Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Press Release

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Performs Scheherazade

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performs Scheherazade on November 14-15, 2014.

By - Oct 23rd, 2014 10:03 am

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 10/23/2014 – The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performs Scheherazade on November 14-15, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger, the performances feature Stravinsky’s Suite No. 2 for Small Orchestra, Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Sean Chen, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s iconic Scheherazade.

Both concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion held one hour prior to concert start time in Anello Atrium. Friday’s performance includes a post-concert Talkback Q&A.

Stravinsky’s Suite No. 2 for Small Orchestra was composed in 1914-1917 and orchestrated in 1921. With war sweeping across much of Western Europe in 1914, the Stravinskys decided to settle in Switzerland and stayed there until 1920. It was there that Stravinsky composed the source material for the Suite, a series of simple piano duets designed for young musicians. The Suite No. 2 combines orchestrations of the Three Easy Pieces from 1915 with the fourth movement of the Five Easy Pieces completed in 1917.

Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Opus 22 was composed in 1868. Saint-Saëns was involved in arranging conductor Anton Rubinstein’s Parisian debut, and during the three weeks that they had to wait for a venue, he decided to write a new piano concerto for the performance. Although the premiere was a success, Saint-Saëns felt terrible about the hastily thrown-together performance. Nevertheless, Franz Liszt was impressed by the Concerto, and Saint-Saëns dedicated the Concerto to “The Memory of Franz Liszt” when it was finally published.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade was composed and premiered in 1888. Rimsky-Korsakov travelled the world while in the College of Naval Cadets, and the influence of his journey is deeply felt in his compositional output, including Scheherazade. About the work, Rimsky-Korsakov wrote: “The program I had been guided by in composing Scheherazade consisted of separate, unconnected episodes and pictures from The Arabian Nights, scattered through all four movements of my suite: the sea and Sinbad’s ship, the fantastic narrative of the Prince Kalendar, the Prince and the Princess, the Baghdad festival, and the ship dashing against the rock with the bronze rider upon it.”


Brazilian-born Marcelo Lehninger is recognized as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation; his growing reputation as a dynamic conductor inspires musicians and audiences of all ages worldwide. Currently, Lehninger is in his third season as music director of the New West Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, and in 2014 he received the Helen Thompson Award for his outstanding work with the orchestra at the League of American Orchestras’ Annual Conference in Seattle. After three successful seasons as Boston Symphony Orchestra’s assistant conductor, Lehninger renewed his contract for two more seasons as the associate conductor. As a guest conductor in the United States, he has led the Baltimore, Chautauqua, Fairfax, Florida, Indianapolis, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, National, New Jersey, Omaha, and Seattle symphony orchestras. In 2013, Lehninger recorded the work of American composer Christopher Culpo for Radio France in Paris, conducting the Orchestre National de France. He also led the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in Caracas, Venezuela and made a highly praised debut with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester at the Philharmonie in Berlin.

Pianist Sean Chen is being hailed as a rising star. In 2013, Chen won the American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. He also won third prize at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, becoming the first American to reach the finals since 1997. The 25-year-old American pianist has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz; Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and Miguel Harth-Bedoya; Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra; Corpus Christi, New West, Phoenix, and San Diego symphony orchestras; and the Suwon City Philharmonic in South Korea. Last season Chen performed in recital at Jordan Hall in Boston, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, SubCulture in New York City, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and on tour in the Czech Republic. Highlights of Chen’s 2014.15 season include debuts with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra at the Kimmel Center, the symphony orchestras of Hartford, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Carmel, and his return to the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He appears in recital in the Steinway Series at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Salk Institute in San Diego, Jacksonville, New Orleans, on tour in Hawaii, and with soprano Jessica Rivera in Thousand Oaks, CA.


Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Sean Chen, piano
Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Friday, November 14 | 8:00 p.m.
Meet the Music, Anello Atrium | 7:00 p.m.
Talkback Q&A, Anello Atrium | Post-concert

Saturday, November 15 | 8:00 p.m.
Meet the Music, Anello Atrium | 7:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $25-105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.


The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.

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