Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra Performs all Mendelssohn Concert Today

Unfortunately, my duties with Joffrey Ballet Chicago prevent me from performing this wonderful concert. The always incredible Chris Davis will be acting as Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra Bass Trombonist for me. I wish I could be there! We have one last performance of Othello with Joffrey this afternoon.

Elizabeth Joy Roe
Elizabeth Joy Roe


Piano Concerto No. 1 in g minor
- Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano
Symphony No. 2 in B-flat
St. Paul
Symphony No. 5 in d minor ("Reformation")

Bask in great masterworks of Mendelssohn as we join in observing the bicentennial of his birth.

READ the full biograply of Elizabeth Joy Roe, who is appearing on the ten year anniversary of her first performance with Ars Viva as the student winner of the Steinway Concerto Competition.

OCTOBER 25th 4:30 p.m.
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
9501 Skokie Blvd. 60077

Order online: CLICK HERE or call the box office: 847 673-6300

This concert is supported in part by a grant from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

A personal interview with soloist Elizabeth Joy Roe

Elizabeth Joy Roe, pianist
Elizabeth Joy Roe, pianist

Elizabeth, when did you start piano lessons and when did you realize that music would be your career? I started lessons when I was six years old, and I fell in love with the piano immediately. I knew by age ten that I wanted to pursue a life in music.

What do you remember most about performing with Ars Viva 10 years ago? Performing with Ars Viva was a definitive experience in my career because it potently contributed to my passion for concerto playing. Plus, the concert took place at a pivotal juncture in my life: right before my high school graduation (in fact, I think it was prom weekend!) and just a few months before I left Chicago to start college at The Juilliard School. It was a beautiful spring evening, and I remember feeling truly inspired and exhilarated onstage, thanks to the orchestra's spectacular musicianship, Maestro Heatherington's marvelous direction at the podium, and Chopin's exquisite music (the Concerto in F minor). I was also very happy to be performing for the hometown crowd! Looking back, this concert was the perfect capstone of my high school years as well as a promising harbinger of things to come.

What is it about the Mendelssohn Concerto that you particularly like? I love the immediacy and variety of moods in this piece. Within only 20 minutes, the music covers a vast territory of emotional states: it alternates between the impetuous and passionate, the poetic and intimate, the playful and joyous. I think these shifts are emblematic of human nature in all its inconstancy! Plus, Mendelssohn possessed such a natural, effortless gift for music, and the concerto's virtuosic piano writing and brilliant interplay between piano and orchestra attest to his compositional verve.

Who is your favorite concert artist? What a difficult question! So many artists from the past and present have influenced me. If I had to choose the performers of today whom I find particularly inspirational, I would say Martha Argerich, Renee Fleming, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, and Yo-Yo Ma. But again, I am merely scraping the surface!

What music do you like to listen to? Classical, of course, but I like to listen to all sorts of music. I am a lifelong fan of The Beatles, and I have an affinity for British bands and artists in general (like Radiohead and Coldplay). In terms of genres, I lean mostly toward alternative/indie rock, but I also listen to pop, jazz, folk, soundtracks, etc. Basically, I love to explore music in all its diversity -- I believe that good music transcends labels!

What do you like to do in your spare time? One of my favorite things to do is to sit in a cafe with a pot of tea and a really good book! In addition to reading, I enjoy traveling, watching movies, exploring museums, savoring nature, writing, drawing, learning languages, going on the occasional karaoke outing, and spending quality time with family and friends. I wish there were more time in the day to pursue all my interests, but to be truthful, eating well and catching up on sleep are the most essential activities!

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