December night by the fire. Snow covers the windowsill, and ice flowers, the window panes. In the story book however, its summer. Rainbow fish flutter in Lyadov’s enchanted lake. The dishevelled Kikimora and the naughty Baba-Yaga come to visit the Water Spirit. It’s the end of summer. In his clarinet concert, Tchaikovsky (Boriss) delights in the crystal structures of snowflakes. Another Tchaikovsky (Peter) hitches a sled to the horses of the imagination, and the page of the winter section is turned over in the book of fantasy.
On the LNSO conductor’s podium this evening we will see Denis Vlasenko. Riga’s audiences had their first chance to evaluate this conductor in autumn 2013 when he conducted two performances of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Latvian National Opera, which was also his first chance to conduct an opera by a Russian composer. In 2008 however, he was the first Russian conductor to conduct at the mecca of Rossini’s opera music – the Pesaro Festival. Denis Vlasenko has conducted opera productions in Mexico, Tokyo and Valladolid; conducted performances in Bari and at St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre and conducted symphony music concerts in Italy and Russia where his principal position is as the second conductor of the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra directed by Yuri Bashmet. The Eugene Onegin performances left the impression that Denis Vlasenko knows precisely what he wants and knows how to achieve it. We await with great interest how the wintery forms of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 will take shape in his hands.