Ariel to host 1700s violin


Staff Report



GALLIPOLIS — The Ohio Valley Symphony, and its home the Ariel Opera House, are preparing for spring performances to celebrate its 30th anniversary and a famous Stradivarius violin of the 1700s is set to visit.

According to OVS information, musician Elizabeth Pitcairn asked if she could return to to perform the 30th Anniversary concert March 30 at 7:30 p.m. She will reportedly bring her Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius and will be joined by Maestro Miriam Burns on the podium for an evening of classic performance.

American violin virtuoso Pitcairn is passionate about youth and education. She serves as president and artistic director of the Luzerne Music Center which provides training for gifted young musicians ages 9-18 in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.

She performs with one of the world’s most legendary instruments, the “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius violin of 1720, said to have inspired the Academy Award winning film “The Red Violin.” Pitcairn is featured on the 10th Anniversary edition of The Red Violin DVD in a special feature called “The Auction Block.” Named the Red Stradivarius violin while in the possession of Joseph Joachim, it was a gift from her grandfather in 1990 at Christie’s Auction in London.

Pitcairn made her debut with orchestra at age 14 performing the Saint-Saëns Concerto, and has since appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in the year 2000 with the New York String Orchestra in her New York debut. She has since performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Kimmel Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Fisher Center at Bard College. She has given performances of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra of China and with conductor Wagner Politschuk in São Paulo, Brazil.

Under the baton of Finnish conductor Hannu Koivula, Pitcairn has performed the Barber Concerto with the Vaasa City Symphony, the Jönkopping Symphony of Sweden and given the premiere of eminent Swedish composer’s Hymnen an die Nacht with the Helsingborg Symphony. She gave a nationally televised broadcast of the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Classic FM Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria conducted by Maxim Eshkenazy. She has also concertized in Italy, France, Germany, the British Isles, Hungary, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the French West Indies, Austria, Romania and the Czech Republic. She has appeared in recital at the Cayman Arts Festival with pianist Glen Inanga and with the Arkansas Philharmonic and the North Mississippi Symphonies conducted by Steven Byess. She has appeared with the Fort Collins Symphony conducted by Wes Kenney, the Allentown Symphony with Diane Wittry, the Bucks County Symphony, Ridgewood Symphony and Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra of New York led by Gary Fagin, the Marin Symphony conducted by Alasdair Neale and the USC and Richardson Symphonies conducted by Anshel Brusilow.

She performed the Brahms Double Concerto with Ronald Leonard, under the sbaton of Yehuda Gilad and Carlo Ponti, Jr. She has performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the San Luis Obispo Symphony music director Michael Nowak, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Lara Webber and the Livermore Symphony.

In 2010, on the 20th anniversary of the auction of the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius, she gave a commemorative recital in Cremona, Italy with pianist Igor Longato, whom she met at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998. She has toured northern Italy with the TOCCATA-Tahoe Orchestra performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and in 2017, she will tour Vienna, Salzburg and Prague, as well as Romania and Serbia. Also in 2017, she will perform The Red Violin Chaconne with Maestro Jung-Ho Pak and the Cape Symphony and record the Sibelius Violin Concerto which will be released together with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Maestro Burns was on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, having been appointed by Kurt Masur as a result of a competitive audition by-invitation-only. In this capacity, she accompanied the orchestra on tour to the Far East as the tour assistant conductor to then new Music Director, Lorin Maazel, and for eight years was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.

Now in her sixth season as music director and conductor of the Tysons McLean Orchestra (Virginia), Burns continues as music director of The Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City since 1995. Recent prior music directorships include the Tallahassee Symphony, where she was designated a Paul Harris Fellow for six years of outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Tallahassee, the Kenosha Symphony and the Lawton Philharmonic. Additionally, she is principal conductor and music advisor for the popular multimedia orchestral show RePLAY: Symphony of Heroes, based on the symphonic music of videogames. As such, she conducted the world premiere with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, followed by performances with the Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, members of the Toronto Symphony at the Sony Centre, and conducts ensuing performances with other major orchestras as the show is booked.

Burns has received conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Paul Vermel, and the Conductors Guild, where she was unanimously presented with their prestigious biennial prize, the Thelma Robinson Scholarship, while still a student at Mannes College of Music (NY). Ms. Burns also received an Artist Diploma in Yale University’s eminent Conductor Apprentice Program on full scholarship and upon special invitation of Yale faculty.

For more information, visit arieltheatre.org.

Staff Report