Exceptional young musicians from the Music and Arts Conservatory of Santa Barbara will realize their dreams by performing with a professional orchestra in a breathtaking display of young talent at 3 p.m. this Sunday, May 6, at the Granada Theatre.
This is the conservatory’s 28th Annual Young Soloists Showcase Concert, where the soloists, chosen from an audition process, will perform with a full, professional orchestra. Artistic Director Nina Bodnar is excited about the students who were chosen for this year’s concert.
“This represents many hours of hard work and a very serious dedication to their craft,” she said.
Conductor Avlana Eisenberg will work with the soloists separately and then together with the orchestra.
“Our students are excited and honored to perform before parents, family, friends and the Santa Barbara community,” said Bodnar, an internationally renowned violinist and Santa Barbara native. “Upon hearing them play, we think you will agree that classical music is alive and well, nurturing a new generation.”
Various pieces include Polonaise in D Major by Henri Wieniawski, Concerto in G Minor by Max Bruch, Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell, Violin Concerto in D Minor by Bruch, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Concerto in A Minor by Robert Schumann.
Pianist Michael Sikich has been studying classical piano for 11 years and jazz piano for five. He says he has enjoyed learning how to collaborate with the conductor and orchestra and has learned the music within that collaborative context.
A high school senior, Sikich has just auditioned for nine of the most prestigious music schools in the country and has been accepted to several top schools, including New England, Indiana University and Oberlin, among others.
Violinist Camille Miller has been accepted to several top music schools for next year and is still deciding. She has been studying violin since she was 8 years old and has performed several times as a “Young Soloist.” Last Saturday, she was awarded top place with the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation.
Another returning violinist this year is Sofya Prykhitko, who will perform Polonaise in D Major by Wieniawski. Prykhitko, who moved to the United States 16 years ago from the Ukraine, also sings with the San Marcos High School Madrigals.
Daria Etezadi, who attends Laguna Blanca School, will perform the Warsaw Concerto by Addinsell, a single-movement piano concerto written for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight. The filmmakers wanted something in the style of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini but were unable to persuade Rachmaninoff himself to write a new piece. Clearly, Etezadi loves a challenge.
More returning champs include violinist Andrew Horak, who will graduate from Laguna Blanca in 2014. He will be performing the Violin Concerto in D Minor by Bruch. Pianist Grace Stanton really loves to play chamber music but is excited to perform the Concerto in F Minor by Frederic Chopin with the entire orchestra.
Sophia Zheng (Concerto in A Minor by Schumann) is a sophomore who performed in her first Young Soloists Showcase at age 10.
“Getting to play with an orchestra is one of the best musical experiences I have ever had,” she said.
Performing for the second time is Joshelle Conley, a violinist who will also perform a piece by Bruch, Concerto in G Minor. Conley travels from San Luis Obispo each Saturday to attend the Music & Arts Conservatory.
First-time soloist Marcos Schneider was so excited to be invited to perform that he posted it on his Facebook page.
“I feel very honored and somewhere in between excited and nervous,” h said.
The Santa Barbara Music & Arts Conservatory, established in 1989 by founding director Lana Bodnar, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering full growth and creativity in our youth, the pursuit of excellence in a safe environment, and the celebration of artistic tradition as an expression of our humanity. The organization receives in-kind support from the Granada Theatre, Maravilla Senior Living Community and SBCC.
— Barbara Burger for the Music and Arts Conservatory of Santa Barbara.