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Phoenix Symphony performs with French pianist

French guest pianist Pascal Roge will Perform with The Phoenix Symphony at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6.
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French guest pianist Pascal Roge will Perform with The Phoenix Symphony at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6.


The Phoenix Symphony

The Phoenix Symphony’s season continues with another sojourn to Prescott for a celebration of France and its composers alongside French guest pianist Pascal Roge. Performing at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6, with a pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m., the orchestra will be led by Andrew Grams. Tickets range from $28 to $39 and are available at the Yavapai Symphony Association office, 228 N. Alarcon St., or by calling 928-776-4255. Full-time college students can purchase available tickets for $10.

Compositions to be performed at the concert include those written by Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saens and Maurice Ravel, according to a press release from Sue Bray, member of the Yavapai Symphony Association Board of Directors. Saint-Saens made his concert debut at age 10.

“He also studied at the Paris Conservatory, and then embarked on a career as a church organist,” the release stated. “After leaving that position, he became a successful pianist and composer, and much in demand in France, Europe, Britain and the United States.”

Ravel was also a graduate of the Paris Conservatory, which he attended in the 1920s and 1930s, the release stated. Internationally regarded as France’s greatest living composer, his music incorporates elements of baroque, neoclassicism and jazz.

Not only will the orchestra perform his best-known work, “Bolero,” but they will also perform his piece, “Ma Mere l’Oye.”

Unlike Berlioz and Saint-Saens, Ravel never learned to play the piano and his father insisted he attend medical school. However, he abandoned it in 1824 and began to study music, composing “Overture to Le Corsaire” in 1844.

Grams, who is the Musical Director for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, is this concert’s guest conductor. This year, he will lead a Gershwin festival with the Orquestra Simfoica de Barcelona before working with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Western Australia Symphony Orchestra.

As for Roge, he will join the orchestra for “Concerto No. 2 in G Minor,” by Saint-Saens. Roge won the piano prize at the Paris Conservatory of Music and performed his first recitals at the age of 17, the release stated.

The Yavapai Symphony Association is delighted to celebrate the French composers and their classical music contributions, stated Yavapai Symphony Association President Virginia Raynor in the release.

“We are so pleased to welcome our French pianist, (Pascal Roge), who is following in the tradition set over the years by so many wonderful French composers and artists,” Raynor said.


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