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Tribute to Russian Romantic composer features guest cellist Coleman Itzkoff

DAYTON OH - The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s 09-10 Miami Valley & Good Samaritan Hospitals Classical Series will open with programs titled Tchaikovsky: Russian Romantic on Thursday and Saturday, September 10 & 12, 2009, both performances at 8 p.m. at the Schuster Center.

Neal Gittleman, Music Director of the DPO, will conduct the concerts, which will feature acclaimed young cello soloist Coleman Itzkoff performing Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Other works on the program include the famed Russian composer’s Romeo & Juliet Fantasy-Overture, and Symphony No. 2.

The DPO will also pay tribute to the late Charles Wendelken-Wilson, its 2nd music director out of only 4 in the orchestra’s 77-year history, with the world premiere of Prelude for Charles by Ohio composer Steven Winteregg. Wendelken-Wilson passed away in May 2009 at the age of 71.

The DPO’s 09-10 Classical Series celebrates “The Romantics.” Each concert will feature a major work from the Romantic Era: those amazing years of the 19th century when musicians, beginning with Beethoven and progressing through Schumann to Tchaikovsky, embraced the emotional message as being equal to formal structure in their works. Romantic composers looked to nature for inspiration and placed a greater emphasis on the thoughts, feelings, and struggles of the individual artist. This was the age of the virtuoso performer, with astonishing advances made in instrumental technique and expression.

With this in mind, there’s no better way to begin the season than with the passionate, emotionally charged music of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the great masters of the Romantic style. And, given that all three works to be performed were written when Tchaikovsky was a relatively young man, it’s appropriate that the start of the new season celebrate youth by featuring an outstanding young Ohioan in cello soloist Coleman Itzkoff.

A senior at Cincinnati's Walnut Hills High School, the 16-year-old Itzkoff has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting instrumentalists of his generation. An increasingly busy chamber music and recital schedule has brought him to the country's major music festivals and competitions, including Interlochen, Meadowmount, and Bowdoin. As Principal Cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, he won that group's Concerto Competition in 2007 and 2009, appearing at Music Hall with both the CSYO and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in concerti by Tchaikovsky and Haydn. He was a featured soloist on NPR's nationally syndicated radio program “From the Top” in June 2007.

Tickets for the concerts range from $12 - $59 and are available by calling (888) 228-3630 or by ordering on the web at

The Dayton Philharmonic’s 2009-2010 Classical Series is sponsored by Miami Valley & Good Samaritan Hospitals. Coleman Itzkoff is the 2009-2010 Season Benjamin and Marian Schuster Endowed Young Classical Artist. The performance of Saturday evening, September 12 is this year’s William S. Anderson Endowed Concert.

For photographs of Neal Gittleman or any of the DPO’s various series’ guest artists, go to:


About the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the community. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra receives partial funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.

Performance Place at the Schuster Center~109 North Main Street, Suite 200~Dayton, Ohio 45402
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