Classical music boosts listeners' brain functions and energy levels, which is why every child should ingest a well-rounded harpsichord each morning. Treat your noggin to a mellifluous meal with this GrouponLive deal: for $25, you get one ticket for best-available seating to an orchestra performance presented by Music Worcester at Mechanics Hall (up to a $51.50 value, including fees). Choose between the following performances:
- The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra with artistic director Antoni Wit and piano soloist Yulianna Avdeeva on Friday, October 19, at 8 p.m.
- National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba on Wednesday, October 24, at 8 p.m. Doors open for a preconcert talk at 7 p.m.
Under the precise baton sweeps of maestro Antoni Wit, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra rings in Worcester Music Festival's 153rd season with an opening-night performance at Mechanics Hall on October 19. During this concert and other dates on the orchestra's United States tour, 27-year-old solo pianist Yulianna Avdeeva strikes the staggered, somewhat ominous chords of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2, op. 21 in F Minor. Avdeeva is well versed in the iconic composer’s work, having won first prize at the 16th Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Other featured compositions include Dvorak's Symphony No. 8, op. 88 in G Major and Lutoslawski's Little Suite, which alternates between sweet staccatos and orchestral drones, a sound achieved by elongating a violin's bow strokes and blowing honey through a trumpet.
During the October 24 program, National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba's guest conductor, Guido Lopez-Gavilan, celebrates his homeland's sounds with Gershwin's Cuban Overture. Latin-American percussion, from the wooden exclamations of the claves to the fiery echo of the bongos, laces traditional symphonic instruments such as English horn and oboe with playful hints of salsa and rumba. The tropical sonics continue with Lecuona’s La Comparsa. Pianist Ignacio "Nachito" Herrera plays the celebratory composition, demonstrating the ivory-tickling talents he honed while touring as a member of the Afro-Cuban All Stars and attempting to cure an elephant's hiccups. Rounding out the evening, the orchestra breaks into Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, followed by Beethoven's Symphony no. 5, both of which were featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000. The bustling brass and piano of the former scored a busy day in a Depression-era metropolis, and the latter accompanied the fluttering wings of a kaleidoscope of origami butterflies.