tchaikovsky discovers america

“I saw his ship sail into New York Harbor that day in 1891 – past the Statue of Liberty, past the hundreds of people cheering on the shore. All America seemed to be waiting for him and his music…”

Based on a momentous historical event, Tchaikovsky Discovers America tells of the great composer’s arrival in New York for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and his famous trip to Niagara Falls. A surprise encounter with Jennie, a young American girl, gives us a glimpse into Tchaikovsky’s life in Russia, his love of music, and his fears of conducting. This is a poignant story of the meeting of old world influences and new world experiences; a tale of contrast, courage, and incredible classical music.

Audiences will enjoy more than twenty-five excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s music woven magically throughout the drama, including passages from The 1812 Overture, First Piano Concerto, String Serenade, and his world famous ballets – The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. This delightful performance is part play, part concert, and part ballet, and it is approximately 50 minutes in length. Tchaikovsky Discovers America is recommended for audiences age six and up.

Synopsis

The story begins in New York where Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky is attending the last orchestral rehearsal of his newest piece before the grand opening of Carnegie Hall. But when construction noise makes it impossible to rehearse, Tchaikovsky finds himself on the street hounded by reporters. He escapes on a train to Niagara Falls where he meets Jennie, a young American girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina. During their train ride they learn much about each other’s joys and sorrows, and discover the healing influences they both can share.

As Tchaikovsky and Jennie approach Niagara Falls, Tchaikovsky describes what he’s discovered in America, “There’s an electric energy in this country… all these people, so generous and open-hearted… their ideas, their dreams, their music… all flowing together like a mighty river – everything tumbling toward the future!”
“All silent now, the magic spell is told, all silent now, our mystery tale unfolds…”

The original audio recording of Tchaikovsky Discovers America claims dozens of top music, educational, and parenting awards. Based on this highly acclaimed recording, the Tchaikovsky Discovers America theatrical symphony concert is an imaginative way to introduce young audiences and their families to the life and music of Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky in a live performance venue.

music excerpts

Act II, Entr’acte & Panorama (from Sleeping Beauty)
Amazing Grace (Traditional)
Chocolate (from Nutcracker)
Coffee (from Nutcracker)
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (from Nutcracker)
Danse Napolitaine (from Swan Lake)
Marche Slav
Nutcracker, Overture
Nutcracker, Act II Coda
Piano Concerto No. 1, Mvmt. I
Piano Concerto No. 1, Mvmt. II
Old Russia (from 1812 Overture)
Overture to Act II (from Swan Lake)
Serenade in C Major, Mvmt. I
Serenade in C Major, Mvmt. IV
1812 Overture
Silver (and Rag) (from Sleeping Beauty)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Symphony No. 5, Mvmt. II
La Cygne Noir, Coda (from Swan Lake)
Tea (from Nutcracker)
Trépak (from Nutcracker)
Trumpet Fanfare (from Swan Lake)
Violente (from Sleeping Beauty)
Waltz (from Serenade in C Major)
Waltz (from Sleeping Beauty)

instrumentation

String count 8.8.7.6.5
3d1.2+1.2+1.2—4.4.2+1.1—3per—tmp—hp—pf+cel—str


Strings

  • Violin I (8 stands)
  • Violin II (8 stands)
  • Viola (7 stands)
  • Violoncello (5 stands)
  • Contrabass (4 stands)

Woodwinds

  • Flute I & II (1 stand each)
  • Piccolo/Flute III (1 stand)
  • Oboe I & II (1 stand each)
  • English Horn (1 stand)
  • Clarinet I & II (1 stand each)
  • Bass Clarinet (1 stand)
  • Bassoon I & II (1 stand)

Brass

  • F Horn I, II, III & IV (1 stand each)
  • Trumpet I, II, III & IV (1 stand each)
  • Trombone I, II & III (1 stand each)
  • Tuba (1 stand)

Percussion

  • Percussion (3 stands)
  • Timpani (1 stand)
  • Harp (1 stand)
  • Piano/Celeste (1 stand)

The instrumentation listed represents the maximum number of books we will supply to accommodate the largest of orchestras. Though we sill ship our full set of parts, we defer to your judgment in reducing players based on your particular needs and requirements.

A conductor’s score, complete with full score and dialogue cues, musician parts, and a reference script is sent at least 3 weeks in advance of the concert.

This performances assumes a seamless performance, largely unbroken by applause or “soloist” appearances. It requires a large Tchaikovsky orchestra, necessary for the ending of the 1812 Overture and Swan Lake Overture to Act II.

Note that a pianist is necessary for the following:

  • Piano Concerto No. 1, Mvmt. I (first statement only)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1, Mvmt. II (approximately 24 bars)
  • A short Ragtime on Silver (and Rag) from Sleeping Beauty
  • Some short piano waltzes and spirituals
  • The pianist may also double on the Celeste.

The pieces included in this performance are well studied by most musicians. Orchestras who have not performed the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Piano Concerto No. 1, Serenade for Stings, Symphony No. 5, and 1812 Overture (Finale) are encouraged to hold rehearsals on their own in advance of the scheduled rehearsal.

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Tchaikovsky Discovers America Educational Materials

BOOKING HISTORY

ANNAPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Annapolis, MARYLAND • ANN ARBOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Ann Arbor, MICHIGAN • ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Atlanta, GEORGIA • BRITT FESTIVAL Jacksonville, OREGON • BUFFALO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Buffalo, NEW YORK • CALGARY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Calgary, ALBERTA • CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Charlotte, NORTH CAROLINA • CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Chicago, ILLINOIS • THE COLORADO SYMPHONY Denver, COLORADO • THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA Cleveland, OHIO • DES MOINES SYMPHONY Des Moines, IOWA • DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Detroit, MICHIGAN • FORT WAYNE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Fort Wayne, INDIANA • THE FRESNO PHILHARMONIC Fresno, CALIFORNIA • GREEN BAY CIVIC ORCHESTRA Green Bay, WISCONSIN • KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY Kansas City, MISSOURI • KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Kalamazoo, MICHIGAN • LIMA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Lima, OHIO • MIDLAND-ODESSA SYMPHONY & CHORALE Midland, TEXAS • MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Milwaukee, WISCONSIN • MUNCIE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Muncie, INDIANA • THE NASHVILLE SYMPHONY Nashville, TENNESSEE • NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Washington, DC • NEPTUNE THEATRE Halifax, NOVA SCOTIA • NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Newark, NEW JERSEY • NORTH CAROLINA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Raleigh, NORTH CAROLINA • ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE QUEBEC Ville de Québec, QUEBEC • OREGON SYMPHONY Portland, OREGON • THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA Philadelphia, PENNSYLVANIA • THE PHOENIX SYMPHONY Phoenix, ARIZONA • RAVINIA MUSIC FESTIVAL Highland Park, ILLINOIS • QUINCY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ASSOCIATION Quincy, ILLINOIS • RHODE ISLAND PHILHARMONIC Providence, RHODE ISLAND • SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA • SIOUX CITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Sioux City, IOWA • SYMPHONY NOVA SCOTIA Halifax, NOVA SCOTIA • TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Toronto, ONTARIO • VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Vancouver, BRITISH COLUMBIA • VIRGINIA SYMPHONY Norfolk, VIRGINIA • WICHITA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Wichita, KANSAS • WINNIPEG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Winnipeg, MANITOBA • YORK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA York, PENNSYLVANIA

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