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1:10 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

Guest violinist performs with Phoenix Symphony



The Phoenix Symphony continues its performance season on Sunday, Nov. 22, with a return to Prescott featuring guest violinist Jinjoo Cho. Conducted by Tito Munoz, the concert is at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., at 3 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m.

The symphony will perform Brahms' "Symphony No. 2 in D Major" and the "Academic Festival Overture" along with Stravinsky's "Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra."

A 19th century German composer and pianist, Brahms spent much of his life in Vienna and is often grouped with Bach and Beethoven, according to a release from Sue Bray, member of the Yavapai Symphony Association Board of Directors.

"He composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus," the release states. "A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works."

The "Academic Festival Overture" was composed as a musical thank you to the University of Breslau, the release stated. The University had previously awarded him an honorary doctorate degree and the work includes some of Brahms' finest orchestral technique, which the release states is for comical effect as he appropriated tunes from popular student songs.

As for Brahms' "Symphony No. 2 in D Major," the release called it a more serious piece, written in 1877. The first movement will also be familiar to classical music enthusiasts, the release stated. It's the tune to "Brahms' Lullaby," first published in 1868.

Guest violinist Cho was born in Seoul and moved to Cleveland at the age of 14, where she studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Young Artist Program Student.

"Within a few years of arriving in the United States, she had won most of the local competitions for both high school and collegiate level students including the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's concerto competition and the Cleveland Institute of Music's collegiate level concerto competition," the release stated. "Jinjoo's biggest passion is arts education and audience engagement. As a result, she is the founder of a new chamber music program for high school and college students in Cleveland, Ohio, named the Encore Chamber Music Institute."

Cho will perform Stravinsky's "Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra," commissioned in 1931. According to the release, Stravinsky was initially reluctant to work on the piece as he was unfamiliar with the violin. However, he wrote the piece with consultations by Polish violinist Samuel Dushkin and the release states that his unfamiliarity with the instrument provided new possibilities for the piece.

Yavapai Symphony Association President Virginia Rayner said in the release that the organization is pleased to welcome Cho and director Munoz to Prescott.

"We know that our audiences love Johannes Brahms and we're excited to hear such an outstanding young violinist as Jinjoo," she said.

Tickets range from $28 to $39 and are available at the Yavapai Symphony Association office at 228 N. Alarcon St. or by calling 928-776-4255.