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Music Academy Names Concerto Competition Finalists

Violinist Xi Liao, cellist Brook Speltz, pianist Shijun Wang and clarinetist Gabriel Campos will perform solos on July 24

Having bested the field at this year’s Concerto Competition Finals, four accomplished instrumentalists will take featured soloist turns with the Music Academy of the West’s Festival Orchestra at The Granada on Saturday, July 24. Conducted by Daniel Hege, this year’s Concerto Night concert will begin at 8 pm. Tickets start at $10.

The 2010 Concerto Night soloists will be violinist Xi Liao, cellist Brook Speltz, pianist Shijun Wang and clarinetist Gabriel Campos. Pianist Konstantin Alexeev was named alternate. In the event a finalist is unable to perform, Alexeev will take the stage. All five musicians are attending the Music Academy of the West this summer.

Liao will perform the last two movements of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35. Speltz will perform the first movement of Antonin Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Opus 104. Wang will perform the first movement of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Opus 15. Campos will perform Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, Opus 57.

Eighteen Music Academy fellows took part in the 2010 Concerto Competition Finals on July 10. This year’s judges were Margaret Batjer, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Joanne Pearce Martin, principal keyboardist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and legendary flutist James Walker, a faculty member at the USC Thornton School of Music. The Music Academy Concerto Competition began this year with 51 Academy Fellows auditioning for the opportunity to compete in the finals.

Hege, who has served as music director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for 10 seasons, is widely recognized as one of the nation’s finest young conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming. Having been appointed music director of the Wichita Symphony in June 2009, he will begin his tenure there in September.

— Tim Dougherty is communications manager for the Music Academy of the West.

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