UC Merced

'Masterworks' at UC Merced: Merced Symphony celebrates Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak

Showcasing the brilliance of Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak, Merced Symphony Association joins forces with UC Merced next weekend to present "Masterworks."

"Once again the collaboration could be a standing-room-only event," said Donna Goggin, symphony board member. "That is, if the audience is ready for the epitome of classical excellence. Oh, I think we're ready."

The evening begins with a wine reception at 6 p.m. followed by the concert at 7:30.

"Masterworks" will feature the prodigious talents of the Stoian Trio as they perform Ludwig van Beethoven's "Triple Concerto."

"Rarely does a concerto feature three soloists," Goggin said, "but the 'Triple' displays the virtuosity and passion of violinist Corina Stoian, cellist Alexandru Dumitrache and pianist Natsuki Fukasawa as they share and vie for the themes in an exciting chase with the orchestra. In a sense, you have three concertos for the price of one."

Stoian, fresh from a tour of Europe, set a gold standard as soloist in the Merced Symphony's performance of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons."

"Totally focused and deeply enmeshed in the beautifully changing tones and rhythms of Vivaldi's most popular composition, Stoian riveted the attention of the entire audience and brought them to their feet for a resounding 'Brava!'" Goggin said. "Dumitrache will amaze the audience again with his complete command of the rich and resonant cello, and Fukasawa has a powerful presence at the keyboard. I think they will leave us breathless."

In addition to the soloists, the concert will feature youth audition winner, 14-year-old Kathryn Matson as she performs Dmitri Kabalevsky's "Concerto for Violin in C major" accompanied by the Merced Symphony Orchestra.

"It's a dramatic kind of piece, one rushing song that really goes fast," she said. "I really like it."

Matson has found the experience both exhilarating and terrifying.

"Kinda scary to start out with," she said with a giggle. "But it feels good. I get a rush when I play, the sound just rushes towards me and I get really excited."

Matson finds that when she gets to hear a musician her own age, "it makes me want to strive harder."

She hopes her presence on stage will inspire other young musicians to practice hard and hopefully one day get the chance to perform with an orchestra.

The second half of the concert will feature a piece familiar and beloved.

"We'll need an intermission to settle down and prepare for Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, 'From the New World,'" Goggin said. "Filled with wonderfully memorable themes, it is infused with interesting inner parts and countermelodies resulting in a marvelous richness of texture."

The symphony's debut in Carnegie Hall was received with thunderous applause at the end of each movement and Dvorak was forced to stand and acknowledge the cheers.

In a letter to his publisher, he stated that there was "no getting out of it, and I had to show myself willy-nilly".

"I'm going to imagine him at the back of Lakireddy Auditorium," Goggin said, "enjoying our reaction to his wonderful work."


by the Merced Symphony Association

WHERE: Lakireddy Auditorium, UC Merced, 5200 Lake Road.

WHEN: Doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday with a wine reception, followed by the concert at 7:30.

TICKETS: $25 for adults, $5 for students. Available at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Merced Floral or at the door.

INFORMATION: (209) 383-3277 or visit mercedsymphony.org