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Friday, Dec. 8, 2006
By MARIKO KATO
From Dec. 9 to 25, the St. Petersburg Chamber Ensemble will give 11 performances of "Ave Maria in Christmas" in Tokyo and Yokohama. Renowned as one of the best ensembles in Russia, the group have invited harpists and soprano soloists from the Leningrad State Opera to join the tour. Opening quietly with "Air on a G-String" by J.S. Bach, the concert will be crowned by a powerful performance of "Winter" from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." The program will finish with a dedication to Mozart to mark the end of the 250th anniversary of his birth.
Trumpeter Leonid Korkin became a soloist with the Leningrad State Orchestra at the young age of 21, and he now plays with the Russian National Orchestra. From Dec. 2 to 23, the Korkin is performing a program titled "Holy Night Trumpet" 15 times in Tokyo, Saitama and Kanagawa. This year, his family-friendly repertoire ranges from classics, Christmas songs and enka to a surprise world premiere, and he will be playing on the cornet, flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet as well as the standard trumpet. The program includes a world premiere of Eiichi Sasazaki's variations on Christmas music, as well as Mozart's "Turkish March," a Disney medley, the Japanese popular song "Ue wo Muite Arukou " (known abroad as "Sukiyaki") and, of course, a classic Christmas medley.
Should you miss the Russian concerts, the Vienna Salon Orchestra will be performing Christmas programs at three different venues in Tokyo. On Dec. 12 and 18, the orchestra will play a medley of Christmas songs from around the globe. On Dec. 20, they will be joined by singer Nobuko Nagashima, a familiar face and voice on NHK television and radio, who will sing from Bizet's "Carmen" among others. The concert will end with a grand finale of Christmas classics.
Tickets are 4,000 yen for the St. Petersburg Chamber Ensemble and 3,500 yen for Leonid Korkin. For more details on the various venues, call (03) 3943-9999 or visit www.koransha.com; Tickets for the Vienna Salon Orchestra are 5,000-7,000 yen. For more details on venues, visit www.musica.co.jp