POWAY, Calif. — It's not every day a world-famous pianist performs in Poway. In this Zevely Zone, I preview this Sunday's concert that will be music to your ears. The Poway Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the opening of its 2022-23 season with a rare performance by Misha Dichter, an acclaimed pianist of world renown.
The concert will take place on November 20, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. at the Poway Center for Performing Arts. "Misha Dichter Comes to Town" will feature two concertos: Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, known as the "Emperor Concerto" and Gershwin's "Concerto in F." To open the concert the orchestra will play the "Festive Overture" by Shostakovich.
"We are incredibly proud to have a soloist of Mr. Dichter's caliber joining us on stage in Poway. He's simply a genius," said Conductor John LoPiccolo, who first met and performed with Dichter 40 years ago. "It's a very rare event in the classical music world to have two concertos performed in a single evening, and to have Mr. Dichter join our orchestra for these two concertos is an exceptional honor."
The sound of the symphony started off with a single violin. For years, Ulli Reiner, an educational Grammy winner, was asked this question. "Why isn't there an orchestra here in Poway?" said Ulli. In 2004, Ulli convinced a handful of her humble hometown musicians to form the Poway Symphony Orchestra. "People hear about it and they want to play, and they want to be a part of it because music becomes a part of your heart and soul," said Ulli. Year by year, the orchestra made up of community members and retired professionals flourished. "It's all voluntary and that is the best pert these are people who have lives. You know we have people who have physicians, we have scientists, we have teachers," said Ulli.
When an orchestra goes from having dozens of spectators to sold out crowds, it needs a leader. "My daughter moved here and was having a baby and my wife said I'm not going to be a long-distance grandmother, so we moved down," said conductor John LoPiccolo. The well-known musician has travelled the world conducting thousands of shows, and he's back on stage because retirement didn't suit him. "It's like riding a bike I mean it came back with a vengeance and I've not stopped," said John.
50 years in music allowed John to make friends in high places. "He has played with every orchestra in the world," said John referring to Mischa Dichter who is a world-famous pianist. John asked Dichter to perform Beethoven and Gershwin at their season opening concert. "I called and said if I don't ask it will never happen," said John. The name of the concert alone tells you it did: 'Misha Dichter Comes to Town'. "This is glorious, the music is unbelievable," said John.
As for Ulli and her little orchestra that could. "Yes, it's blossomed," said Ulli who told us there is just something about making music and friends. "I don't know, it chooses you, I think it chooses you," said Ulli. This Sunday, they're saving a seat for you on Sunday, November 20 at 4 pm.
The concert will take place at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts located at 15498 Espola Road, Poway. For ticket information go to powaycenter.com or call 858-748-0505.
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