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Francesco Milioto, Music Director and Conductor

Sunday, December 2, 2012 3:00 PM North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie Polovtsian Dances (1887)

Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)

The Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71a (1892) I. Miniature Overture II. Characteristic Dances a. March b. Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy c. Russian Dance (Trepak) d. Arabian Dance e. Chinese Dance f. Dance of the Reed-Flutes III. Waltz of the Flowers

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)

INTERMISSION Variations on an Original Theme (“Enigma”), Op. 36 (1899) Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) Theme (Andante) Variation I (L’istesso tempo) “C.A.E.” Variation II (Allegro) “H.D.S.-P.” Variation III (Allegretto) “R.B.T.” Variation IV (Allegro di molto) “W.M.B.” Variation V (Moderato) “R.P.A.” Variation VI (Andantino) “Ysobel” Variation VII (Presto) “Troyte” Variation VIII (Allegretto) “W.N.” Variation IX (Adagio) “Nimrod” Variation X (Intermezzo: Allegretto) “Dorabella” Variation XI (Allegro di molto) “G.R.S.” Variation XII (Andante) “B.G.N.” Variation XIII (Romanza: Moderato) “* * *” Variation XIV (Finale: Allegro Presto) “E.D.U.” This concert is supported in part by The Pauls Foundation. The Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the Village of Skokie, Niles Township, and The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation.

The Nutcracker


PROGR A M NOTES Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) Polovtsian Dances Alexander Borodin’s historical significance lies in belonging to a group of Russian nationalist composers collectively identified as the Russian Five or Mighty Handful who, during the mid19th century, endeavored to establish a definitive, identifiable, and viable school of Russian music. Russia, though a land with a rich heritage of folk music, had virtually no tradition of serious or cultivated music prior to the 19th century. Throughout much of its history, Russia’s cultural life, particularly music, had been dominated by the influence of foreign artists imported to please the Westernized tastes of the Russian court. However, in the mid 19th century, as nationalistic fervor swept through the land, a small band of like-minded Russian musicians came together to create a distinctly Russian music free of foreign influence. Under the leadership of Mily Balakirev (the only trained musician of the bunch), a rather motley collection of men were united, including Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, and César Cui. Borodin, an eminent chemist of aristocratic birth, joined the group in 1862 upon his return to Russia from Italy. Guided by his new friend and mentor Balakirev, and with the encouragement of critic and advisor to the Mighty Handful, Vladimir Stassov, Borodin embarked upon the composition of his first opera, Prince Igor, in 1869. At the behest of Stassov, who felt that national music should utilize national themes, it was based upon a Slavic epic which recounts the campaign of the Russian Prince Igor against invading Polovtsian tribes in 1185. Work progressed slowly and the opera was left unfinished at the composer’s death in 1887. It was completed by RimskyKorsakov and Alexander Glazunov and eventually performed in St. Petersburg in 1890. One of the few sections completed by Borodin was the finale of the second act, which includes the famous Polovtsian Dances. The triumphant Polovtsian warrior Kahn Konchak, having temporarily defeated Igor in battle, magnanimously entertains him with a display of singing and dancing performed by the young male slaves and beautiful Polovtsian maidens in his retinue. In the opera these dances were scored for chorus and orchestra but are better known in the concert hall in their purely orchestral guise. Aided by Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterful orchestrations, the dances capture the exotic orientalism so popular in Russian music of the time. Each of the four dances is based on a separate folk-inspired melody, moving from the sensuous quiet of the well-known second dance, to the wildly passionate brutality of the concluding section. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 -1893) The Nutcracker Suite, Opus 71a Following the success of Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, the director of St. Petersburg’s Imperial Theater proposed a collaboration between Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa to produce a ballet based on Alexander Dumas’ book, The Nutcracker of Nuremberg, which, in turn, was based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Neither Tchaikovsky nor Petipa liked the story and both refused the offer. However, the director persisted, convincing Petipa to take charge of the production and, with the promise of an opera commission, brought Tchaikovsky on board as well. Petipa was given the freedom to alter the story and made several changes: creating the Sugar-Plum Fairy as an excuse to insert a fashionable set of divertissements; and relegating Drosselmeyer and Marie to minor roles. Tchaikovsky was displeased and felt the changes watered-down the strength of the story. Additionally, Petipa’s detailed instructions to the composer left little room for interpretation or artistic creativity. For example: 2

Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra

Q u o t e s F r o m K i d s A b o u t t h e S VS O “I was thinking of how Dvorak and Brahms came up with the music. How can they memorize it?” “The orchestra has an amazing power. It’s amazing how they work together to make a beautiful piece!”

