Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oct 10 Concert Features Conductor Joel Smirnoff, Violin Soloist Brian Lewis, and Iranian Composer Behzad Ranjbaran

ROCO opens its 2009-2010 season by welcoming back guest conductor Joel Smirnoff, who will conduct Haydn’s Miracle Symphony No. 96 and Ginastera Variaciones. Maestro Smirnoff is a conductor, pedagogue, and former first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet. He is currently president of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a longtime friend of ROCO.

Also on the program are Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in e Minor, featuring ROCO soloist and concertmaster, Brian Lewis. Mr. Lewis is an acclaimed soloist and professor of violin at the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas in Austin. Regarded as “one of the most versatile and charismatic violinists on the current scene,” Brian is an exceptionally dedicated and gifted performer whose artistry has been heard and embraced around the world.

The program also includes Awakening for String Orchestra, by Iranian composer Behzad Ranjbaran. Dr. Ranjbaran’s music has been performed in recent seasons by Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma, among others. He will be at the concert to discuss his work and introduce the piece. Dr. Ranjbaran began his musical education early when he entered the Tehran Music Conservatory at the age of nine. He came to the United States in 1974, where he attended Indiana University and then received his doctorate in composition from The Juilliard School. He is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and has been named a “Distinguished Artist” by the New Jersey Council on the Arts.

Immediately following the evening concert, there will be a reception featuring the work of Iranian artist, Soody Sharifi.

You can preview the concert program here:

ROCO Season Opener Concert
Saturday, October 10, 2009
5 pm, at The Church of St. John the Divine
2450 River Oaks Blvd. at Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77019
Tickets are $25 general admission / $10 students
Purchase tickets at or by calling 713-665-2700

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