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Violinist Sandy Cameron to perform with Aiken Symphony Orchestra on May 12

April 21, 2018

Classical violinist Sandy Cameron will join the Aiken Symphony Orchestra on May 12 to perform Jean Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47.”

The program also will feature works by George Gershwin and Ottorino Respighi.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Etherredge Center at USC Aiken.

Single concert tickets range from $30 or $45 and are available through the Etherredge Center box office. For tickets, call 803-641-3305.

Declared “brilliant” by The Washington Post, Cameron – whose style has been called acrobatic, athletic and commanding – has become one of the most strikingly unique artists of her generation, according to a news release from the orchestra.

Cameron has performed extensively as a soloist and recitalist throughout North America, Europe and Korea. She also was a featured guest at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia; at the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg, Austria; and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

Cameron has toured as a soloist with orchestras, including the Kirov Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Cameron uses a violin crafted by Pietro Guarnerius of Venice in about 1735. The instrument is on loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

The “Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47,” was revised several times by Sibelius and remains one of the most difficult for the violin soloist, according to the release. The composer’s only concerto, the piece places equal emphasis on the voices of all sections of the orchestra and the soloist.

Much of the Romantic nostalgia in the concerto reflects the composer’s unfulfilled dream of becoming a violin virtuoso, according to the releaser. While much of the violin writing is purely virtuosic, even the showy passages alternate with the melodic.

This concerto is generally symphonic in scope, departing completely from the often lighter “rhythmic” accompaniments of many other concertos.

Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture” is a symphonic overture, or tone poem for orchestra. Gershwin, who composed the piece after a two-week holiday in Havana, Cuba, was particularly influenced for this work by Cuban percussion instruments and the development of rumba dance rhythms.

Caribbean rhythms and Cuban native percussion, with a wide spectrum of instrumental color and technique, dominate the piece, according to the release. Rich and exciting, with complexity and sophistication, the work illustrates the influence of Cuban music and dance.

The “Pini di Roma,” or “Pines of Rome,” composed by Respighi, is a four-movement tone poem for orchestra depicting pine trees in four locations in Rome at different times of the day. The work is the second of Respighi’s trilogy based on the city.

The structure of the work follows the pines from the Villa Borghese, with children playing; to near a catacomb, featuring a cavern and chapel; to Janiculum Hill, with the temple of Janus and full moon; and to the Appian Way, representing the past glories of Rome.

The classical piece tests the orchestra’s virtuosity with masterful scoring developed during Respighi’s study under the orchestrator Rimsky-Korsakov, according to the release. The work calls for an enormous variety of instruments as well as intense focus on musical content.

Conceived by conductor Dr. Donald Portnoy and formed in 2015, the Aiken Symphony Orchestra comprises professional musicians from the region.

Tom Hofstetter, a former Aiken Performing Arts Group president, and the Aiken Symphony Guild were pivotal in the nonprofit’s start and its continued success, according to the release. In addition to the orchestra’s classical and pops concerts, the Aiken Symphony Orchestra is presented by the Aiken Symphony Guild at youth concerts in February each year.

The orchestra’s mission is to provide artistic leadership to the greater Aiken community through the presentation of symphonic music that educates, entertains and enriches the human spirit.

Portnoy directs the Aiken Symphony Orchestra and universally is recognized as one of America’s dynamic and inspiring conductors, according to the release.

He received the Columbia University’s 2004 Ditson Conductor’s Award for his commitment to the performance of works by American composers. The S.C. Arts Commission named him winner of the 2015 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for the Arts in the individual category.

In 2017, Portnoy received South Carolina’s highest honor, the Order of the Palmetto, for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance.

Information about the Aiken Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-19 concert season and season tickets will be available soon.

For more information, visit aikensymphonyorchestra.com.

Want to go?

What: Aiken Symphony Orchestra with classical violinist Sandy Cameron

When: 7:30 p.m. May 12

Where: USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center

Tickets: Call the Ehterredge Center box office at 803-641-3305.

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