The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra (VSO) will present a Classical Masters concert Saturday at 8 p.m. in Whitehead Auditorium, conducted by Dr. Howard Hsu.
Dr. Hsu is the Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestra Studies and an assistant professor of music.
The program features pieces from two of the greatest composers of the Classical era, Mozart’s bubbly Symphony No. 36 (Linz), Schnittke’s entertaining Moz-Art à la Haydn and Mozart’s lively Overture to Così fan tutte.
The program will also feature the solo performance of the award winning cellist, Wendy Warner, performing Haydn’s sunny Cello Concerto No. 2.
“Wendy Warner is an American cellist who is one of the leading musicians in the world today,” Dr. Hsu said. “She was a student and protégé of the legendary cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, and by her 20’s she had made her debut with many of the greatest orchestras all over the world.”
According to Dr. Hsu, Warner has also appeared as a soloist with the Chicago, Boston, London, San Francisco and National Symphonies, as well as the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras.
The VSO is made up of VSU faculty, professionals from as far away as Florida, Atlanta and Alabama as well as VSU music students who have put in many hours of individual practice and group rehearsal in order to prepare for the Classical Masters.
“The weekend of the concert we have three full rehearsals and two concerts over the span of three days,” Dr. Hsu said. “So we will have worked very hard, but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience to perform this incredible music.”
Chelsea Slagor, a sophomore and a member of the VSO said she is very comfortable performing on stage with the orchestra and is excited about performing in the Classical Masters.
“I love being surrounded by such incredible musicians,” Slagor said. “I performed with the Valdosta Symphony last year and really enjoyed my experiences on stage. Dr. Howard Hsu is phenomenal and the fact that I get to play alongside my professors is simply amazing.”
Dr. Hsu and his orchestra aspire to provide Valdosta with the highest level performances of the masterpieces of the classical repertory.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an orchestra of this quality in Valdosta – many larger cities don’t have orchestras at all,” Dr. Hsu said. “Hearing live music in the concert hall can be such an amazing experience, so different from listening at home on an iPod.”
Tickets for the show are $25 and can be purchased by calling the music department’s Outreach Office before Friday at 229-333-2150.
Students with a valid VSU ID may purchase tickets at the door for $10.