OGLESBY — Conductor Lucia Matos will lead the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra in its 2017-18 season finale at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby. The concert will feature music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff and will mark the final appearance of the popular conductor with the IVSO.
A reception honoring Lucia Matos and the evening’s soloist will follow the concert in room CTC 124, hosted by the IVS Guild and IVSO Board.
Featured soloist Kam-Lung Cheng will perform the Brahms Concerto for Violin in D Major, considered by some to be the greatest of all violin concertos.
Cheng was born is Beijing, China, to a musical family. He began his violin study at the age of 7 with his father, a violin professor at the Central Conservatory of Music of China. His family later emigrated to Hong Kong, where he made his first television appearance. He received his diploma from the University of Freiburg in Germany and was then invited by Yehudi Menuhin to attend the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland, where he studied with Yehudi Menuhin himself. He received his solo and chamber music diploma from Utrecht Conservatory in 1987. He then made a successful appearance on Dutch television playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and giving a recital at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 2017 he was appointed Concertmaster of the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. Since 2007 he has appeared frequently as a soloist on Chinese music stages. He has been serving as guest conductor and soloist for several major orchestras in China, including those of Tianjim and Sichuan.
The concert program will include “The Isle of the Dead” by Rachmaninoff. This haunting piece was inspired by Arnold Böcklin’s painting “Isle of the Dead,” which Rachmaninoff saw in Paris in 1907. The orchestra will also perform Sibelius’s “Valse Romantique,” which was composed in 1911 as the second part of a two-set suite. The sentimental waltz is chromatic and rhythmic.
Admission to the concert is by season membership or individual ticket, available online at ivso.org or at the door. Adult tickets are $20, students K-12 are free, and college with an ID is $5. The auditorium is handicapped accessible.
This concert is sponsored by Illinois Cement Company and the Blouke and Marianne Carus Foundation and partially sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Season sponsors are Ning Communications and Ottawa Radio.