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Sun, Dec. 08

Phoenix Symphony returns with violinist soloist

Steve Moeckel

Steve Moeckel

The Phoenix Symphony is returning to Prescott this weekend for the season’s second concert which will feature violinist Steven Moekel as a soloist and Case Scaglione as guest conductor.

Held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St, the program consists of Benjamin Britten’s “Violin Concerto,” Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” and Christopher Rouse’s “Prospero’s Rooms,” according to a release from Sue Bray, member of the Yavapai Symphony Association Board of Directors.

Completed in 1939, Britten’s “Violin Concerto” is a requiem for those who died in the Spanish Civil War and foreshadows World War II as it was finished four weeks into the war.

“The Phoenix Symphony’s principal violinist, Steven Moekel, is totally up to the task,” the release states. “His effortless virtuosity, vivid characterization and uncanny ability to capture the very essence of a work have been hailed by critics worldwide. Prescott audiences are most familiar with his ability to engage audiences with an astounding range of repertoire which distinguishes him as one of the most versatile young musicians today.”

Moekel began his career as a violinist in the United States and toured as principal soprano soloist of the Vienna Boys Choir from the age of 11. He graduated with honors from the Mozarteum in Salzburg pror to assuming the position of Co-Concertmaster of Germany’s Ulm Philharmonic. His return to the United States has seen him continue combining his careers of concertmaster, soloist and chamber artist.

“Prospero’s Rooms” was completed in 2011 and the title comes from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” which tells of Prince Prospero and his fellow aristocrats attempting to escape a plague called the “Red Death” by locking themselves away during a masquerade ball.

Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” is seen as one of England’s most beloved musical works, beginning with a haunting theme and continuing with 14 different variations on it. One of the themes has become a national song of mourning in England and was played at Princess Diana’s funeral as well as annually at England’s memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers.

This concert is set to bring some exceptional talent to Prescott, said Yavapai Symphony Association President Arlon Inman.

“Steven Moekel is an incredibly talented musician, and although we see him regularly in his role as the orchestra’s concertmaster, it will be a great treat for our audience to see his solo performance,” Inman said.

Tickets range from $29 to $42 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 any available ticket for $10.

There is a pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m.

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