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Saturday, April 29, 2017

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Orchestra features soloists, April 27-28

The Princeton University Orchestra will feature three co-winners of its 2007 concerto competition, along with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

The orchestra will perform the annual Stuart B. Mindlin Memorial Concerts under the direction of Michael Pratt.

Senior Ben Smolen will play the Concerto for Flute and Strings by Jean Rivier, senior Crista Kende will play Paul Hindemith's "Mourning Music" for viola and strings, and sophomore Jocelyn Drummond will play Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1. After intermission the orchestra will close its regular season with the Mahler piece.

"This year's concerto competition struck a rich lode, with five winners in all," said Pratt, noting that the other two winners, seniors Jennifer Hsiao and Caroline-Ami Connolly, performed with the orchestra at its March concert. "As always, the happenchance combination has yielded a delightful program -- a combination of French, German and Russian works, ending with Mahler's first 'hit' and still most popular work, his titanic and joyous First Symphony."

Smolen is majoring in music and in Slavic languages and literatures. He has performed on the National Public Radio show "From the Top" with pianist Christopher O'Riley.

Kende is a history major and part of the music performance certificate program. In 1997, she formed the Kende Trio with her sisters, Alexis on violin and Daniela on cello. They have played for the late Pope John Paul II in Rome and have been featured on ABC-TV's "20/20" and on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" performing works by young composers.

Drummond won first prize at the New York Music Competition for Young Artists and the Young Artists Piano Showcase, and has performed at Carnegie Hall.

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 at

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