When the Stockton Symphony performs its Classics IV concert at 6:00 pm on Saturday, March 22, in Atherton Auditorium on the Delta College campus, members of the audience will have the fortunate opportunity to hear the distinguishing nuances of sound that emanate from the viola versus the violin.
The performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante pairs guest artists Elena Urioste, violin, and Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola. The engaging and elegant dialog between the two soloists is masterful. The audience is also provided a relatively rare opportunity to hear the deep rich sounds of the viola featured with such prominence. While viola concertos are part of the repertoire, they aren’t played as often as violin or cello concertos, and this is Mozart’s only work in which the instrument is given as much prominence as the violin.
Elena Urioste, recently selected as a BBC New Generation Artist, has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for her lush tone, the nuanced lyricism of her playing, and her commanding stage presence. Elena’s debut performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were praised by three separate critics for their “hypnotic delicacy,” “expressive poise,” and “lyrical sensitivity.” Elena Urioste is also described as “a drop-dead beauty who plays with equal parts passion, sensuality, brains, and humor…” (Washington Post).
A favorite of Stockton Symphony patrons, Elena returns to the Atherton concert stage after her delightful performance with the Stockton Symphony in 2010. An American whose name betrays her Mexican-Basque roots, Elena has made acclaimed debuts with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, and the Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Antonio symphony orchestras. In Europe, Elena has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wurzburg Philharmonic, and Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok.
Juan-Miguel Hernandez is widely regarded as one of the finest violists of his generation. An artist defined by the critics as "…tender, lyrical, loaded with personality" (Atlanta Journal Constitution), violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez is also recognized for drawing "...the sweetest, most sonorous tone..." (Washington Post).
A native of Canada, Juan-Miguel has been heard and seen on nationally-syndicated radio and television programs throughout Canada and the United States, including NBC’s Good Morning America, The Today Show and the Telemundo Network. As a featured guest soloist, Juan-Miguel has appeared with the Atlanta, Seattle, and Colorado Symphonies, and he has toured throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Canada, and the United States. He has released many CDs on various labels alongside the Harlem Quartet, Chick Corea or Norah Jones.
His strong commitment to educate and engage new audiences led him to found the Musical Heights Foundations, a nonprofit focused on supporting young emerging artists in the U.S. and bringing musical outreach projects to third-world countries.
Also on the evening’s program are Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, “Classical” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. These two works are the first symphonies by two very different composers in their young years—each in his own way out to make his distinctive mark in the musical world. Prokofiev, who had already become branded in the early 20th century as an “enfant terrible” in his conservatory years, decided to launch as his first symphony a work that would prove that he could also incorporate Classic grace into his music. The result is indeed charming, but as one would expect, Prokofiev’s infectious wit and musical mischief are irrepressible and do not fail to gleam through as well!
Program notes, complete with audio clips can be found on the Symphony website at www.StocktonSymphony.org.
Tickets are $25 through $61 and can be purchased online at www.StocktonSymphony.org
or at the Stockton Symphony office new location: 4629 Quail Lakes Drive (behind Bank of Stockton in the Quail Lakes Office Plaza). For more information, call the Symphony office at (209) 951-0196.