Glacier Symphony premieres conductor John Zoltek’s cello concerto

The 39th season of the Glacier Symphony and Chorale celebrates the 25th anniversary of Maestro John Zoltek’s leadership as Music Director and Conductor with the upcoming concert titled “Illumination” on November 20-21. The concert will feature the world premiere of Zoltek’s new cello concerto composition, “Through Tamarack and Pine,” written for and performed by Robert deMaine, the acclaimed principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

First prize winner in national and international competitions, deMaine was the first cellist to win the grand prize at the prestigious Irving M. Klein International String Competition in San Francisco. As a soloist, he has collaborated with many distinguished conductors around the world and has performed almost all major cello concertos with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during his decade as principal cellist. A founding member of the Ehnes Quartet in 2010, he also performs in a piano trio with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Natalie Zhu.

DeMaine and Zoltek have known each other for years.

“… We share a common ancestral bond and a common musical aesthetic,” Zoltek said. “Robert has appeared twice before as a soloist with the Glacier Symphony and I approached him for another opportunity (as I appreciate his deep love of music, his fun wit, his communication skills and his important musical talent. !). ” It was during discussions about the work to be done at this MasterWorks concert that the idea for an original composition came about.

“I was deeply honored that he agreed to write something for me, especially since John’s plate is so full as Music Director and Conductor of the Glacier Symphony and the Amadeus Festival. Said deMaine.

In four months, the manuscript of the three-movement concerto was completed on September 13.

“For a number of years, I composed and played specific musical material with a rhapsodic and rustic quality for a work that I hoped to someday transform into a nature-inspired symphonic piece,” Zoltek said. “This material became the basis of the second middle movement of this concerto. The subtitle alludes to one who looks perhaps through a scene of beautiful trees towards a mountain landscape in the distance … The contemplation of our perception and the wild power and silence of the mountains in the distance is what informs extra-musical content. “

“I truly believe it has the potential to be one of the most important American cello concertos in the repertoire,” said deMaine. “John has an instinctive sense for the cello. Throughout the piece there is a magnificent lyricism, even in the fast passages. “

Also on the program, Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite”, compiled from his complete ballet of the same name, and the magnificent and essential work by Jean Sibelius, “Symphony No. 3 in C major” .

The concerts will take place at the Performance Hall of Flathead High School on Saturday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 21 at 3 p.m. All customers and individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while on site.

Tickets are available by calling the box office at 406-407-7000. More information for each concert and online ticket purchase is available at

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