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Phoenix Symphony returns to Prescott on Sunday, Nov. 20

Mark Kosower, principal cellist for the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy photo

Mark Kosower, principal cellist for the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

Love the cello? Then you won’t want to miss the Phoenix Symphony concert Sunday, Nov. 20, at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center.

“We are delighted that Prescott is able to attract the talented musicians of the Phoenix Symphony for seven concerts this year,” said David Dunn, president of the Yavapai Symphony Association, which is responsible for bringing Phoenix Symphony concerts to Prescott. “Our Association is celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, and we appreciate the support our community has given our concerts all those years.”

This time, the Phoenix Symphony comes to Prescott with Mark Kosower, principal cellist for the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, playing Antonin Dvorak’s “Cello Concerto in B Minor.”

Dvorak wrote the piece in 1894, while he was director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, according to a press release from YSA. He had been asked to write a cello concerto previously but had always refused, stating the cello was a fine orchestral instrument but totally insufficient for a solo concerto. In a letter to a friend, Dvořák wrote that he himself was probably most surprised by his decision to write a cello concerto despite these long-held reservations.

He wrote to his publishers: “I give you my work only if you will promise me that no one … shall make any alteration in it without my knowledge and permission, …. and that its form shall be as I have felt it and thought it out.”

Since then, Dvorak’s cello concerto has been widely acclaimed, and has been recorded by famous cellists around the world.

Kosower, born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was introduced to the cello at 18 months old by his father, a professor of cello and organ who remained his teacher throughout his youth. Kosower continued his studies at the University of Indiana and the Julliard School of Music. He has appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and the world, including the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Along with his father and sister, Kosower has toured the United States and Europe as the Dolce Cello Trio.

Tito Munoz, Phoenix Symphony music director, conducts. The orchestra will also play “Symphony No. 1” by John Corigliano.

Written in 1988, this symphony has received three Grammy Awards – for Best Orchestral Performance and for Best New Composition in 1991, and again in 1996 for Best Classical Album. Today, Corigliano has composed more than 100 scores, winning the Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award.

A limited number of tickets for this performance, priced from $28 to $39, are available only from the Yavapai Symphony Association. YSA’s office, at 228 N. Alarcon St., is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and on the Friday before each Sunday concert for patrons wishing to purchase tickets in person. Tickets also may be purchased by phone, 928-776-4255, for pickup at will call at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. on the day of the concert.

The concert begins at 3 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture about the performance starting at 2 p.m. Full-time college students can purchase any available ticket for only $10.

Visit for more information about the Yavapai Symphony Association.

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