“I ne ve r k ne w t h at m any ins t r ume n ts co uld m ake t h at be au t if ul so und.”

“Thank you for the consort. it was amazing. I can’t wait to be in the orchestra when I grow up.”

And Ab o u t C o nduc t i ng! “I have a question. Is it more profesional to use a paton or can you just use your hands to conduct?” “Your awesome. You must really love conducting if you spend 40 bucks on a stick. That’s awesome.” “Watching the conductor

was entertaining. And 40 dollars for a stick dude, come on!”

The Nutcracker


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c o n t.

An empty stage. The moon lights up the dining room. 8 bars of mysterious and delicate music. Clara in her nightdress quickly returns to look at her Nutcracker. 8 bars, still more mysterious music for her entrance. Something frightens her. 2 bars. She trembles, she goes to the Nutcracker’s bed from where a fantastic light is flickering. 8 bars of fantastic and mysterious music. The clock strikes midnight. Pause in the music. A short tremolo, 5 bars to hear the scratching of the mice and 4 bars for their squeaking. After the squeaking, 8 bars of accelerating music ending in a chord. Despite his misgivings about the plot, the restrictive directives handed down by the choreographer, and the feeling that he was not writing music from his heart, Tchaikovsky rapidly finished the first draft in the summer of 1892. Upon completion of the score, he remarked that the music was “infinitely poorer than The Sleeping Beauty.” Over time – influenced perhaps by the enormous success of the score – he came to appreciate what he had written. Prior to production of the full ballet in December of 1892, and even before he had completed the entire score, Tchaikovsky assembled eight selections from the ballet into a suite for concert performance. The Nutcracker Suite premiered in March of 1892 and was an instant success. At least six times during the performance the audience demanded immediate encores of specific selections. (The fate of the ballet itself was not so happy. It was not well-received by contemporary audiences and not until George Balanchine’s version premiered in the 1950s did the work become a popular success.) Of the eight numbers that make up the suite, six are drawn from the divertissement and general celebration in the Land of Sweets found in Act II; only the first two selections, the Miniature Overture and the March, are from the first act. Throughout, Tchaikovsky’s colorful orchestrations imbue his delightful melodies with a sense of sparkling gaiety appropriate to the fantasy story. Sir Edward Elgar – (1857-1934) Enigma Variations Sir Edward Elgar was the most important composer in 19th century England’s musical renaissance. Trained early as a violinist, pianist, and organist, he was largely self-taught as a composer, finding his way to a personal style which was an eclectic amalgam of late Romantic compositional practice. For the first half of his career he was primarily a local musician, involved in the music making of his hometown of Worcester but relatively unknown outside of those provincial confines. That was to change in 1899 with the premier of the Enigma Variations. Elgar’s account of the work’s genesis was that it resulted from an improvised tune he played one day while sitting in his studio. The tune so pleased his wife that he began to create variations on the melody to entertain her, each variation representing one of their friends or acquaintances. Elgar eventually expanded and orchestrated these improvisations into the Enigma Variations which, in its final form, comprises a melody followed by 14 variations. The variations spring from the theme’s melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements. Elgar dedicated the work to “my friends pictured therein” and in the score each variation is preceded by either initials or a nickname, a clue to the friend depicted. First Variation - C.A.E. Elgar’s wife, Alice Second Variation - H.D.S-P. Hew David Steuart - Powell, a pianist with whom Elgar played in chamber ensembles Third Variation - R.B.T. Richard Baxter Townshend, a friend Fourth Variation - W.M.B. William Meath Baker, a country squire and scholar The Nutcracker



