BOULDER, Colo. Jan. 31, 2024 — Boulder Symphony announces its first masterworks concerts of 2024, on Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street.

The concerts will open with “Conga del Fuego Nuevo” by renowned contemporary Mexican composer Arturo Márquez.

Next, the 2023 winner of the International Keyboard Odyssiad® & Festival Competition, Jialin Yao, will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Yao, a Chinese pianist who is currently studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, has been hailed for his “mature, sensitive and polished playing with serious attitude towards music making and a strong mindset for interpretive details” (Dmitri Alexeev), and he is increasingly recognized for his “natural musicianship as well as his very sophisticated technical skills” (Michel Béroff).

In anticipation of this concert, Yao commented:

“Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it renowned as one of the most technically challenging pieces, but I have also been deeply impacted by its ultimate melancholy, beauty, nostalgia, and religious elements. I know that this piece will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“I vividly recall selecting this composition for the IKOF competition, where I had an amazing time in Fort Collins. The competition provided the highest level of organization and a heartfelt welcome.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to perform this concerto with the Boulder Symphony. I am excited to witness the magic of music unfold with everyone in the hall.”

Closing the program is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, a symphony known for its lush recurring main theme, with a solemn character in the first movement that transforms into a triumphant march throughout the symphony – a true masterpiece of the Romantic period.

Devin Patrick Hughes, conductor and music director of the Boulder Symphony, said:

“Jialin is a rockstar! He plays the Rachmaninoff 3 – arguably the hardest in the repertoire – with ease, soulfulness, and a virtuosity that rivals any of the great pianists. I’m excited to showcase the amazing Boulder Symphony alongside Jialin, and embark on Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, which was written during one of the composer’s darkest periods, and shows us how it’s possible to bring triumph and joy to sorrow and reckoning. Igniting the evening is Mexican composer Arturo Marquéz’ ‘Conga del Fuego Nuevo,’ one of the great Afro-Cuban beats inspired by the Caribbean drum and soul of the dance.”

Boulder Symphony & Music Academy is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the highest quality classical music to the Boulder area. This concert is sure to be a highlight of the season and a must-see for anyone who loves great music.

Tickets for the concert are available now and can be purchased online here. Prices range from $5-27.