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Love is in the air at Leeds Town Hall

Love is in the air as world-class husband and wife musicians, Rafael Payare and Alisa Weilerstein perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 24 October.

Developing into one of the most sought after young conductors, Rafael Payare leads his world-renowned cellist wife Alisa Weilerstein in a performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 2. Dedicated to Rostropovich, the concerto is emotional and imaginative and among Shostakovich’s boldest and greatest works. Under the baton of Rafael Payare, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will also perform Strauss’ stunning Don Juan and Dvoƙák's folk inspired Symphony No 8 which was written in just ten weeks!

Tonight’s cellist Alisa Weilerstein speaks about how her husband Rafael Payare proposed and what it is like working together:
"He proposed in Venezuela, on the third anniversary of our first meeting. I was surprised by how he did it - on a mountain, by the sea. It was a full moon…”
“We really like working together…We don't argue much, but we do have intense discussions about music.”

Considered one of the leading concert cellists in the world, American-born Alisa Weilerstein is “a young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition” (MacArthur Foundation). An exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, Alisa was the first cellist to be signed by the label for over twenty years! She has appeared with all of the major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged nine, Alisa is now a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Tonight’s conductor, Rafael Payare has been Chief Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra since September 2014 and was recently appointed Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival in Virginia. He has made recent debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony and the Chicago Symphony to name just a few. Last season saw his acclaimed opera debut conducting Madame Butterfly at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Born in 1980 and a graduate of the celebrated El Sistema in Venezuela, Rafael began his formal conducting studies in 2004. In May 2012 he was awarded first prize at the Malko International Conducting Competition.

Tickets for this concert are priced £12.50-£33.50 and are available from the Box Office on 0113 224 3801 or book online at Don’t forget that 50% discounts are available for students, under 18s and jobseekers. Plus, if you’re under 26 you can purchase tickets for an orchestral concert for just £5 in the seven days before the concert.