Virtuoso Pianist Showcases Beethoven’s Mastery With Hendersonville Symphony

Jorge Federico Osorio

World-renowned pianist Jorge Federico Osorio returns to perform masterpieces by Beethoven with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra (HSO), as they present their next 2016-2017 season concert, “The Master and the Virtuoso,” Saturday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Community College’s Concert Hall.

Single tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for those under age 40 and $10 for students. Some great seats are still available, but they are sure to sell out.

“This is the third appearance for Osorio with the HSO,” says Music Director and Conductor Tom Joiner, “and is the final installment of him playing Beethoven’s piano concertos. So, the ‘master’ is Beethoven and Osorio is the ‘virtuoso’.”

Osorio will be performing both Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15, and Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19. “This is a pretty unique thing with him playing both in the same program. It is definitely the lion’s share of the evening’s repertoire,” says Joiner.

Playing two concertos in the same concert is a little daunting, challenging, and exhilarating for Osorio.

“It is all those things and more,” he says. “Playing two pieces is something I do quite often. I just don’t think about it too much (in regards to training), as that can detract from the artistic achievement I have in the concert. It can be exhausting, but that is part of the responsibility I have as a soloist. These two piano concertos are very big works.”

Although his self-admitted favorite composers are Mozart and Brahms, Beethoven’s work holds a particular fondness for Osorio.

“I have had affection and love for Beethoven since I was a child. It was his music that made me love music in general. There is something about Beethoven’s music that talks to people and it connects us. His ideas are deep and touching; there is a real heart in his music.”

Osorio is internationally acclaimed for his musicianship, powerful technique, and passionate performing. He has performed with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. Osorio has also performed on the world stages of symphonies in Israel, Poland, Russia, France, Holland, and with his native country’s National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico.

Osorio has won numerous international awards, including the prestigious Medalla Bellas Artes, the highest honor granted by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts. He has served as artistic director of the Brahms Chamber Music Festival in Mexico. A resident of Chicago, Osorio serves on the faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

For Joiner, having a world-class musician play with the HSO is a plus for everyone. “It really inspires the musicians in orchestra to have someone coming into town with such a reputation. It provides extra motivation to prepare and raises the orchestra’s performance. It is always special and different to have such a noted musician.”

In addition to the Beethoven concertos, two “very different” French works are part of the concert. Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” and Bizet’s Suite No. 1 from the opera Carmen help add balance to the night’s repertoire.

Both Joiner, as conductor, and Osorio, as guest artist, echo each other in stating the goal of this concert: communication and community.

“Nothing replaces the experience of live performance,” says Osorio. “My goal is to have moments where people are touched by the music. I try to communicate Beethoven’s artistry and how it transcends to that moment.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit hendersonvillesyphony.org, or call the HSO office at 828-697-5884.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more than six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.