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Atlanta Opera soprano Megan Mashburn will join the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra along with saxophonist James Houlik and Mexican guest conductor Jose Luis Hernandez Estrada for a Valentine's performance Feb. 8. (click for larger version)
January 30, 2014
NORTH FULTON, Ga. – The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents "A Romantic Valentine's Day" gala on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. The evening's performance features internationally renowned tenor saxophonist James Houlik from Chicago performing the Atlanta premiere of Russell Peck's "Upward Stream" saxophone concerto. With him are Mexican guest conductor, the flamboyant Jose Luis Hernandez Estrada conducting Tchaikovsky's romantic "Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy," and Atlanta Opera soprano Megan Mashburn interpreting two arias of Donizetti.

Maestro Thomas Ludwig, former music director of the New York City Symphony and resident conductor for the American Ballet Theatre with Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera House, will lead the 80-piece orchestra in a varied and colorful program that also includes the majestic Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E minor.

Houlik, called "the world's great saxophone virtuoso" by the London Daily Mail, has had over 85 saxophone concertos written for and dedicated to him in a career that has seen him solo with the London Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic and major orchestras across the globe.

Soprano Mashburn makes her LSO debut with two arias by Donizetti – "O luce di quest anima" from Linda Di Chamounix, and "Quel guardo il cavaliere" from Don Pasquale.

Guest conductor Estrada first made his mark as winner of the 14th TCU/Van Cliburn Piano Institute Competition. Estrada studied conducting in Venezuela under El Sistema. The experience encouraged him to write a book – "Aesthetics of Generosity." In 2013, he joined Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela for their Latin American tour and Salzburg Festival performances.

John Lemley of WABE will be master of ceremonies. In keeping with the spirit of Valentine's Day, every woman will be given a rose.

For more information and tickets, call 770-623-8623 or visit

If you go

Ludwig Symphony Orchestra's "A Romantic Valentine's Day" gala

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8

Where: Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest Street, Roswell

Tickets: Call 770-623-8623 or go online at Adults: $22. Seniors: $19. Students: $12.

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