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TSO Announces First Concert with Young Artists, Composers in 4 Years

The winners of the 2013-14 Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition will perform with guest conductor Michael Hall and the TSO at the Celebrate the Future concert on Friday, May 9 at 8:00 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall. Mr. Hall and the TSO will also perform three works by students from the TSO’s nationally recognized Young Composers Project. Completing the program will be TSO performances of works by Brahms, Verdi, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. This is the feel good night of the season.

The Celebrate the Future performers are: pianist Hannah Lee, a fourth grader from Ventana Vista Elementary School who will perform the Allegro from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23; University of Arizona percussionist Trevor Barroero, who will perform the second movement of Séjourné’s Marimba Concerto ; and pianist Rebecca Shiao, a senior at Catalina Foothills High School, performing the first movement of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

The Celebrate the Future program will open with Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and conclude with the final movement from Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. The orchestra will also perform the overture from Verdi’s La forza del destino and Shostakovich’s Festive Overture.

Launched in 1987, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition continues to draw many fine young musicians from throughout Arizona.  This year, 60 musicians in three age divisions participated. The Competition takes place each fall, with young instrumental musicians (ages 8 – 22) competing for the highest cash prizes in the region and an opportunity to perform with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.  Performances are judged by members of the TSO and all participants receive helpful written commentary and suggestions from the judges.

This year, the Young Artists Competition winners were chosen by Lauren Roth, TSO Concertmaster, Paula Fan, principal keyboard, Michael Byerly, principal clarinet, Conrad Jones, principal trumpet, James Karrer, principal bass, Ian Jones, cello and Michael Dauphinais, UA Adjunct Instructor, piano.

Also featured on the Celebrate the Future program are works by three students from the TSO Young Composers Project: Anthony Constantino’s “Vesuvius,” Symphony No. 1 Waltz by Angelese Pepper and “M82” by Ben Nead. Constantino, a junior at the Manhattan School of Music, spent three years in the TSO’s Young Composers Project and has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Arizona Repertory Singers, and other notable ensembles; Pepper, a cellist from Safford, Arizona, is a senior at Insight Academy of Arizona and largely self-taught in music; Nead is currently a senior at University High School.  He has studied cello since age four with TSO’s assistant principal cellist Mary Beth Tyndall and has been in the Young Composers Project for seven years.

A unique and nationally recognized program, the TSO Young Composers Project uses the Orchestra as a living laboratory, providing interaction between students and professionals including TSO musicians, guest artists and conductors, to explore the creative process of composition. Participants meet twice per month from September through May, culminating in two public reading sessions by the Tucson Symphony Chamber Orchestra and one by the TSO String Quintet. These reading sessions produce study recordings of the young composers’ newly created pieces.

Since 1993, the TSO Young Composers Project program has produced more than 200 new works by young composers. Compositions have been performed on TSO’s Young People’s Concerts and have been programmed on the orchestra’s subscription concerts. Graduates of this program have gone on to study in the most prestigious conservatories and universities in the country and to work in the field of composition.

The Young Composers Project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts for the past seven consecutive years. In reaching the decision to fund the Young Composers Project, the NEA praised the high level of composition by young participants, the strong quality of the arts education and learning, and the setting of goals for youths to achieve.

This is the first Celebrate the Future concert the TSO has produced since May, 2010.  Shawn Campbell, Vice President of Artistic Engagement and Education and a member of the TSO horn section, explains:

“The Celebrate the Future concert is a true celebration of the talent and artistic excellence in Tucson. The TSO knows how important it is to recognize the most talented young musicians in our region by giving them a chance to perform with a professional orchestra. And, we know how thrilling, valuable and rare it is for a young composer to hear their creation performed by a professional orchestra. We can’t wait to share all of this talent with our audiences and community.”

  Celebrate the Future receives generous support from Adrienne Knoll in memory of her husband, Bob Knoll.

Tickets to Celebrate the Future are $10, $5 for children under 12. Tickets are at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue, by phone at (520) 882-8585 or at the door. TSO Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from noon to 5:00 pm unless otherwise indicated.