Susanville Symphony performs this weekend

Classical music lovers are in for a real treat this weekend when the Susanville Symphony presents Classical Masterpieces at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 2 and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3 at the Susanville Assembly of God Church on Richmond Road.

Ben Wade, the Susanville Symphony Society’s artistic director and conductor, said, “Some music critics say that what the Susanville Symphony is playing in its March concert is some of the greatest classical music ever written. In fact, Schubert’s 9th has been coined with the phrase, Symphony in C Major, The Great. The origin of this concert came about when my father passed away last year. I wanted to do a concert that highlighted many of his favorites. There is a story behind every one, but in lieu of many of our cornerstone music lovers in Lassen County passing away this past year, I wanted this to be a tribute for all of them.”

According to Wade, this will be “the hardest concert we’ve ever done — it’s classical greatness.”

Once again, symphony patrons will be delighted by another performance by an exceptional young musician who appeared with the symphony several years ago.

Oliver Lietner, 17, is a senior at the Davidson Academy of Nevada who studies with Carol Laube of Reno Philharmonic, and he will perform what Wade called “one of the most difficult pieces ever written for his instrument — Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1. He’s doing something a lot of professionals struggle with. It is such a difficult piece, and it’s written with a very high musical intelligence. It’s a beautiful piece, very moving, very passionate … Having already been accepted to Yale, Lietner is an exceptional individual, and his future in and out of the music world will be profound.”

Wade said he had to spend quite a bit of time studying it so he could understand it. And then Wade said he had to dig deep to come up with other pieces to match it.

“It will definitely be a very moving concert,” Wade said.

Lietner has attended the Aspen Music School, the California Summer Music and the Academy for Gifted Students at the Freiburg Conservatory in Germany.

He is a three-time grand prize winner of the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Advance tickets are available at Axia Home Loans and Margie’s Book Nook. For tickets or more information, call 310-8111.