From Russia with Love Program Notes

Alexandrina Boyanova, Violin Soloist
Bulgarian violinist Alexandrina Boyanova was born in 1987 in Sofia, to a family of musicians.  After initial training from her father, Ms. Boyanova continued her violin studies in the National Music School Lubomir Pipkov in Sofia, graduating with honors in 2006.  In 2004, Ms. Boyanova was also accepted as a student of Maestro Savatore Accardo in Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona, Italy.  Since 2006, Mr. Boyanova has been a student at Manhattan School of Music, where she received the Gabe Wiener Undergraduate Scholarship for a Student of Promise.

Ms. Boyanova won the 2010 Friends of the Symphony Young Artists Competition, College Strings division.  She has also won the German and Austrian Music National Competition; the Mozart International Violin Competition, Sweden; the Hopes, Talents, Masters International Youth Music Festival violin competition; the Young Musical Talents International Competition; and the Young Virtuosos International Violin Competition.  She has been an active soloist since her debut at age 10 with the Chamber Orchestra Orfei, and is a frequent guest soloist to leading orchestras in Italy, Russia and Bulgaria.

Waltz from Eugene Onegin
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
Eugene Onegin, Op. 24 is a well-known example of a lyric opera, written in three acts and based upon a novel by Alexander Pushkin.  The story concerns a selfish hero who lives to regret his thoughtless rejection of a young woman’s love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend.  The Opera was first performed in Moscow in 1879.

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D, Op. 19
Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 1953)
Sergei Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and came to be admired as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.  He began his Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19, as a concertino in 1915 but soon abandoned it to work on his opera The Gambler, not returning to it until the summer of 1917.  It was scheduled to premier in 1917, but political events delayed the premiere until October 18, 1923 at the Paris Opera.  The work is Romantic in tone, and far different from many of his forward-looking, rebellious works.  It opens ethereally, gains momentum and then becomes calm.  This describes both the opening movement, and the piece as a whole.  The concerto has three movements:  andantino, scherzo: vivacissimo, and moderato – andante.

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathetique, Op. 74
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathetique, Op. 74 is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s final completed symphony, written between February and the end of August 1893.  The composer led the first performance in Saint Petersburg on October of that year, nine days before his death.  The Russian title of the symphony means “Passionate” or “emotional,” and the work retells in music the story of Tchikovsky’s life and soul.  It embodies the anguish of unrequited love, a conflict between platonic passion and the desires of the flesh, the secret and proud struggle with one’s own sensual appetites for the sake of the beautiful and the good, which was a perennial spiritual dilemma reformulated by the Romantics.  The symphony contains four movements:  adagio-allegro non troppo, allegro con grazia, allegro molto vivace, and adagio lamentoso.