Ravel’s Bolero will open Glacier Symphony’s 36th Season

Violinist William Hagen makes guest appearance in Korngold’s Violin Concerto

Glacier Symphony will open its 36th concert season with two orchestral showpieces written by Maurice Ravel, Bolero and LaValse each featuring one-movement scores written for ballet. The program also features guest violinist William Hagen in Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D and will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, October 14th in Kalispell’s Flathead High School Performance Hall. 



Bolero is Ravel’s most famous composition. He wrote it at the request of the Russian dancer and actress, Ida Rubinstein, who asked him for a score based on the suite Iberia by Isaac Albéniz.  Due to copyright issues he composed a completely new work that premiered in Paris in 1928. It became more familiar in the concert hall and later in film scores and popular culture. Many remember it as an integral moment in the movie “10” starring Bo Derek.

Music Director John Zoltek says that the concert repertoire will be a showpiece for the orchestra. “Ravel’s intricately orchestrated musical fantasy is based on variations of the 19th century waltz. His version though is quite modernized and begins with melodic fragments shrouded in a misty texture and culminates in an exciting and bombastic conclusion!”

He adds that both works by Ravel, along with the romantically lyrical violin concerto, will illustrate the artistic accomplishments of both the fine orchestra and invited soloist Hagen. “This 20th century program will be subtly expressive, dynamic and powerful.”

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was an accomplished composer in Austria who was recruited to Hollywood in 1934 to write the score for a movie version of “A Midsummer Nights Dream.” Korngold is considered to be one of the “godfathers of film music,” as he treated his film scores as an opera without singing. In 1937 he vowed that he would compose only film music until Hitler was defeated. At the war’s end he retired from films to concentrate on music for the concert hall and his Violin Concerto in D was the first work he penned.

Performing the concerto will be William Hagen, age 25, an emerging young artist who placed third in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition, and is the highest-ranking American since 1985 to achieve that high honor. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, William began taking violin lessons at age four, then studied at the Colburn School in Los Angeles until age 17 and moved to the Juilliard School for two years with Itzhak Perlman. He is currently enrolled at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.  

Since his debut with the Utah Symphony at age nine, Hagen has become a seasoned international performer who has played with major symphony orchestras and music festivals both in the US and Europe. He has been hailed as a “brilliant virtuoso…a standout” by The Dallas Morning News, with “an innate command of line and score, and just the right amount of power” by violinist.com.  Learn more about this exceptional artist and view a video of his performance at www.glaciersymphony.org.

Tickets for the Classical Sunday series can be purchased in tiers ranging from $5 to $37. Youth through grade 12 are able to attend for free with reserved seating in tiers two and three. Call the GS box office at 406-407-7000 for more information.