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DPO Violinist Jessica Hung Presents Four Favorites in "Concertmaster's Choice" at the DAI

CONTACT:
Chuck Duritsch
Communications and Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138
cduritsch@daytonperformingarts.org

DAYTON, OH (December 27, 2013) – On Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. in the Dayton Art Institute Renaissance Auditorium, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present Concertmaster’s Choice, the third and final Special Events in the DPO 2013-2014 Signature Season.

Talented DPO Concertmaster Jessica Hung has personally selected the pieces for this evening’s performance. She will be joined by pianist Zsolt Bognár for this concert. Bognár has been hailed by the European press for his “overwhelmingly visceral” playing and a “phenomenal sound world realized through maximum palette.”

Antonin Dvorák was a pragmatist—or at least it seems so with regard to finding inspiration and motivation for, or satisfaction from, his composing efforts. His Romantic Pieces started life as his trio (two violins and viola) "Miniatures." A violist himself, Dvorák composed "Miniatures" for two violinists, one an amateur, because he wanted to play music with them, but they weren’t of sufficient ability to handle anything too terribly complex. Not satisfied, Dvorák rearranged the trio for violin, viola, and piano; he also changed the name to Romantic Pieces. Of writing this arrangement, Dvorák wrote to his publisher, “I enjoy the work as much as if I was writing a large symphony—what do you say to that?”

Much of the compositional output in the last year of Franz Schubert’s short life was pervaded by hopelessness and denunciation. But he cast his Fantasy in C major against type; it is relaxed, rather casual, and cheerfully optimistic. Listen carefully, and you’ll hear the piano drop hints of Hungarian musical origins, while the violin dives and twirls like a gypsy in the midst of a frenetic dance with a freedom and ease that belies what is, in reality, a complex, brilliant piece of composition.

It might well have been an insult to a composer of great repute in the world of cinema to write incidental music for a play by Shakespeare. But as with all his compositions, Austrian-born Hollywood film composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold didn’t take it as such. If you follow American cinema at all, you doubtless are familiar with the work of film composers such as Max Steiner, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman, all of whom took their cue from Korngold, who, in a sense, founded the genre. Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing Suite bears the same compositional pedigree as his 1930s Oscar-winning scores for The Adventures of Robin Hood and Anthony Adverse.

Norwegian Edvard Grieg wrote three violin sonatas, all of which—like certain of the works of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius—boast an inherent sense of nationalism. As with his first two, Grieg’s Sonata No. 3 contained at least the feeling of a Norwegian folk song. Audacious, epic, romantic, peaceful, and spirited are just a few of the adjectives you might use to describe this work, which Grieg considered to be of a “broader horizon” than the others.

Concertmaster’s Choice general seating tickets at the DAI Renaissance Auditorium are $20, Seniors $18 and Students $10. More information is available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org.

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About Zsolt Bognár

Praised by the German press for his sold-out 2012 Berlin Debut at the Young Euro Classic Festival at the Konzerthaus in Gendarmenmarkt that was “intellectually shaped, powerful, and of crystalline precision”, Zsolt Bognár’s performances in America, Europe, and Asia have been praised as “overwhelmingly visceral…a phenomenal sound world realized through maximum palette.”

With recent debut performances in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Munich, Brussels, Vienna, and in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Mr. Bognár releases his first CD album of works of Schubert and Liszt in 2013, recorded in Berlin with the legendary producer Philipp Nedel. Recipient of the 2007 Arthur Loesser Prize and having studied with Sergei Babayan for over ten years, Mr. Bognár is frequently invited to perform chamber music with members of the Cleveland Orchestra in live NPR broadcasts.

Winner of numerous international piano competitions in America and in Europe, he is the host of “Living the Classical Life”–a documentary film series of interviews with musicians from around the world, presented by Elyria Pictures in New York. His musical collaborations and diverse projects were the recipient of an International Festival Society Grant in 2013 to spend a week with Martha Argerich, and have included international speaking engagements, publications, and residencies in performance series and universities. Especially noted for his insights in the works of Beethoven, Schubert, and Russian repertoire, Mr. Bognár has been selected by the Wilhelm Kempff Foundation to present six Beethoven sonatas and two concerti in the Amalfi Coast of Italy.

About Jessica Hung

Violinist Jessica Hung as served as Concertmaster of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008. Previously, Jessica held the same title with the Annapolis, Ashland, Chicago Civic, Cleveland Institute of Music and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestras, as well as the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as Principal Second Violin of the Blossom Festival Orchestra, as Guest Concertmaster with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and as a substitute violinist with major orchestras of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Jessica’s appointments in Dayton came on the heels of intensive training with William Preucil, Concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Stephen Rose, Principal Second Violin. In 2007, she received a Bachelor of Music with Academic Honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She began her undergraduate education at Northwestern University, where she studied with Gerardo Ribiero.

Born in Kankakee, Illinois, to Taiwanese parents, Jessica grew up in the Chicago area and currently resides in Dayton with her husband, John, and their two cats, Nikki and Aeneas.

About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence. Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.

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