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International talent featured in concert

The Orchestra at Temple Square will be joined by Ilya Itin, internationally acclaimed solo pianist, for its annual winter concert on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Mr. Itin and the orchestra will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 4 in G major. Also included in this concert will be Borodin's "Nocturne," Tchaikovsky's "Fantasy Overture to Romeo and Juliet" and Verdi's "Overture to La Forza del Destino."

Igor Gruppman, a Church convert from Kiev, Ukraine, will conduct the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Born and raised in Russia, Ilya Itin graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Since winning all the major prizes at the renowned Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in 1996, he has performed in many prestigious concert halls across the world and has delighted audiences on four continents.

Beethoven's "Piano Concerto no. 4," written in 1806, begins unconventionally for the period with the soloist rather than the orchestra. It was Beethoven himself who first performed this concerto after one piano soloist declined due to the extremely difficult finger work required and another chose to play an easier piece at the last moment.

"To hear such a renowned and gifted soloist as Ilya Itin blend his musical talent with that of the orchestra will make this a true delight for our audience," said Brother Gruppman.

Borodin's "Nocturne," a string quartet written in 1881, is one of the loveliest of all melodies in the world of classical music. In it the listener finds himself amidst the pageantry and landscape of Old Russia with its onion-domed churches and the vastness of the land.

Tchaikovsky's "Fantasy Overture to Romeo and Juliet" is among the best-known concert works based on one of the most famous love stories ever told. It begins with setting the mood and painting the scenery of Renaissance Italy, followed by the clashing swords of the conflict between the families. Romeo and Juliet are brought to life in one of Tchaikovsky's finest melodies which builds to an emotional climax only to end in a funeral march interwoven with the love theme.

Verdi, one of the greatest composers of the 19th century and author of more than 20 operas, tended to put most of his energy into the operatic work, keeping the orchestral overture rather unsophisticated. The "Overture to La Forza del Destino" is the magnificent exception, as it has become part of worldwide concert repertoire. It is a broad, fully-worked sonata-form movement, containing some of Verdi's most difficult and brilliant orchestral writing, filled with indelible melodies.

Free tickets can be obtained at the Conference Center ticket office (door 4), or at www.lds.org (click on "Events" in the right column). These tickets are limited to those 8 years of age and older. For those who do not have tickets, a standby line will form outside the Tabernacle. All standbys have been seated at past orchestra concerts. The doors of the Tabernacle will open at 6:30 p.m. The length of the performance will be approximately 90 minutes.

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