ROSWELL, Ga. – The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents “A Cherry Blossom Spring Fling” gala concert to close its 15th season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. The evening’s performance features internationally acclaimed Norwegian pianist John Chen interpreting Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, along with Zachary Mansell, first prize winner of the Cleveland International Cello Society competition performing Tchaikovsky’s popular “Rococo” Variations for cello and orchestra and local Atlanta soprano Perri Montane performing arias by Mozart and Wagner.
Chen, called a “brilliant and flamboyant pianistic virtuoso,” is one of the most striking new piano talents on the international scene today. Born in Oslo, Norway of Chinese parents, he made his orchestral solo debut at the tender age of 12 with the Valdres Festival Summer Symphony. Currently a master’s degree student at the New England Conservatory of Music, Chen has soloed with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Oslo Symphony Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony. Winner of many international piano competitions, Chen has concertized in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Africa and the U.S. He has performed at the International Summer Academy in Salzburg, the Margess International Music Festival in Switzerland, the Aspen Music Festival in the U.S. and at the Meisterkurs fur Klavier in Hannover, Germany.
Mansell, a native of Roswell, is currently working on his master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he recently performed Dohnany’s Piano Quintet as the only student with faculty members to a standing ovation. Mansell is the 2011 winner of the Cleveland International Cello Society competition. He has worked with such esteemed conductors as Leonard Slatkin and Christoph Eschenbach and performed at the Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Round Top International Festival in Texas and the Indiana University Summer Festival.
Montane is one of Atlanta’s most talented and versatile sopranos praised by critics and audiences for her “rich vocal timbre and expressive acting.” A graduate of New England Conservatory in Boston and district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, Montane has sung with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Capitol City Opera of Atlanta, the St. Petersburg Opera of Florida and the Asheville Lyric Opera. In her debut with the LSO, she will interpret Mozart’s challenging “Come scoglio” from Cosi Fan Tutte and Wagner’s “Dich teure Halle” from Tannhauser.
Maestro Thomas Ludwig, former music director of the New York City Symphony and resident conductor for American Ballet Theatre with Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera House, will lead the 70-piece orchestra in a program that includes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony No. 35 in D major and Mussorgsky’s exciting “Night on Bald Mountain.”
Tickets may be purchased by calling 770-623-8623 or online at www.ludwigsymphony.org. Prices are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors over 65 and $12 for students under 21. For more information, call 770-623-8623 or visit www.ludwigsymphony.org