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Tuscarawas News Detail

Kent State University Orchestra Celebrates Concerto Competition Winners on Feb. 10

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

The Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music’s Orchestra continues its 2012-2013 season with a performance highlighting the undergraduate and graduate concerto competition winners on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:30 p.m. in the University Auditorium at Cartwright Hall. 

The graduate concerto contest winner, cellist José Luis Herrera, will perform “Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 33” by Camille Saint- Saëns. The undergraduate winner, senior music performance major and violinist Yang Zeng, will perform “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 53” by Antonin Dvořák.

The orchestra will also perform “The Planets,” an orchestral suite by Gustav Holst. Tickets for the performance are $10 for adults, $5 for students with valid ID, and free for all full-time Kent Campus undergraduate students.

Graduate winner Herrera began playing the cello at age 17, when he picked up the instrument in a music theory class and completely fell in love with it.  Herrera had previously played electric guitar in a punk rock band, but when he found the cello, he says he “traded the band for the orchestra and Green Day for Bach.”

Before attending Kent State University and studying with Keith Robinson and the Miami String Quartet, Herrera studied at Conservatorio de las Rosas in Mexico. Herrera says the concerto competition gives students great stage experience and a sample of the competition atmosphere that they will need to be prepared for once they graduate.

Saint- Saëns’ “Concerto No. 1” was one of the first major pieces Herrera ever learned, and he found it very challenging when he first took it on years ago. Because of this, Herrera says he decided to try the piece again for the concerto competition. This second time learning the piece made the concerto seem “totally new and exciting,” Herrera says.

Undergraduate winner Zeng says it is hard to describe the exact emotions of the Dvořák piece he will perform, but audiences will sense Dvořák’s patriotism and spiritualism in his work. “You do feel the love through the music — a feeling of the love you have for your family and your country,” Zeng says.

Zeng, born in Yunnan, China, has been studying violin since he was six years old. He has performed with the Orchestra of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Middle School, the Orchestra of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Sinfonietta. Zeng also participated in the Kent Blossom Music Festival in 2011 and 2012. He is currently a student of Cathy Meng Robinson and has also studied violin with Benny Kim while at Kent State.

Tickets are available weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. at the Performing Arts Box Office (PABO), located in the lobby of the Roe Green Center in the Music and Speech Building at 1325 Theatre Dr. on the Kent Campus. PABO accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover, in addition to cash and checks.

The Cartwright Hall Box Office will open one hour prior to the performance for walk-up sales, and will also accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Tickets and more information are also available by calling 330-672-ARTS (2787) or visiting www.kent.edu/music.