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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Two days of talent at President’s Concert


    This weekend, Crowder Hall will be filled with people, all waiting to hear music from the four winners of this year’s UA Concerto Competition. The 42nd annual President’s Concert will feature the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and the competition winners — Erin McMullen, Tiezheng Shen, Christine Yi and Nino Bakradze. Each soloist represents one of the four areas of the Fred Fox School of Music — strings, voice, wind and percussion, and keyboard.

    Christine Yi, a sophomore pursuing music, will play the alto saxophone at the concert this weekend.
    “I am very excited to be chosen to play as a soloist in this concert,” Yi said. “It’s like a dream come true. I have attended this concert before, and the soloists were absolutely amazing.”

    For her piece, Yi chose Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera. She said she has been working on the piece for three years now and has developed a strong attachment to it over the years. 

    “[I’ve been] practicing my piece at half tempo, making sure that I have full control over the piece and my instrument,” Yi said about her preparation for her solo. 

    Erin McMullen, an undergraduate pursuing vocal performance, represents the vocal area of the Fred Fox School of Music, as she is a mezzo-soprano. For her solo piece, she will be performing Mozart’s Il Padre Adorato

    Tiezheng Shen, viola performance graduate student, will represent the string area of the music school. Throughout his career, Shen has been a part of many symphonies, including the Conway Symphony Orchestra, Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic. At the concert, Shen will be performing the first and second movement from the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, composed by Alfred Schnittke. Shen said he has loved the piece since his freshman year in 2006. 

    “It is the most challenging viola concerto ever composed, and it reveals the concept of the concerto as the struggle between the individual and society — the fatal clash of constructive and destructive forces,” Shen said.

    Shen is honored to be able to perform such a piece in front of the audience at the concert this weekend.

    The final soloist of the night, Nino Bakradze, is part of the doctor of musical arts program in piano performance. Previously, Bakradze has attended prestigious establishments such as the New England Conservatory and the Boston Conservatory. Throughout her career, Bakradze has competed in countries around the world, including Finland, Armenia, Poland, Georgia, China, Spain, Brazil and here in the U.S.. She will be performing the second and third movements of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Along with her other prestigious credentials, Bakradze has also received a grant from the Prime Minister of Georgia, her home country.

    Thomas Cockrell, director of orchestral activities in the School of Music, will conduct the 42nd President’s Concert, along with doctoral students Ace Edewards and Keun Oh. The event will take place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Crowder Hall. Admission is $10 for the general public, $7 for UA employees and seniors and $5 for students.


    Follow Chelsea Cook on Twitter.

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