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Zang to highlight milestone concert Saturday

February 3, 2012

Van Cliburn gold medalist Hauchen Zhang will be the featured performer when the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra takes the stage Saturday night, but the audience is sure to enjoy other classical music in the show, too, said Dr. Keith Graumann, conductor.

“I think we have put together a very enjoyable evening. This is a concert that will have a lot of emotion, both power and a delicate touch,” Graumann said.

The concert was originally scheduled for Big Spring Municipal Auditorium, but delays in renovation of the facility forced a change of venue to Garrett Hall at First United Methodist Church. The concert will begin at 8 p.m.

Zhang, of China, is the first gold medalist to perform with the orchestra, according to Graumann.

“The Van Cliburn piano competition ranks right up there with the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow,” said Graumann. “Several Van Cliburn finalists have played in Big Spring, but it is really special to have the gold medalist.

Zhang will play Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2” and other selections.

Zhang, who has won piano competitions all over the world, has performed with many of the best musicians. In the two years following the Cliburn competition, Zhang has performed in nearly 160 tour recitals in the Americas, Asia and Europe, including solos at such celebrated music festivals as Beijing Music Festival and the Gilmore International Keyboard Music Festival. He has also played almost all the best-known piano concertos with world-renowned symphony orchestras such as San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Krakow Philharmonic and Hong kong Philharmonic.

The second half of Saturday's concert will feature some other special performers. Howard College students of Dan Kiley and Eddie Vandewalker will be joining symphony regulars to perform Ottorino Respighi's “Pines of Rome.”

“Respighi one of the few Italian composers in the early 20th century,” said Graumann. “This is a very large work in four sections that describe the centuries-old pines of Rome. It is a very descriptive piece and very beautiful in some places and inspirational in others.”

The concert will open with Beethoven's “Egmont Overture.”

Concert tickets are $15 adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students and are available at Western Banks, Faye's Flowers, KBST, KBYG, the Big Spring Herald office, Blum's Jewelers and the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce.

First United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Fourth and Scurry.

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