Event Description

Sunday, October 15, 2017—4:00 pm

The Symphony welcomes virtuosic violinist Alexi Kenney to The Lensic’s stage once more! Showing his incredible technical range, Kenney will perform not only Haydn’s heroic Violin Concerto in C Major but also Dvořák’s Romance in F Minor, a brief work that ranges from delicate to passionate. Also in F minor, Shostakovich’s First Symphony remains witty and fresh to this day, despite the composer’s youth at its completion. Rounding out the performance will be Berlioz’s swashbuckling concert overture Le Corsaire.

Overture: Le Corsaire, op.21
Violin Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob.Vlla:1,
featuring Alexi Kenney, Violin
Romance for Violin & Orchestra in F Minor, op.11,
featuring Alexi Kenney, Violin
Symphony No. 1, op.10


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Concert Notes

Overture: Le Corsaire, Opus 21
Born December 11, 1803, Cöte-Saint-André, France
Died March 8, 1869, Paris, France

Le Corsaire is one of Berlioz’s most exciting overtures, and its fiery writing and evocative title have convinced many listeners that they can almost see the dashing pirate sweeping down on his prey. The reality, however, is a great deal more complex—it took Berlioz nearly twenty years to write this music, the overture had three different titles over the course of its composition, and finally the music may have nothing at all to do with pirates. But the story behind it is a very interesting one.

Violin Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob.VIIa:1
Born March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria
Died May 31, 1809, Vienna,

When the 29-year-old Haydn took up his duties at Eisenstadt as vice kapellmeister to the Esterhazy family in 1761, he met another young man who would figure importantly in his career. The Italian violinist Luigi Tomasini—violinist in the Esterhazy orchestra, and he would shortly become its concertmaster. Haydn and Tomasini would remain friends and colleagues for nearly fifty years (Tomasini died in 1808, the year before Haydn): Haydn respected the violinist, he wrote most of his string quartets for Tomasini’s quartet (the first violin parts of those quartets were conceived with Tomasini’s abilities specifically in mind), and he even included solo parts in some of his symphonies for the violinist.

Romance in F Minor, Opus 11
Born September 8, 1841, Muhlhausen, Bohemia
Died May 1, 1904, Prague, Czech Republic

The Romance in F Minor began life as the slow movement of Dvořák’s String Quartet in F Minor, Opus 9, which he completed in October 1873. Recognizing the particular appeal of this movement, Dvořák arranged part of it for violin and piano in 1877, then made a version for violin and orchestra. The title “romance” suggests a mood rather than a particular form, and this gentle, wistful music simply repeats its lovely themes. These grow more florid and impassioned as the music proceeds, but they never become agitated; throughout, the Romance breathes an air of relaxed lyricism.

Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Opus 10
Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg, Russia
Died August 9, 1975,Moscow, Russia

In the fall of 1924 a music student sat down at his desk in frosty St. Petersburg to complete a graduation requirement: he had to write a symphony. Dmitri Shostakovich—thin, needle-sharp, and nervous (at eighteen, he was already a chain-smoker)—got the first two movements done by December and the third in January 1925. Then he stopped. A friend lay dying, and the teenaged composer had to force himself to complete the finale in April. He pressed on to finish the orchestration on July 1, satisfying the assignment.

—Notes by Eric Bromberger

Alexi Kenney Recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant

The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been praised by the The New York Times for “immediately drawing listeners in with his beautifully phrased and delicate playing.” His win at the 2013 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition at the age of nineteen led to a critically acclaimed debut recital at Carnegie Weill Hall. Read more…


Guillermo Figueroa Principal Conductor

Maestro Guillermo Figueroa leads us into our thirty-fourth year of bringing great music to Santa Fe in his first full season as Principal Conductor for The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. One of the most versatile and respected musical artists of his generation—renowned as conductor, violinist, violist, and concertmaster—Guillermo Figueroa also serves as the Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado, Music Director of the Lynn Philharmonia in Florida, and founder of the highly acclaimed Figueroa Music and Arts Project in Albuquerque. In previous years, he was also the Music Director of both the New Mexico Symphony and the Puerto Rico Symphony. With this last orchestra, he performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall in 2003, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2004, and Spain in 2005.  Learn more 

& Musicians

Principal Conductor

Guillermo Figueroa


Alexi Kenney

Meet The Composers

Concert Recital

One week after Alexi Kenney performs with the full Symphony Orchestra on October 15, he takes center stage for a very special performance with critically acclaimed pianist Renana Gutman. Learn more!

Concert Recital: Alexi Kenney & Renana Gutman

Recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2016, Alexi Kenney is joined on The Lensic stage by award-winning pianist Renana Gutman for our first Concert Recital of the Season! Their selections range from the long-beloved E Major Partita by Bach—a technical showstopper for solo violin—to rarer works like Crumb’s Four Nocturnes, a delicate and birdlike meditation, featuring the subtle integration of many of Crumb’s inspired extended techniques, like having the soloist tap the violin as a percussive element. This eclectic program also features more traditionally emotive works such as Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major, one of the composer’s most romantic art songs for solo violin and piano.