Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Future classical musical stars to play symphony benefit

‘Dream With Me’ performance will glimpse the future

Express Staff Writer

Eleven-year-old Jackie Evancho will begin her summer orchestra tour with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony Benefit Concert on Sunday, July 31. Courtesy photo

An international recording artist and soprano phenomenon, 11-year old Jackie Evancho will begin her summer orchestra tour with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony Benefit Concert on Sunday, July 31. The tour is on the heels of the release of Evancho's classical crossover album, "Dream With Me," and her PBS special produced by David Foster. The tour will feature Evancho in a repertoire that will include classical arias, pop classics and Oscar-winning tunes, bringing Evancho's great vocal ability to interpret some of the most known majestic and classic songs.

Evancho will headline the "Dream With Me Benefit Concert," but two extraordinary young talents, violinist Ryu Goto and pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, will join her.

The "Dream With Me" concert showcases young talent from across the classical music spectrum.

"We are thrilled to introduce these gifted young musicians to Sun Valley, said Benefit Concert Committee Chair Maggie Sturdevant. "You'll be able to say you heard them here first."

Goto made his concert debut at the age of 7, playing Paganini's Violin Concerto No.1 at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Since then, he has appeared as soloist with numerous international ensembles, including the National Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Symphonica Toscanini, Vancouver Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.

A young pianist of astonishing virtuosity and imagination, Cuban-born Rodríguez calls up images of legendary jazz pianists like Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, Bill Evans and his compatriot Chucho Valdés. Schooled in the rigorous classical conservatories of Havana, Rodríguez's riveting artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as by his Cuban and jazz roots. Discovered at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006 by Quincy Jones, Rodríguez's star has risen rapidly under the tutelage of the famed producer.

"Alfredo is very special and I do not say that easily because I have been surrounded by the best musicians in the world my entire life," Jones said. "He is without doubt one of the best young pianists I've ever seen and with the enormous skills that he already possesses, his potential is limitless."

Evancho's benefit concert program will be conducted by her orchestra conductor, Constantine Kitsopoulos. Sun Valley Summer Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale will conduct Goto and Rodríguez with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony will bring the 14-by-25-foot LED screen back to the Sun Valley Pavilion lawn for every concert from Aug. 1-16. The screen will be erected on the southeast corner of the pavilion lawn in a position similar to what it was in 2010.

"One of the big successes of last summer was the addition of the large LED screen on the lawn," said Brittain Palmedo, president of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. "We are enthusiastic to have the opportunity in the 2011 season to offer free concerts to even larger audiences with the return of the big screen."

The screen rental, camera equipment and video production for the symphony season are underwritten by the Elaine P. Wynn and Family Foundation and an anonymous donor. The Sun Valley Resort is building a permanent structure on which the screen will be mounted.

Tickets for the 2011 Sun Valley Summer Symphony Benefit Concert "Dream With Me" range in price from $50-$500. For details and a complete Sun Valley Summer Symphony program, visit or call 622-5607. Proceeds from the benefit concert support the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's free classical music concerts and year-round education programs.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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