UA show to spotlight concerto contest winners

2013-01-31T00:00:00Z UA show to spotlight concerto contest winnersCathalena E. Burch Cburch@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star
January 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Every year for the past 40, the University of Arizona School of Music has hosted its prestigious Concerto Competition.

The idea is to find the stars of tomorrow among the class of today. Each year, as you watch the winners show off their considerable talents at the President's Concert, you tell yourself that it can't possibly get any better than this year.

But the next year it does get better.

This year the school celebrates four decades of the contest with a quartet of artists filled with promise. To mark the anniversary, the concert moves from the School of Music's Crowder Hall to UA's Centennial Hall, which can seat nearly four times as many people. This also marks the first President's Concert for new UA President Ann Weaver Hart, who organizers said plans to be at Saturday's concert.

Here's a look at the artists and what they will perform:

• Euphonium player Matt Viesca, a graduate of Chandler's Basha High School, will perform James Curnow's "Symphonic Variants." Viesca, who has performed in 22 states and Guatemala, works with a number of Tucson high school marching bands and aspires to one day teach music.

• Mezzo-soprano Emily Spirk, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., will perform Mozart's "Ah, scostati! … Smanie implacabili" from the opera "Così fan tutte." Spirk has appeared in several UA Opera Theater productions and placed third in last year's Amelia Rieman Opera Competition.

• Taiwanese pianist Chien-I Yang, a doctoral student with a growing résumé of performances, will play Franz Liszt's "Totentanz: Paraphrase on 'Dies Irae.' " Yang has been active in musical theater as well as symphonic music as a soloist and chamber artist.

• Russia-born violinist Evgeniya Belinskaya, who has a growing list of international contest wins to her credit, will perform Ernest Chausson's "Poème." Belinskaya, who has been playing violin since she was 6, has been competing since she won her first competition when she was 8 in 1990.

The President Concert's program also will include Stravinsky's "La Sacre du Printemps, Part 1: The Adoration of the Earth." Arizona Symphony Orchestra Music Director and conductor Thomas Cockrell will lead the orchestra with graduate student conductors Ace Edewards and Keun Oh.

If you go

• What: 40th Annual President's Concert.

• Featuring: The Arizona Symphony Orchestra and Concerto Competition winners Matt Viesca on euphonium, mezzo-soprano Emily Spirk, pianist Chien-I Yang and violinist Evgeniya Belinskaya.

• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the University of Arizona campus.

• Cost: $11 general, $9 UA employees and seniors 55+, $5 students through tickets.arizona.edu or by calling 621-1162.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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