Anna Rakitina, conductor
Gabriel Martins, cello
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K.492: Overture
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No 1, op.107
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, op.64
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Health and Safety
The ESO is thrilled to return to the stage for an exciting 2021-2022 season! We look forward to welcoming you back to enjoy live performances with your Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
The health and safety of our musicians, staff, and you are paramount as we resume live concert experiences. As such, we have established the following policies in accordance with CDC and State of Illinois guidelines to best protect everyone who enters the concert hall:
- All audience members must provide proof of complete vaccination for COVID-19 prior to entering the concert venue, regardless if these were previously shown or submitted.
- Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record to the performance (photos of both sides of the record are also accepted), as well as photo Identification.
- As currently mandated by the State of Illinois, concert attendees will be required to wear masks at all times within concert venues.
- Tickets will be on sale at the Hemmens Cultural Center one-hour prior to each performance. However, to be mindful of the safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, we encourage our patrons to purchase tickets in advance to prevent crowding within the venue.
- Pre-purchased tickets may be collected at Will Call on the day of the concert. Tickets purchased online the day of the concert will require proof of purchase.
We look forward to welcoming you back for a wonderful season of great music. If you have any questions, please contact our Box Office at 847-888-4000.
Anna Rakitina is a young Russian conductor, second-prize winner of the Malko Competition in Copenhagen (2018), third-prize winner of the “Deutscher Dirigentenpreis” competition in Cologne (2017) and third-prize winner of the TCO International Conducting Competition in Taipei (Taiwan, 2015).
Anna Rakitina has been appointed assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Andris Nelsons beginning with the 2019-20 season for a two-year term and became only the second woman assistant conductor in the Boston Symphony’s history. In addition to her responsibilities in Boston, Anna Rakitina was named 2019-20 Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Under the supervision of the orchestra’s Music and Artistic Director, Gustavo Dudamel, she conducted Los Angeles Philharmonic youth concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall and developed her craft through involvement in the LA Phil’s orchestral, education and community programs such as Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA).
In 2019 Anna made her debut with Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Sinfonieorchester Biel Solothurn in Switzerland, and the Jenaer Philharmonie in Germany. In 2018 she became a fellow in The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia. In 2017 she was a guest conductor in Taiwan National Orchestra.
Anna was born in Moscow. She began her musical education as a violin player then has studied conducting at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the class of associate professor Stanislav Diachenko (assistant of Prof. Gennadiy Rozhdestvensky). From 2016 to 2018 she studied conducting in Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Prof. Ulrich Windfuhr).
During her studies, Anna conducted the following stage performances: “Eugene Onegin” and “Iolanta” by Tchaikovsky, “Aleko” by Rachmaninov, “The Rape of Lucretia” by Britten and others. Also, Anna wrote PhD thesis work about Rachmaninov.
In 2016 as a participant of Lucerne Academy she took part in the master-class by Alan Gilbert. The year later, 2017, she was Bernard Haitink’s apprentice in his master-class at Lucerne. Also, she participated in master-classes by Gennadiy Rozhdestvensky, Vladimir Jurowski, Johannes Schlaefli. In June 2018 she became a finalist of Workshop with Critical Orchestra in Berlin.
One of Anna’s main achievements is the creation of the chamber orchestra “Affrettando” in conjunction with another conductor Sergey Akimov. The orchestra became already famous in Moscow as a group of highly professional musicians, which always performs interesting programs.
Anna conducted such orchestras as: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kölner Philharmonie WDR Sinfonieorchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Lucerne Festival Strings, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Biel Solothurn, Jenaer Philharmonie, Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Lucerne Festival academy orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker, Meiningen Court Orchestra, The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, Das Kritische Orchester, Concert Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern College of Music chamber orchestra and others.
For more information: https://www.annarakitina.com
Cellist Gabriel Martins (b. 1998) is the winner of the 2020 Sphinx Competition and the 2020 Concert Artists Guild / Young Classical Artists Trust Grand Prize. Additionally, he has won major prizes in the 2013 David Popper International Cello Competition, 2014 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, 2018 Orford Music Award, 2018 Prague Spring International Music Competition, and 2020 Schadt String Competition. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Carnegie Zankel Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. According to esteemed cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, he has “revealed heart, passion, intellect, and a finely-nuanced palette of colors in a compelling manner worthy of a seasoned artist.”
Martins has appeared in concerto performances with the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, Fukuda Ensemble (São Paulo), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, and has given solo recitals on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and IU Summer Music series. His upcoming debuts include the Allentown, Arkansas, Elgin, Memphis Symphony Orchestras, Merkin Hall in New York City, and Wigmore Hall in London. His performances have aired on National Public Radio’s From the Top, New York’s WQXR, and Chicago’s WFMT. He has collaborated in chamber music with artists such as Paul Biss, Miriam Fried, Ara Gregorian, Edgar Meyer, Csaba Onczay, Steven Tenenbom, and the Borromeo String Quartet. From 2017-2019, he was a member of the critically-acclaimed SAKURA Cello Quintet. In 2019, Martins was invited to tour with Miriam Fried and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, giving concerts in Boston, Chicago, New York City and elsewhere. In 2020 he was added to the Young Artist roster of the Center for Musical Excellence (CME) in New York City.
Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Martins grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. He began playing the cello when he was five, studying with Susan Moses at the Indiana University String Academy. He later served as a teaching assistant at the Academy’s summer program. He has attended the Orford Music Academy, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Four Seasons Festival Winter Workshop, and Aspen Music Festival and School, where he won the Low Strings Concerto Competition. He went on to pursue his undergraduate studies as a Presidential Scholar at the USC Thornton School of Music (Class of 2019) with Ralph Kirshbaum. In his freshman year at USC, he won the school’s concerto competition as well as its Bach competition. Presently, he is a graduate student with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory of Music. Since 2020, Martins plays on a composite Francesco Ruggieri cello made in Cremona, c. 1690 and a François Nicolas Voirin bow made in Paris, c. 1880.
For more information: https://www.gabrielmartinscello.com