Symphony celebrates the concerto
|The orchestra members of this year’s Susanville Symphony pose for the group’s annual portrait. Photo by Owen Bateson|
Feb. 12, 2013 — Classical music lovers and fans of the Susanville Symphony Society presents an evening of concertos at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Susanville Assembly of God Church on Richmond Road.
Conductor Ben Wade said concertos feature performances by solo performers, giving the orchestra and soloists an opportunity to shine. In fact, Wade said concertos are written so composers can showcase a soloist.
“Last year we had great success with Elizabeth Pitcairn’s Red Violin concert, and the audience was just floored,” Wade said. “They loved the fact we had this beautiful soloist virtuoso with this very famous violin who came to Susanville and performed with the symphony.”
When Wade contemplated this year’s season, he wanted to present another similar concert.
“I’m always trying to look for new ideas, but I’d also like for the symphony and this commuity to foster and promote composers and soloists who are going to be big one day. I think that’s part of what I want to do … We can say, this composer, this soloist, this violinist, we premiered their work.”
Wade said Carol Laube, a violinist for Reno who has performed with the symphony for a decade, asked him to listen to one of her students — Oliver Leitner.
“Carol said, ‘I have this student, who’s 11 years old, and he’s just something else.’ He is really one of a kind … This kid is unbelievable. He’s going to be something. He plays with a passion and a depth I’ve never heard an 11-year-old play with before. To feature this young man in his first professional concerto is a great opportunity for us and a great opportunity for him. When you listen to someone this talented, you forget their age.”
Ironically, Wade said he planned to present Leitner’s performance as the finale to the show, but he has to get to bed early, despite the performance! Wade said his parents and his teacher said he still has to go to bed by 9 p.m. The conductor said he rearranged the Friday night show to accommodate the young virtuoso.
“He’s just going to knock the audience’s socks off,” Wade said. “If they liked Pitcairn last year, they’re going to love this concert as much if not more.”
The Susanville Symphony’s performance features other talented artists including Peter and Johnny Lenz on cellos playing Vivaldi, Ray White playing “The Strauss French Horn Concerto,” Sheri Hagen performing Charminade’s “Concertino for Flute,” Liudmila Mullin performing selections from Elgar’s “Sea Pictures,” viola soloist Tianna Heppner-Harjo and the symphony’s youngest ever virtuoso, Leitner, playing the Mozart “Violin Concerto.”
For more information or tickets, call 257-2920 or go to susanvillesymphony.com.
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