News

Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series and Salem Chamber Orchestra Bring Conductor/Pianist for Residency

Internationally renowned conductor and concert pianist Xu Zhong will be visiting artist-in-residence at Willamette University for 10 days in February. Maestro Xu Zhong's residency will include a solo piano recital Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m., a piano master class Feb. 10 at 11:30 a.m., and two concerts with the Salem Chamber Orchestra (SCO) Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. All performances are in Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette.

The solo recital program, sponsored by the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series, will feature two of Beethoven's monumental piano sonatas, "Sonata in F minor, Op. 57" (Appassionata) and the "Sonata in A Major, Op. 101." Also on the program are works by Liszt and Stravinsky.

Xu Zhong will be featured as both conductor and soloist with SCO. He will take the podium for Mozart's beloved "Overture to Don Giovanni," and then conduct from the piano as he performs Mozart's piano concertos K. 467 in C major and K. 595 in B-flat major.

One of China's most active and influential pianists and conductors, Xu Zhong is the executive artistic director of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Shanghai Sinfonietta. He has enjoyed successful collaborations with many of the world's most renowned musicians and has appeared as guest conductor with Orchestre National de France, Moscow State Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony, China Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

"Mr. Xu Zhong is outstanding among his generation," wrote the Rome Times in Italy. "His talent, fantastic skills, incomparable control and elegance will make him a star worldwide."

Xu Zhong claimed the first prize in prestigious piano competitions, including the 5th Tokyo International and the 10th Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. "Xu Zhong has definitely become the greatest winner in the history of the Tchaikovsky International Competition," wrote Russia's Moscow Daily newspaper.

His concert career as a pianist and conductor includes regular performances in Europe, North and South America, and Southeast Asia. "La Folle Journee de Nantes au Japon," held in May 2005, cited him as one of the most exciting pianists to emerge on the world stage.

Tickets for SCO concerts are $10-$20 for adults, $10 for education employees and $5 for students, with reserved seating. Tickets for the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series recital are $20 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, with general seating. A service charge will be added. The master class is free and open to the public.

Tickets for these events are available through the Pentacle Theatre Box Office, at www.pentacletheatre.org or (503) 485-4300. For more information contact the Salem Chamber Orchestra office at (503) 480-1128 or the Willamette University Music Department at (503) 370-6255.

Xu Zhong Residency Schedule

Sun., Feb. 8
Solo Piano Recital, 7:30 p.m. (adults $20, students/seniors $12)

Tues., Feb. 10
Master Class for Pianists, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (free)

Sat., Feb. 14
Salem Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. (adults $10-$20, education employees $10, students $5)

Sun., Feb. 15
Salem Chamber Orchestra, 3 p.m. (adults $10-$20, education employees $10, students $5)

All performances are in Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette University at 900 State Street in Salem, Ore.

SCO's performances of "Drs. William and Selma Moon Pierce Masterworks Series: Program II" are sponsored by DesignPoint, Inc., and George and Stephanie Puentes. Beautiful watercolor paintings by artist Sam Rouslin are available for sale in the lobby, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting SCO.

Salem Chamber Orchestra is a public benefit corporation operating in association with Willamette University to present professional level chamber orchestra performances, provide a performance platform for Mid-Willamette Valley musicians, and promote the performance, understanding and appreciation of music through artist training and music education programs.

02-02-2009