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Fifth Variation - R.P.A. Richard Arnold, son of the poet Matthew Arnold Sixth Variation - Ysobel Isabel Fitton, an amateur viola player who lived near the Elgars Seventh Variation - Troyte Arthur Troyte Griffith, an architect and close friend of Elgar Eighth Variation - W.N. Winifred Norbury, known to Elgar through the Worcestershire Philharmonic Society Ninth Variation - Nimrod A J Jaeger, Elgar’s close friend Tenth Variation - Dorabella Dora Penney, daughter of the local rector and a close friend of the Elgars Eleventh Variation - G.R.S. George Sinclair, organist at Hereford Cathedral, although the variation allegedly portrays Sinclair’s bulldog Dan paddling in the River Wye after falling in Twelfth Variation - B.G.N. Basil Nevinson, an amateur cellist Thirteenth Variation - * * * Probably Lady Mary Lygon, a local noblewoman. The use of asterisks rather than initials has, however, invited speculation that they conceal the identity of Helen Weaver, Elgar’s fiancée for eighteen months in 1883/84 Fourteenth Variation - E.D.U. Elgar himself, Edoo being his wife’s pet name for him The enigma is not, as evidenced above, the identity of the persons portrayed but a hidden theme that Elgar says “is not played” but permeates the entire composition. In notes for the first performance Elgar stated: “The Enigma I will not explain - its ‘dark saying’ must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the connection between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme ‘goes’, but is not played.... so the principal Theme never appears, even as in some late dramas ... the chief character is never on the stage.” This mystery has puzzled musicians for years and the hidden theme has been the subject of much speculation. Various theories have arisen as to what the theme might be including “God Save the Queen,”“Rule, Britannia,”“Auld Lang Syne,”“Pop Goes the Weasel,” the 2nd movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, the slow movement of Beethoven’s Pathétique sonata, and an aria from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. However, it is important to remember that Elgar never suggested that the theme was, in fact, a melody; it could be a symbol, a literary passage, or a philosophical idea. Regardless of its true nature (melodic or otherwise), the composer rejected all of the solutions that were put forward during his lifetime. The answer to the enigma remains known only to him. By Michael Vaughn, Ph.D. *If you use any of these program notes, please give attribution to Dr. Vaughn.


Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra

F R A N C E S C O M I L I O TO, M U S I C D I R E C TO R ( 2 012 - 2 013 ) The Chicago Tribune names Francesco Milioto “one of the best young conductors working in the Chicago area.” Since his debut in the Chicago just over a decade ago, he now balances a busy career conducting a wide range of orchestral and operatic repertoire while maintaining a full schedule as a pianist and vocal coach. He currently holds the positions of Co-founder/ Conductor of the New Millennium Orchestra, Music Director of the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of Highland Park Strings and Artistic Director/Conductor of Access Contemporary Music. Mr. Milioto is also an assistant conductor/ pianist/prompter for the Ravinia Festival, where he works closely with Maestro James Conlon. This season Mr. Milioto will make his debut with Opera Santa Barbara conducting a production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. He also visits Portland Opera as Assistant Conductor/ Chorus Master for Tosca. Mr. Milioto has guest conducted for Opera Southwest, and Opera on the

James, as well as working as an assistant conductor for both Los Angeles Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Now in his sixth season as Music Director of the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Milioto is excited to open a new series exploring the music of both American and Russian symphonists over the next four seasons. The SVSO will tackle the music of Borodin and Ives, as well as a list of significant works that include the Enigma Variations, and the Nutcracker Suite. The orchestra’s Young Artist Competition has garnered much praise and this season has produced two young artists that will perform the Brahms violin concerto and Prokofiev’s second violin concerto. This season also contains a pops concert called Space Cowboys, in which the SVSO will play both classical and popular pieces inspired by space and the wild west. In addition to building on the history of high quality performances, Mr. Milioto is proud to continue offering free concerts to school children in the Skokie area.

A Gift of Music for the Holidays! Did you know that the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra performs a free children’s concert each year? In the last 6 years the SVSO has given the gift of fine music to over 7,000 area children. You can give the gift of music too. Sponsor a concert or an orchestral chair, make a gift in honor of a loved one, or purchase tickets for a music lover.

Remember, the gift of music lasts a lifetime.

The Nutcracker


You Don’t Need a Business to Put Your Message Here Say Happy Birthday! Congratulate someone Remember a dear one Celebrate an anniversary Propose your marriage The ways in which you can support the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra are endless. For more information call the symphony office at 847-679-9501 x 3014 or go to our website at


Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra

S K O K I E VA L L E Y S Y M P H O N Y O R C H E S T R A 1st Violin Mark Agnor, Concertmaster Margarita Solomensky, Assistant Concertmaster Vitaly Briskin Milan Miskovic Iris Seitz Violetta Todorova Wally Pok Hon Yu 2nd Violin Michael Kleinerman, Principal Warren Grabner Alysa Isaacson Stephanie Lane David Ratner Fran Sherman Mary Stoltz Viola Michael Rozental, Principal, Dr. Lee Malmed Chair Rick Neff Mittenthal String Chair Lee Malmed Jason Rosen Sid Samberg Desi Tanchev Cello Byron Huey, Principal Marcia Chessick Lucy Colman David Eccles Bonnie Malmed Howard Miller Mike Taber Tess Van Wagner Bass Conner Hollingsworth, Principal Hans Peterman Bev Schiltz Flute Karen Frost, Principal Barb Austin Angela Reynolds Piccolo Barb Austin

