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The Caltech Orchestra Teams Up with Acclaimed Pianist

Musicians perform in front of a live audience. – Courtesy photo

The Caltech Orchestra, conducted by Allen Robert Gross, features pianist Mark Robson at Caltech Ramo Auditorium

The Caltech Orchestra, conducted by Allen Robert Gross, will feature pianist Mark Robson. This event will take place in Caltech’s Ramo Auditorium on November 18 at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 19 at 3:30 p.m.

The program will include:

-Smetana: Overture to The Bartered Bride

-Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503

-Gabriela Lena Frank: Elegia Andina

-Berlioz: The Judges of the Secret Court Overture

Pianist Mark Robson has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a pianist with “one of the great techniques,” “an inquiring mind” and a performer capable of evoking an “exquisite engulfing pastel haze,” and he continues to impress with his multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Mr. Robson is equally comfortable in styles ranging from early music played on the harpsichord and organ to the great Romantic repertoire and beyond to contemporary piano works demanding theatrical participation from the performer. He presents an annual recital for the LA series Piano Spheres and has performed for Jacaranda on numerous occasions. An exceptional artist in the classical repertoire as well, he is performing Mozart’s grandest piano concerto, No. 25 in C Major.

Composer Gabriela Lena Frank hails from Berkeley and is one of the most important of American contemporary composers. Her music often reflects her mixed cultural heritage (Lithuanian-Jewish and Peruvian) The Andean Elegy from 2000 evokes the sounds of native Peruvian instruments, Latin-American rhythms, and is one of her “first … compositions to explore what it means to be of several ethnic persuasions, of several minds. It uses stylistic elements of Peruvian arca/ira zampoña panpipes … to paint an elegiac picture.”

The concert opens and closes with two pieces from the Romantic period. Smetana’s exuberant overture to his opera The Bartered Bride opens the program, while Berlioz’ rarely-performed overture The Judges of the Secret Court serves as its finale.

The Caltech Orchestra is comprised of players from Caltech, JPL, and its surrounding communities. Conductor Allen Robert Gross begins his thirty-fourth year as director of the orchestra.

Admission is free and no tickets are required. For further information, call Caltech’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts at 626/395-3295.

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