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Orchestra to feature concerto competition winners, March 9-10

The Princeton University Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Pratt, will feature two co-winners of its 2007 concerto competition in performances a 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Senior Jennifer Hsiao will perform Béla Bartók's Second Violin Concerto, and senior Caroline-Ami Connolly will perform Antonin Dvorák's Cello Concerto.

"Purely by the coincidence of these brilliant students winning the competition, we're able to present two of the landmark and most thrilling works for a solo string instrument and orchestra," Pratt said. "Each work is full of the national character of its country of origin: the Bartók with blazing Magyar and Gypsy passion, and the Dvorák with the romantic richness and songfulness of the Czech tradition. It's particularly apt for us, as the orchestra just visited this part of the world, playing concerts in Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava."

Hsiao is majoring in chemistry and pursuing certificates in Latin and musical performance. She currently is co-concertmaster of the orchestra and last year performed with the Princeton University String Quartet. She also plays the piano, and has won numerous performance competitions on each instrument. In 2004, as a winner of the Princeton University Concerto Competition, she performed the Prokofiev Second Piano Concerto with the Princeton University Orchestra.

Connolly is majoring in East Asian studies with a certificate in music performance. She has been called "a marvelous cellist and remarkable musician" by Eckhart Preu, principal conductor of the New Amsterdam and Stamford Symphonies. She has served as principal cellist of the New York Youth Symphony and played as a freshman in the Princeton University String Quartet. This past November she performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with Pratt conducting the Delaware Valley Philharmonic.

Tickets to the concerts are $18 for general admission, $15 for senior citizens and $5 for students. They are available at the Frist Campus Center and Richardson Auditorium ticket offices or online through University Ticketing

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