Winston-Salem Symphony Presents a Free Concert for Community February 3
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (January 15, 2018) – The Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony will present a Concert for Community on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 3 p.m.
The concert is free and open to the public and will take place at Wait Chapel on the Wake Forest University campus. Although the concert is free, please visit the Symphony website at WSsymphony.org to reserve your ticket.
“I am extremely proud to have started this tradition of providing a free concert to Winston-Salem, which highlights the enormous talent here in our community, both seasoned performers and emerging talents,” said Maestro Robert Moody, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony.
“This is one of my favorite concerts of each season and I will be sorry to be conducting it for the last time. I love hearing extraordinary music beautifully performed by our talented professional musicians and our youth orchestra, who represent tomorrow’s stars. I am in awe of these musicians and the Peter Perret Youth Talent Search winners, whose talent and poise is remarkable. It is a unique change to hear incredible music performed by masterful musicians for free!”
Maestro Moody, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, and Jessica Morel, Assistant Conductor, will both conduct portions of the Concert for Community. The program features the combined professional and youth symphonies, totaling approximately 120 musicians, performing multiple pieces.
The Winston-Salem Symphony will open the concert with a piece by the 2018 composition contest winner Thomas Little. Under the baton of Maestra Jessica Morel, the symphony will perform Teton Pass from Little’s Symphony No. 1 (The Grand Tetons). The 2018 Peter Perret Youth Talent Search winners will then take the stage with the Winston-Salem Symphony. Cristian Makhuli, a pianist and the junior division winner (ages eight to 12) will perform the opening movement, Allegro con brio, from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37, conducted by Maestra Morel.
Caroline Smoak, a violinist and the winner of the senior division (ages 13 through senior year of high school), will perform the first movement, Allegro, from Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, op. 14, with Maestro Moody at the podium.
The annual Youth Talent Search, named in honor of former Winston-Salem Symphony Music Director Peter Perret, was developed to identify the region’s most gifted and talented young musicians, to develop young talent, and to recognize and support the teachers and families of musically-gifted children.
Participation in the competition also provides students with experience and motivation to continue their musical studies. Many have gone on to become professional musicians, including the winner of the very first Peter Perret Youth Talent Search, who is now a member of the New York Philharmonic.
“The two winners of this year’s Peter Perret Youth Talent Search are absolute super stars, and we are thrilled to share the stage with them,” said Maestra Morel. “Pianist Cristian Makhuli masterfully handles Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, making an advanced piece look effortless with his stunning technique. Violinist Caroline Smoak plays the Barber Violin Concerto with the kind of maturity that is way beyond her years. Her command of the violin as well as her profound sense of musicality will astound audiences. I am also thrilled to be conducting Thomas Little’s Teton Pass, a wonderfully crafted piece that depicts the grandeur of Grand Teton National Park. His composition abilities are astonishing for his young age.”
For the second half of the concert, the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Symphony will combine to play Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, conducted by Maestra Morel. Under the baton of Maestro Moody, the Symphonies will perform Part II of Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78, by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Thomas Little (b. 1996) was discovered as a musical prodigy at age six and studied piano with Dr. George Kiorpes for 12 years. He has studied composition with Dr. Michael Rothkopf since 2012 and is currently a junior in Dr. Rothkopf’s studio at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In addition to taking long road trips he occasionally turns into symphonies, he is the pianist and organist at St. Michael Lutheran Church in High Point, performs in Wake Forest’s Gamelan Giri Murti, and hosts the YouTube music education channel “Classical Nerd.” Visit his web site at lentovivace.com for more information.
From Charlotte, North Carolina, Cristian Makhuli is a seventh grade student at Providence Day School. He began playing the piano at the age of nine and has been fueling his love for music ever since. He currently studies under the direction of Keiko Aloe and Dr. Paul Nitsch. He has been active in multiple Charlotte area piano solo competitions taking home first place in his age category for the past two years. Cristian’s other interests include the violin, golf, building Legos, and gardening.
Caroline Smoak is 14 years old and a ninth grader from the Charlotte area. She began studying the violin when she was five and the piano shortly after at age six. She studies privately with Violet Pan of Tega Cay, South Carolina and Weiwei Le of Las Vegas, Nevada using FaceTime. In the summer of 2016, Smoak was one of the youngest students at the Heifetz International Music Institute and had the opportunity to perform the National Anthem with one other student at a Washington Nationals Major League baseball game. This past summer, she had the incredible privilege to study with Itzhak Perlman, Li Lin, Catherine Cho, and Sean Lee at the Perlman Music Program in New York. She will be able to participate in this program every summer until she turns 18 and looks forward to being a part of that musical culture each year. In October 2017, she was recognized as the Outstanding Student at the Charlotte Concert Series and was invited by Gil Shaham to join him for an encore. In May 2016, Smoak performed with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra after winning the junior division of the Peter Perret Youth Talent Search.
The Concert for Community is sponsored by The Montgomery/Tucker Charitable Fund; Season Presenting Sponsors Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A. and BB&T; as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras – The Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras is part of the Winston-Salem Symphony and includes about 160 student musicians. The Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras are currently comprised of two full orchestras and a string orchestra for aspiring musicians in the first through twelfth grades: the Premiere Strings, led by Fabrice Dharamraj, is a strings ensemble for young musicians; the Youth Philharmonic, led by Margaret Rehder, is a full orchestra for intermediate level students; and the Youth Symphony, led by Jessica Morel, is a full orchestra for advanced students. Both full orchestras consist of 50 to 75 members and perform several public concerts annually as well as occasional concerts for special audiences. For more information, visit wssyo.org.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony – The Winston-Salem Symphony, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 71st season, which is Music Director Robert Moody’s Farewell Season, in September 2017. Under the baton of Maestro Moody, the season includes the Classics and Kicked-Back Classics series, Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit WSsymphony.org.