Contact: Allison Griffin
Public Relations Associate

September 10, 2007



Portland, Ore. … Russian pianist Valentina Lisitsa will join Music Director Carlos Kalmar for the Oregon Symphony’s season opening featuring Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. She will replace Horacio Gutiérrez, who has canceled due to illness. Performances are Saturday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Monday, October 1 at 8 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The concert is generously sponsored by Tektronix. Additional support is provided by Lufthansa Airlines and The Oregonian.

Debuting with the Oregon Symphony in September 2006, Lisitsa made a last minute appearance last March to rave reviews after replacing Denis Matsuev on Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. The Chicago Tribune wrote recently, “Already memorable, Piano Week at the Grant Park Music Festival was made even more so by Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa's jaw-dropping performance of the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2. Tall and graceful, her long-limbed frame perches atop the bench, fingers flowing over the keyboard as if attempting to coax magic from it through sheer charm. Soft passages were so delicate, you were afraid to breathe, while Rachmaninoff's chords thundered effortlessly from Lisitsa's fingers.”

Lisitsa has recorded Valentina in Miami, a one-hour music special produced and presented by PBS and was recently featured in a segment of the CBS news program Sunday Morning. This season marks her third appearance with the Oregon Symphony.

The work is the composer’s most popular and well known. The piece is also mentioned favorably by the heroes of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. Compounded by problems in his personal life, Rachmaninoff fell into a depression that lasted for several years. His second piano concerto confirmed his recovery from clinical depression and writer's block. In fact, the concerto was dedicated to Nikolai Dahl, Rachmaninoff's physician.

The program also includes Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, a piece widely known for its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The work is a symphonic poem, composed in 1896 and inspired by the book of the same title by Friedrich Nietzsche.

The Symphony program also includes Dvořák’s Symphonic Variations.

In addition, this will be newly-appointed Oregon Symphony Concertmaster Jun Iwasaki’s debut performance on the classical series.

Tickets start at $15 and may be purchased at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office, located at 923 S.W. Washington. Ticket office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased anytime online at or charged by phone at (503) 228-1353 or (800) 228-7343, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available through the group sales hotline at (503) 416-6380.

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