English Horn Kirsten Saul Clarinet Walter Grabner, Principal Scott Thomas Bass Clarinet Matthew Bordoshuk Bassoon Elizabeth Heller, Principal Jen Speer Trumpet Kyle Upton, Principal Paul Gilkerson Nicholas Slaggert French Horn Kelly Langenberg, Principal Jack Shankman Chair Dafydd Bevil Erika Hollenback Laurel Lovestrom Trombone Adina Salmahnson Tom Park Bass Trombone John Alberts Tuba Beth Lodal Timpani Jay Renstrom Percussion Barry Grossman Ben Krause Mike Mehlman Emily Saltz Harp Phyllis Adams Piano Teresa Kang

Oboe Jennifer Stucki, Principal Ben Carithers The Nutcracker


C H A I R E N D OW M E N T A N D S P O N S O R S H I P S Kathryn J. Canny, Chair Endowment – Concertmaster Chair The Leo Krakow Community Endowment Fund – Concert Elizabeth and E. Harris Krawitz Endowment – Concert Harvey E. Mittenthal Scholarship Fund – Mittenthal String Chair Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation – Young Artist Competition Charles and Cyd Sandleman Chair Endowment – Assistant Concertmaster Chair 2 012 - 2 013 S V S O D O N AT I O N S Sustaining: $2500+ Kathryn Canny Dr. Lee and Bonnie Malmed Niles Township The Pauls Foundation Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation Rice Young People’s Endowment Fund/ North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie Foundation Village of Skokie Benefactor: $1,000 $2,499 Patron: $500 - $999 Steven Jay Blutza, Ph.D. Dr. Allan S. and Melissa F. Malmed Mrs. Jason Sharps Dr. Cliff & Robin Wolf Sponsors: $250 - $499 John Alberts David Eccles Pamela Grad Carol & Roger Hirsch Ethel Mittenthal Thomas E. Rice Dr. & Mrs. William Schey

Michael Vaughn Donors: $100 - $249 Mark Barats Louis & Loretta Becker Annette & Sydney Caron Dr. & Mrs. Richard Chessick Maurice & Ruth Ettleson Bernard & Marilyn Friedman Patricia Gottschalk Mr. & Mrs. Glenn R. Heyman Milton & Miriam Levin Edward S. & Phyllis E. Merkin Eleanor Parker Ronald & Shirley Pregozen Mr. & Mrs. Henry Rosenbaum Harold & Rita Selz Thelma Skaletsky Janet Thau, in honor of Barry Grossman Peter Thomas Mrs. Henry Wolf Friends: $25 - $99 Sharon Abelman Ruth Barrash Frank Boudart Sherwin Chapman Carol Ulrich Conrads

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Echales, in memory of Edith Via Elizabeth Gomorczak, in memory of Edith Via Alysa Isaacson Terese Klinger Jane Kornblith Joseph Kramer Sima Miller Sima Miller & Sidney Simons Arthur & Louis Mills Michael Modica Sheldon Mostovoy Joseph Ott Susan & Pat Pastin Saul Patt Judy Rosenbaum Michael Roth Milton Salmansohn Rhoda & Larry Schuman Harold C. Silverman Valerie Simosko and Robert B. Calvert Florence T. Stein Warner & Dolores Strauss Dr. Sylvia Stuart George Vass Sandra Lynn Weiss Char Wiss Janice Ross & Martin Zabin

Supporting the Symphony The concert you hear today was made possible by the generous donors you see listed in our program. To find out how you can contribute, please contact the SVSO office or go to our website at


Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra

2 012 - 2 013 B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S Kathryn J. Canny, President Karen L. Frost, Artistic Vice President � David F. Eccles, Administrative Vice President � Steven Jay Blutza, Ph.D., Treasurer John Alberts, Secretary � Heather Hill Roger Hirsch Bonnie Malmed � Lee Malmed, M.D. � Ethel Mittenthal James K. O’Neal Michael Vaughn, Ph.D. Honorary Board Members Barbara Brown Lucinda Kasperson Thomas Rosenwein J.D. Jack Shankman, J.D. Francesco Milioto, Conductor and Music Director Valerie Simosko, Office Manager Office address: 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077 Phone: 847-679-9501 x3014 SVSO Office E-mail: Website: � Denotes member of the orchestra

Did you know? We’re Social!! Check out our newly designed website at You can also like us on Facebook (Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra) AND follow us on Twitter (@SkokieSymphony). We can't wait to share pics and news with you, and to read your comments! Special thanks to board members David Eccles for designing our website and Karen Frost and John Alberts for creating our social presence.

The Nutcracker



Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra

Skokie Valley Symphony - the Nutcracker  
Skokie Valley Symphony - the Nutcracker