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Conway symphony to present anniversary concert on Tuesday

by Carol Rolf | April 18, 2010 at 4:39 a.m.

— The Conway Symphony Orchestra will present a milestone concert, “25 Years and Counting,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas.

“For our silver-anniversary concert, we will present two pieces, the Cello Concerto in B Minor by Antonin Dvorak and Robert Schumann’s 4th Symphony,” said Israel Getzov, Conway Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor. “The Dvorak concerto is arguably the best concerto for any solo instrument and may be the best thing the Czech composer ever wrote. It’s a real winner.

“It will feature one of our top musicians, cellist Dr. Stephen Feldman. Stephen has been the Conway Symphony Orchestra’s principal cellist for eight years now; he is up to the task to play it.”

Feldman has played the cello concerto before.

“It’s a monumental piece,” Feldman said. “I have played it once before with an orchestra. It was just before my son was born, and he is now 13.

“It was Izzy’s (Getzov) idea to play this piece. It’s been a real joy to revisit it. I’m very honored to be in this position.

“This piece is an affirmation of hope, triumph and faith.”

Feldman joined the UCA music faculty in 2001 after teaching at the University of Virginia, Penn State University and DePauw University. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the Eastman School of Music and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Feldman’s cello playing has taken him from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Sacramento, Calif. Formerly a member of the Fetter and Rivanna string quartets, he also performed as cellist in the Quapaw and Sturgis string quartets during his six years with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he participated in music festivals at Interlochen, Meadowmount and Aspen and appeared on NBC’s Today Show while at the Taos School for Chamber Music. He is a founding member of UCA’s faculty piano trio, the Diana Trio, and of Little Rock’s SOMA String Quartet. Recent solo performances have included visits to the campuses of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Penn State University and the University of Delaware, as well as concerts in Illinois, Missouri and Connecticut.

“This concert is a tribute to the many residents of Conway and surrounding cities who’vesupported the symphony during the past 25 years,” Getzov said. “We’ve planned music that is destined to become some favorites for the audience.”

Getzov said the Schumann symphony is “a cyclical piece with many interconnected themes.”

He said he chose it because of its groundbreaking 19th-century innovation of transforming the same themes throughout the piece.

“It reminds me of where we’ve been as an orchestra and where we’re going,” Getzov said.

With this concert, the Conway Symphony Board announces the establishment of the Conway Symphony Orchestra Archives at UCA. Archivist Jimmy Bryant and his staff have been working on organizing theorchestra’s historical materials and will have a display at the concert of highlighted items. Bryant is also compiling a written history of the Conway Symphony Orchestra, which will be available to symphony subscribers and donors.

Individuals with items to donate to the archives, including photos, concert programs and anything related to the symphony’s programs, are encouraged to contact the Conway Symphony Orchestra at (501) 269-1066.

Tickets to Tuesday’s concert are available at the Reynolds Box Office, by phone at (501) 450-3265 or toll free at (866) 810-0012, and online at www.uca.edu/tickets. Prices range from $5 to $35, with discounts for children, students and the UCA community. Shuttle service for parking will be available. The concert is underwritten by a friend of the arts.

- crolf@ arkansasonline.com

River Valley Ozark, Pages 147 on 04/18/2010

Print Headline: Conway symphony to present anniversary concert on Tuesday


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