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Princeton University Orchestra features competition winners

Friday and Saturday March 6-7, 2009, 8 p.m. Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

The Princeton University Orchestra will present two evenings of student winners of the University Concerto Competition in concerts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday March 6-7, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Michael Pratt will conduct three works with the four student winners: the Flute Concerto of Jacques Ibert with sophomore Jessica Anastasio; the Premiere Rhapsody of Claude Debussy for clarinet and orchestra with freshman Jeffrey Hodes; and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor with senior Holger Staude. Pratt will then turn over the orchestra to senior Anna Wittstruck, who will lead a performance of Bedrich Smetana's tone poem "The Moldau."

"Our concerto competition is always a highlight of the year, and this year's students are young musicians of exceptional gifts," Pratt said. "All three works are examples of brilliant writing for the solo instruments and orchestra, and combine to make an exciting program. And a bonus for musicians and audience alike is Smetana's beloved 'Moldau.' The orchestra recently returned from Prague, where we literally cruised on this fabled river. So this performance will be especially from the heart."

Anastasio is planning to major in classics and pursue a music performance certificate. She has played the flute for 12 years and hopes to become a professional musician. Before coming to Princeton, she was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a summer fellow with the Tanglewood Music Center orchestra program. She is from San Antonio, Texas.

Hodes began playing clarinet in 2001 while growing up in Los Angeles. He has participated in many summer music festivals, including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Idyllwild Music Festival. He currently plays in the Princeton University Orchestra and in multiple chamber ensembles and is continuing his clarinet studies with Jo-Ann Sternberg. He is a prospective math major with additional interests in music and computer science.

Staude was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He is majoring in economics and pursuing a certificate in musical performance. He has been active as a soloist and chamber musician throughout his time in Princeton. Holger currently studies the piano with Peggy Kampmeier.

Wittstruck of Asheville, N.C., is a music major pursuing certificates in conducting and creative writing. She is assistant conductor of the Princeton University Orchestra, associate conductor of the Princeton Sinfonia, and currently studies conducting with Michael Pratt.

Tickets for the concerts are $18 for the general public, $15 for seniors and $5 for students, and may be purchased at the Frist Campus Center box office, the Richardson Auditorium box office or online.

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