Professors to debut compositions at cello concert

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    Mozart, Vivaldi or Bach’s compositions often grace Ed Landreth Hall, but for the first time Saturday, the cello ensemble will perform original compositions by faculty.

    “Symphony for Violoncelli” and “Anxieties of the Heart” will echo through the music hall along with the sounds of classical compositions, said Jesus Castro-Balbi, founder and director of the TCU Cello Ensemble.

    Castro-Balbi said the ensemble’s concert will premiere compositions of two TCU faculty members. Blaise Ferrandino, former Faculty Senate chair, will conduct “Symphony for Violoncelli,” and Robert Garwell, who teaches the popular “Rock to Bach” class, will debut “Anxieties of the Heart,” the first time in the event’s three-year history that original works will be performed.

    “It’s very meaningful that composers of their caliber have written a piece specifically for us and dedicated their work to us,” Castro-Balbi said. “That is a sign of trust into our (ensemble’s) abilities to take care of their creation.”

    “Symphony for Violoncelli” is based on contrapuntal techniques, which refer to the relationship between voices, developed through the history of Western music, Castro-Balbi said. “Anxieties of the Heart,” he said, is a passionate and energetic composition that will be supported by a piano performance by Gloria Lin, a music prep instructor at the School of Music.

    Castro-Balbi said the event will be a unique experience because the composers have seldom used the combination of cello ensemble and piano together.

    Ferrandino said “Symphony for Violoncelli” is in three movements – “Prayer,” which explores the nature of prayer, “Scherzo,” which is more a riddle than a joke, and “Romance,” which is a transition at the end of “Scherzo.”

    Castro-Balbi said the compositions are an excellent addition to the ensemble’s repertoire and to music at large. He said students will have a first-hand experience of the creative process that exists in the professional world.

    Hyung-joo Kim, a freshman music performance and cello major who will perform in the ensemble, said it will be a great opportunity and a learning experience to premiere the composers’ pieces. He said he likes how “Anxiety of the Heart” starts with a tension, and he enjoys the themes of “Symphony for Violoncelli.”

    “We have tried to make music and express the composer’s idea and his work, his music,” Kim said. “We try to find ways to make it sound cohesive so people can understand and feel a part of the music.”

    School of Music Director Richard Gipson said the ensemble will be a unique experience for the audience, students and faculty.

    “Like any ensemble at School of Music, we like to present music at highest level and the cello ensemble is really doing it,” Gipson said.

    For Your Info

    TCU Cello Ensemble
    When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
    Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium