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Orchestra to feature concerto competition winners

Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Alexander Hall, Richardson Auditorium

The Princeton University Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Pratt, will feature three of the four co-winners of its 2013 concerto competition in performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Senior Jeff Li will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15; sophomore Louisa Slosar will perform Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto in E minor; and freshman Paul von Autenried will perform Bach's Keyboard Concerto in F minor. In the fall, the fourth co-winner, junior Nicolas Apter-Vidler, will perform Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19, with the orchestra. This is the first year in which there have been four winners, one from each class.

All of the pieces in this year's competition were restricted to the repertory of the years pre-1800.

Michael Pratt, conductor of the Princeton University Orchestra and director of the Program in Musical Performance, called the concert featuring the winners of the competition one of the highlights of the season. "These brilliant students always amaze our audiences, playing at a dazzling level. That they do is all the more astounding considering that they are maintaining a demanding academic load as well," he said.

The program will also include Wagner's Preludes to Acts I and III: Liebestod, from "Tristan und Isolde." "Wagner's 'Tristan' is arguably the most passionate music ever written and will be played with the white-hot intensity of first love by Princeton's amazing young orchestra," Pratt said.

Apter-Vidler, violin, is majoring in psychology and is completing a certificate in European cultural studies. In his senior year of high school, he attended the pre-college program at Mannes College The New School for Music in New York and served as concertmaster. As a winner of a Young Artists competition, Apter-Vidler performed in a piano trio at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2010. He has also performed in Paris as a member of the Juenes Virtuoses de New York, a nonprofit chamber orchestra organized by Arik Braude.

Li, piano, is majoring in economics and completing a certificate in musical performance. He has been a member of the orchestra for four years and opened for internationally renowned violinist Julia Fischer in concert at Princeton in 2012. He has performed in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Li has been awarded prizes at the Renee B. Fisher Piano competition, the Musical Club of Hartford Competition, the Hartford Symphony Concerto Competition and the Bacardi-Fallon Performing Arts Scholarship Competition.

Slosar, bassoon, plans to major in psychology and is pursuing certificates in musical performance, neuroscience and applications of computing. She is a member of the orchestra and the Princeton University Chamber Ensemble. This semester, Slosar is playing in a woodwind quintet as part of a music course. She has performed twice as a guest soloist with the Lexington Symphony Orchestra. Other appearances include the Massachusetts All-State Orchestra 2008-11, the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Central European Youth Orchestra, among others.

Von Autenried, piano, plans to major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and pursue certificates in musical performance and values and public life. He has been playing piano since age 4. He has had solo concerto appearances with the Shanghai Chamber Musicians Orchestra and the Manalapan Battleground Symphony, among others. Von Autenried has won numerous performance competitions. He is a member of the Princeton University Glee Club and recently founded the Princeton Pianists Ensemble, which is dedicated to multi-hand and multi-keyboard piano music.

Tickets to the concerts are $15 general and $5 students. Call University Ticketing at 609-258-9220 or visit online. Tickets are also available at Richardson Auditorium two hours prior to each performance.

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