Stilian Kirov, conductor and music director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

Photo courtesy of Stilian Kirov

Love is in the air throughout the month of February and the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is setting the mood early with The Great Romantics.

Taking place Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Rabobank Theater, the performance features notable pieces from the Romantic period, which are characterized as more expressive and emotional.

Highlighting the program are Carl Maria von Weber’s “Oberon Overture,” Robert Schumann’s “Symphony No. 2” and Jean Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto,” which will be performed by violin soloist Eunice Kim.

“It’s a great opportunity to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit,” said Stilian Kirov, BSO’s conductor and music director.

Kirov describes “Symphony No. 2” as a piece that has unlimited range of emotion, serenity, passion and longing, perfectly capturing the essence of Valentine’s Day, and says “Violin Concerto” is a well-known piece that pushes the boundaries.

“I am thrilled to perform one of my favorite violin concertos of all time under Maestro Kirov and with the Bakersfield Symphony,” said Kim. “Sibelius’ ‘Violin Concerto’ is a piece out of a few that really started my interest in classical music when I was younger – I remember listening to a recording of Christian Ferras and feeling so captivated by the emotional and spiritual journey of the concerto. I actually just found my old copy of the Sibelius, and it has hearts drawn all over it!”

Kim made her solo debut at the age of 7 and has been a featured soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Louisville Symphony and Albany Symphony Orchestra.

“I was very, very impressed with her technical abilities and the wonderful sounds she produces and her music making,” Kirov said of Kim. “I’m confident she’ll grow and become one of the top soloists.”

The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra enters its 85th season and second behind Kirov, building off an impressive debut by adding new performances and increasing concert attendance nearly 70 percent.

“We keep building excitement in Bakersfield and I am very proud of the orchestra,” Kirov said. “We’ve come a long way together, even after only a year, and we’re definitely looking toward a bright future.”

Tickets to the February performance range from $20 to $45 and can be purchased at bsonow.org.

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