Red Bank, N.J. — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra will present a program entitled “Deutsche Romantik,” featuring 19th century German Romantic music, on Sunday, February 12, at 3 p.m. at the Count Basie Theatre,  99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank.

Led by the MSO’s able Assistant Conductor Lucian Rinando, the program will begin with Johannes Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture”, written in 1880 as a musical “thank you” for the University of Breslau, which had awarded the composer an honorary doctorate in the previous year.  The program continues with German-born pianist Gerd Nowaczyk, in his debut with the MSO, performing Robert Schumann’s delightful Piano Concerto.  The concerto was written in 1845 for Schumann’s wife, Clara, who was the love of his life and one of the most distinguished pianists of the 19th century.  The concert will conclude with Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, a serene and pastoral work.

Lucian Rinando has delighted audiences and critics alike as he has explored many different cultures during MSO’s past four seasons. For the February concert he turns his attention to the Romantic music of Germany’s Robert Schumann, and of Johannes Brahms — who was a lifelong, intimate friend of both Robert and Clara.

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Gerd Nowaczyk

Soloist Gerd Nowaczyk has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States and Germany and is widely praised for his sensitive, lyrical and technically brilliant playing.  A resident of Long Branch, he was born and raised in Germany, studied piano at the conservatory of Hannover, Germany, and received his degree in piano performance from University of Ashland, Ohio. 

Both Nowaczyk and Rinando are longtime instructors at the Monmouth Conservatory of Music in Red Bank, inspiring and nurturing the next generation of local musicians.

Prior to the performance, Monmouth Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist and program annotator, Tom Avakian, will interview soloist Gerd Nowaczyk in the theatre at 2:15 p.m.  These pre-concert interviews, always fascinating, provide the audience with context and background and increase their enjoyment and appreciation of the performances.

Ticket prices are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and only $5 for students. For tickets, call the Count Basie Theatre box office at 732-842-9000. To learn more about the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra and their programs, visit their website at www.monmouthsymphony.org.