PORTLAND — The Portland Symphony Orchestra, led by PSO Music Director Eckart Preu with guest pianist Ran Dank, will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Merrill Auditorium. The program is comprised of Robin Holcomb, “No Thing Lives to Itself”; Saint-Saens, “Piano Concerto No. 2”; and Tchaikovsky, “Symphony No. 2 Little Russian.”

Contemporary composer Robin Holcomb’s piece is a PSO world premiere, commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. This work is a reflection on the time that Rachel Carson, renowned American environmentalist and author, lived and worked in a small cottage she built in 1953 on Southport Island in Maine.

The title comes from a paper Carson delivered at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1953 in which she said, “So even in the waters of the sea, we are brought back to the fundamental truth that nothing lives to itself.” This is Holcomb’s second composition about Rachel Carson.

Eckart Preu will reveal the PSO 2020-21 season on stage at each concert.

Guest artist Ran Dank’s notable performances during 2019-20 season include appearances at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Hawaii Concert Society, Purdue Convocations, Gina Bachauer Concert Series, two consecutive recitals at the Pro Musica series in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and a collaboration with Jayce Ogren and the Westchester Philharmonic. Ran Dank is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Naumburg Piano Competition and the Sydney International Piano Competition, and first prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Related concert activities will include the following:


Music Lovers’ Luncheon: Featuring Eckart Preu and composer Robin Holcomb at noon Friday, Jan. 17, at the Portland Country Club. The luncheon is $35 a person and offers an opportunity to meet and hear from Preu and Holcomb. For reservations, visit portlandsymphony.org or call 207-773-6128, ext. 305. Space is limited.

Pre-Concert Conversation: An hour and 15 minutes prior to the concert. It is free to all ticket holders and held in Merrill Auditorium. The discussion will focus on works by Robin Holcomb, Saint-Saëns, and Tchaikovsky.

Post-Concert Q&A: Following the concert, on stage.

The concert may be heard on Maine Public Classical on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Tickets are available through PortTIX at 207-842-0800 or porttix.com. Phone and internet orders are subject to per-ticket handling fees. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Merrill Auditorium box office at 20 Myrtle St. from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

More information can be found at www.portlandsymphony.org.

Comments are not available on this story.