Daniel Caruth

Deutsche Grammaphon

Violinist Lisa Batiashvili first attempted a Prokofiev concerto at age 13, shortly after moving from Tbilisi, Georgia, to Hamburg, Germany. She remembers her teacher assigning books instead of technical lessons to help her understand the densely evocative work. Later, when she heard the concerto performed, the piece really came together for her.

"I got to hear all these colors of the concerto," She says. "Then suddenly you understand that this whole music is about theater, it's about telling stories and describing all these incredible characters."

The Fort Smith Symphony closes out the season with Arkansas-born composer Florence Price. In addition to performing her 1st and 4th symphonies, the orchestra embarks on a recording project with classical label stalwart Naxos to release all four of Price's symphonies.

Courtesy: Florencia Zuloaga

Florencia Zuloaga always knew she would be a pianist. She grew up listening to her father and playing by ear before entering into a music conservatory at age 11. 

"I feel this very close connection with the piano... I just can express myself in a way that I think I can't do with anything else,"she says.