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Nov 10: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Presents Stars Aligned, Feat. Avi Avital & Ksenija Sidorova in a Benjamin Wallfisch Premiere

October 10, 2018 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOrpheus Logo 2015.png
Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts and Media | 863.660.2214


A Concert Celebrating America’s Film Music Heritage, with Works by Franz Waxman,
Nino Rota, Benjamin Wallfisch, and Miklós Rózsa


New York, NY (October 10, 2018) — On Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 7:00pm, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra presents Stars Alignedan exploration of classical works by composers who revolutionized America’s collective imagination and cultural heritage through film scoring, at Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Stars Aligned features works by composers with deep cinematic roots — Nino Rota, Miklós Rózsa, and Franz Waxman

The unique duo of Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova joins Orpheus in the premiere performances of Golden Globe®, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch’s Monomachía (Concerto for Mandolin and Accordion) commissioned by Orpheus as part of its American Notes initiative, and a novel rendition of Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor, BWV 1060R. The premiere will be paired with Waxman’s Sinfonietta for Strings and Timpani; Rota’s Canzona(1935); and Rózsa’s Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25 (1945). 

The program will also performed on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 7:30pm at the Weis Center at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA; Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 7:00pm at DePaul University in Chicago, IL; Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7:00pm at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO; and Friday, November 9, 2018 at 8:00pm at the Staller Center for the Performing Arts in Stony Brook, NY.

Program Information
Stars Aligned
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 7:00pm
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Avi Avital, 
Ksenija Sidorova, accordion

Waxman: Sinfonietta for Strings and Timpani (1955)
Rota: Canzona (1935)
Bach: Double Concerto in C Minor, BWV 1060R (arr. Paul Chihara)
Benjamin Wallfisch: Monomachía (Concerto for Mandolin and Accordion) (Premiere Performances, Orpheus Commission)
Rózsa: Hungarian Serenade Op. 25 (1945)

Ticket Information
Single tickets for the November 10 performance, priced from $12.50 to $75, are available for purchase at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th and 7th, can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website at

About Avi Avital
The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical GRAMMY Award, Avi Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. Passionate and “explosively charismatic” (The New York Times) in live performance, he is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory. More than 90 contemporary compositions, 15 of them concertos, have been written for him.

Avital’s inspired music-making has electrified audiences in performances around the world including Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, the Berlin Philharmonie, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Paris Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, New York’s Carnegie Hall and with a live telecast on Arte the Palais de Versailles. He is a favourite on the international festival circuit having appeared at the Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, Cheltenham and Verbier Festivals, amongst others. Artistic partners in a variety of genres with whom he collaborates include Andreas Scholl, Juan Diego Flórez, Dawn Upshaw, Giora Feidman, Ray Chen, David Greilsammer, Richard Galliano, Ksenija Sidorova, percussionist Itamar Doari and the Dover and Danish String Quartets. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made four recordings for the label including his ECHO Klassik Award-winning Vivaldi (2015). He has also recorded for Naxos and SONY Classical winning his first ECHO Klassik Award for his 2008 collaboration with the David Orlowsky Trio.

Born in Be’er Sheva, Israel, Avital began learning the mandolin at the age of eight and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy, where he studied original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi. Winner of Israel’s prestigious Aviv Competition in 2007, Avital is the first mandolinist in the history of the competition to be so honoured. He plays on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.

About Ksenija Sidorova
Praised as “superbly subtle and virtuosic” (The Arts Desk) and “an amazingly accomplished artist” (Classical Source), Ksenija Sidorova is the leading ambassador for the accordion.

Encouraged to take up the instrument by a grandmother steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija started to play the instrument aged eight under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown of Riga. Her quest for more exposure to both classical and contemporary repertoire took her to London where she became a prize-winning undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music studying under Owen Murray.  She subsequently received her Masters Degree with Distinction. In 2009, Ksenija made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall and appeared in the Park Lane Group Young Artists Showcase prompting The Times to single her out as “one of the real finds of the series.”

