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Friday, April 19, 2024

Celebrating operatic tradition’s influence on the violin and piano repertoire

Cecilia Concerts presents prize-winning violinist Hao Zhou and opera conductor and pianist Gregory Ritchey for a one-night-only performance.

Cecilia Concerts presents prize-winning violinist Hao Zhou and opera conductor and pianist Gregory Ritchey for a one-night-only performance exploring operatic expression through the lens of violin and piano, featuring compositions that navigate classical, folk, and romantic genres.

Based in Southern California, Hao Zhou made his Carnegie Hall debut at 12 and has showcased his talent across major cities worldwide. He plays on a 1783 Giuseppe and Antonio Gagliano violin, on loan from the Aftergood Family, bringing a piece of history to his performances.

Florida-based Gregory Ritchey is a musician renowned for his conductor and pianist work. A Juilliard School of Music graduate, he is the associate conductor at Palm Beach Opera, leading over thirty-five productions for the company.

German composer Richard Strauss’ Sonata in E-flat major for violin and piano is at the heart of the concert. This piece encapsulates the dramatic flair and emotional depth akin to Strauss’s great operatic masterpieces.

In addition, the duo will perform Belgian composer Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 “Ballade” for solo violin, will showcase virtuosic brilliance and expressive intensity, and Budapest-born Jenő Hubay’s Carmen Fantasie, a reimagination Bizet’s iconic Carmen opera for the violin.

The concert will also feature Li Zili’s Fisherman’s Harvest Song, introducing a blend of traditional Chinese melody with operatic style, and the program is rounded off by Germany’s Richard Wagner’s epic Albumblatt, adding a touch of Wagnerian drama and romanticism to the evening.

“The concert is a celebration of the operatic tradition’s influence on the violin and piano repertoire, promising an evening of captivating musical narratives,” say organizers. “The collaboration between Hao Zhou and Gregory Ritchey, each bringing their unique insights and exceptional skills, guarantees a performance that will linger in the hearts of audience members long after the final note has been played.”

Cecilia Concerts presents violinist Hao Zhou and pianist Gregory Ritchey in concert on February 17 at St. Andrews United (6036 Coburg Rd, Halifax). Visit ceciliaconcerts.ca for tickets and information.

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