Spring symphony soloist to perform his own composition


    The spring TCU Symphony Orchestra concert is a tradition at the School of Music, but this year, one soloist will mix up that tradition by performing his own composition.

    The concert will feature the four winners of the TCU School of Music Concerto Competition, which took place last November.

    At the competition, a panel of faculty judges recognized pianists Evan Mitchell and Mikhail Berestnev, cellist Le Gao and percussionist David Walker to be featured in the spring symphony concert, Paul Cortese, assistant director of the School of Music, said.

    “We were looking for specific qualities that sets one student apart from the others, and these four students embodied superior technical abilities, had musicality in their presence on stage and interpreted each composition to make it their own,” Cortese said.

    The percussion winner, David Walker, said performing his music well in the competition was easy because he wrote it.

    “There were so many wonderful musicians in the competition that I can’t help but think they selected me because I demonstrated a passion and attachment to the music and my performance,” Walker said.

    His performance composition, titled “Oh Angelos,” was inspired by guardian angels, and the piece was his musical interpretation of wings opening up and taking flight. He began writing the piece one year ago and spent the past six months refining the actual performance, he said.

    Cortese said the other three students would demonstrate their talent by playing repertoires specific to their individual instruments, which could take years to master because of the high level of difficulty.

    Evan Mitchell, one of the two pianists chosen to perform, said it was a challenge not only to perfect his own repertoire, but also to play with a large symphony ensemble.

    “Playing in a concert with a symphony orchestra is exceptionally challenging because I have to know my own piece of the composition to play and at the same time know every other instrument’s part. Not to mention, we perform everything from memory,” Mitchell said.

    Cortese also said a symphony orchestra was particularly challenging compared to the smaller chamber ensembles with which music students more frequently performed, but because the symphony orchestra had more instruments, the sound was truly remarkable.

    He said the spring concert was an important way to end the school year because it gave soloists and the TCU Symphony Orchestra ensemble an opportunity to showcase a year’s worth of growth and hard work.



    TCU Symphony Orchestra — Ensemble Concert Series

    When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

    Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium

    Cost: Free and open to the public