Ksenija regularly collaborates with Miloš Karadaglic, Juan Diego Flórez, Nicola Benedetti, Thomas Gould and Joseph Calleja. She works extensively with Avi Avital who, along with Itamar Doari, comprise the trio for the “Between Worlds” project. She has also appeared on Arte’s “Stars von Morgen” with Rolando Villazón.

A recipient of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship and Friends of the Philharmonia Award, as well as the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal, Ksenija has been appointed a Junge Wilde Artist by the Konzerthaus Dortmund.

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra creates extraordinary musical experiences that enrich lives and empower individuals through collaboration, innovation, education, and a passion for artistic excellence. Orpheus strives to be the world’s premier chamber orchestra by performing music at the highest level without a conductor, challenging artistic boundaries, inspiring the public to think and work with new perspectives, and building a broad and active audience in New York City and around the world.

Orpheus was founded in 1972 by a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble with the richness of an orchestra. Orpheus performs without a conductor, rotating musical leadership roles for each work with a focus on presenting diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered 48 original works. Orpheus recordings include the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures for Deutsche Grammophon, and over 70 other recordings for DG, Sony Classical, EMI Classics, BMG/RCA Red Seal, Decca, and others, including its own label, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Records.

Orpheus presents an annual concert series in New York City featuring performances at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y, as well as an intimate Twilightchamber series in the elegant instrument showroom at Tarisio Fine Instruments and Bows in midtown Manhattan. The orchestra also tours extensively to major national and international venues. The 2018-19 season features five new-to-Orpheus artists and Now Hear This!, a new initiative dedicated to reimagining musical gems of the past with new orchestration by top-notch composers. Beloved Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii opens the Carnegie Hall series with Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto. Orpheus welcomes vibrant mandolin and accordion duo Avi Avital and Ksenija Sidorova, who will treat audiences to a reinvention of their time-honored instruments in a novel rearrangement of Bach. Spanish pianist Javier Perianes joins Orpheus for Mozart’s last Piano Concerto No. 27. Orpheus’ American Notes initiative welcomes Golden Globe®-, GRAMMY®- and Emmy®-nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch and New York favorite James Matheson for two new works commissioned by Orpheus. British cellist Steven Isserlis opens Orpheus’ new 92Y series to explore the thrilling emotions of C.P.E. Bach's Concerto in A Major. The season ends with a flourish: Richard Strauss’ rendering of a fabled trickster, played in a lively arrangement for chamber ensemble. Iranian harpsichord virtuoso Mahan Esfahani juggles tradition and disruption in a chamber symphony reworking of Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds by Jean Françaix.

About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Engagement Initiatives
Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus Process®, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard University and of leadership seminars at IBM, Morgan Stanley, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Orpheus aims to bring this unique approach to students of all ages through its worldwide education and engagement programs: Access Orpheus-NYC, Orpheus Music Academy, Orpheus Leadership Institute, and Orpheus Reflections.

Access Orpheus-NYC shares the orchestra’s collaborative music-making process with K-12 public school students from all five boroughs in New York City. While New York is among the cultural capitals of the world, many schoolchildren are underserved in arts participation. Access Orpheus-NYC helps to bridge this gap with in-class visits, invitations to working rehearsals, instrument petting zoos, public masterclasses, and underwritten tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall.

Orpheus Music Academy encompasses Orpheus’ programs for intermediate and advanced music students. Orpheus musicians share their artistry, expertise, and collaborative approach to music-making through masterclasses with Orpheus musicians and guest artists, side-by-side workshops, and residencies on tour.

Orpheus Leadership Institute brings the Orpheus Process® to the private and nonprofit sectors and educational institutions to empower the leaders of tomorrow through collaborative management training. Teams of all kinds participate in customizable programs to gain insight from Orpheus’ democratic process and develop essential skills in communication, collective ownership, and creative problem solving.

Orpheus Reflections brings the transformative power of music to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and their caregivers. Trained by CaringKind, New York City’s leading expert on dementia, Orpheus musicians lead intimate performances and conversation with audiences impacted by these challenging diseases. For more information about Orpheus, please visit or call 212.896.1700.

*Photo Credit: Zohar Ron (Photo of Avi Avital) and Aiga Redmane (Photo of Ksenija Sidorova)

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