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Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents Valentine's Day gala
by Staff
January 22, 2014 05:10 PM | 2586 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Lemley
John Lemley
The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents "A Romantic Valentine's Day" Gala on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. The evening's performance features internationally renowned tenor saxophonist-James Houlik from Chicago performing the Atlanta premiere of Russell Peck's "Upward Stream" saxophone concerto, Mexican guest conductor-the flamboyant Jose Luis Hernandez Estrada-conducting Tschaikovsky's romantic Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, and Atlanta Opera soprano Megan Mashburn interpreting two arias of Donizetti.

Legendary James Houlik, called "the world's great saxophone virtuoso" by the London Daily Mail, has had over 85 saxophone concertos written for and dedicated to him in a career that has seen him solo with the London Symphony Orchestra, Czeck Philharmonic, and major orchestras across the globe. North Carolinian composer Russell Peck wrote "Upward Stream" for James Houlik before his untimely death three years ago by suicide. This revolutionary masterpiece shows every faucet of the tenor saxophone from the tender, sweet sound of the upper range to the luscious full bodied lower range with a wide swath of virtuosic pyrotechnics thrown in for good measure. The work is powerful, energetic, and infused with rhythm and blues harmonies.

Soprano-Megan Mashburn makes her LSO debut with two scintillating arias by Donizetti- "O luce di quest anima" from Linda Di Chamounix and "Quel guardo il cavaliere" from Don Pasquale. According to the Boston Globe-Atlanta Opera's dazzlying soprano "sings with simplicity and charm". Ms. Mashburn's Opera credits include "Un Pastore" in Tosca with the Atlanta Opera, "Queen of the Night" at the Almafi Music Festival in Italy, Haydn's "Creation" at Boston Symphony Hall, and winner of the 2013 Orpheus Vocal Competition Handel Award.

Guest conductor Maestro Jose Luis Hernandez Estrada first made his mark as winner of the 14th TCU/Van Cliburn Piano Institute Competition. Performing as a piano soloist, Mr. Estrada was called a pianist of "exquisite sensibility" by Mexico's El Manana and "a star" by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Jose Luis Hernandez Estrada studied conducting in Venezuela under El Sistema. The experience encouraged him to write a book-"Aesthetics of Generosity". In 2013, he joined Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela for their Latin American tour and Salzburg Festival performances.

Maestro Thomas Ludwig, former music director of the New York City Symphony and resident conductor for the American Ballet Theatre with Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera House, will lead the eighty piece orchestra in a varied and colorful program that also includes the majestic Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E minor. John Lemley, of WABE, will be Master of Ceremonies. In keeping with the spirit of Valentine's Day, every woman will be given a rose.

Tickets may be purchased by calling (770) 623-8623 or online at Prices are Adults-$22. Seniors-$19. and Students $12. (under 22)

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