enriching the ASO concert experience, took obvious enjoyment from introducing Javier onstage prior to the concert.” In addition to the Rachmaninoff piano concerto, the orchestra performed Reznicek’s Overture to Donna Diana and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1.

Posted April 15, 2019

In photo: From left to right: Natalie Wanamaker Javier, Rachmaninoff’s great-granddaughter; Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Music Director James Ross; pianist Marianna Prjevalskaya; Rachmaninoff biographer Francis Crociata. (Photo credit: Katya Chilingiri Balaban)