Critic’s Choice

By David Fleshler

Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev

Russia’s famed Mariinsky Orchestra comes to South Florida this week for two all-Russian concerts that will include worthy but rarely heard works of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.

The St. Petersburg-based ensemble, which traces its origins to the time of Catherine the Great, performs Wednesday at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach and Friday at the Arsht Center in Miami. Leading the orchestra will be Valery Gergiev, a highly regarded conductor whose friendship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin has led to protests at some of his appearances.

At the Kravis Center, the young Uzbekistani pianist Behzod Abduraimov will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, his most popular, in a concert that will also include Shostakovich’s dark and rarely heard – at least in South Florida – Symphony No. 8.

At the Arsht Center, the orchestra will be joined by the Russian pianist Denis Matsuev for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a work full of fire, pathos and melody that would probably be heard more if not for the overwhelming popularity of its predecessor. Also on the program is Shchedrin’s Concerto for Orchestra No. 1 “Naughty Limericks” and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

The Mariinsky Orchestra performs 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach,; 561-832-7469, and 8 p.m. Friday at the Arsht Center in Miami,; 305-949-6722.

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Mon Feb 2, 2015
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