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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    President’s concert brings out music’s best

    The 34th annual President’s Concert is one of the most important concerts of the year for the School of Music, as it showcases talented musicians at UA and is in honor of new university President Robert Shelton.

    The show will feature the Arizona Symphony Orchestra in addition to four music graduate student soloists who won the Concerto Competition.

    “”It gives a very important opportunity to these soloists. It shows in a high-profile way the individual accomplishments of the students,”” said Thomas Cockrell, director of orchestral activities and conductor of the ASO. “”It’s a way of showcasing excellence in the School of Music.””

    Cockrell wanted the concert to feature different styles to balance the program. The lineup for the concert will include two pieces performed by the ASO: Michael Abels’ “”Global Warming”” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “”Leonore No. 3.”” Cockrell says “”Global Warming”” is about the similarities of folk music from different cultures. The piece morphs Irish music with music from the Middle East.

    The event will also show off the talents of graduate soloists who will be playing with the symphony.

    Graduate students entered the Concerto Competition in the fall and only one from each of the four divisions (strings, piano, winds and voice) were chosen. These students include Heidi Tims on harp, performing Gabriel Pierne’s “”Concertstuck for Harp and Orchestra””; Miroslava Panayotova on piano with Chopin’s “”Concerto no. 2, op. 21 in F minor””; trumpeter Martin Patfield performing Aleksandr Haroutunian’s “”Trumpet Concerto””; and soprano vocalist Christi Amonson with “”Glitter and be Gay,”” from Leonard Bernstein’s “”Candide.””

    The concert also features graduate conductors for three of the four soloists. These conductors include Eiki Isomura, James Stopher and Martin Majkut.

    Panayotova, originally from Bulgaria, started playing piano at age 5 and came to America in 2001. She decided to apply for the Concierto Competition partly because of the chance to play with the ASO.

    “”The excitement of performing with the orchestra is strong motivation (to apply),”” Panayotova said. “”I love Chopin’s concertos.””

    She said playing with the orchestra is a “”rewarding experience.””

    Tims chose the UA because it was one of the few schools in the nation with a harp performance department. She said she also likes the experience of playing with an orchestra.

    “”It’s different feeling because you’re not just playing at your own tempo. You have to play it the same way every time,”” she said. “”It’s one of the highest honors, being able to represent the strings in the School of Music. I’m excited to do it.””

    The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m at Crowder Hall in the Music building. The cost is $9 general admission, $7 for UA employees and seniors, and $5 for students.

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