Orchestra to present night in old Vienna with guest artist Jia-Yi He
Spend a night in Vienna with the Skidmore College Orchestra at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the Arthur Zankel Music Center. Harmonica virtuoso Jia-Yi He, Filene Concert Series Artist, will be the featured performer.
The concert will include several pieces by Johann Strauss Jr. as well as Johann Strauss Sr.’s Radetzky March and Franz Lehar’s Merry Widow Overture. Johann Strauss Jr.’s genius lay in his ability to transform the popular salon music of Vienna that emphasized melody and dance rhythms into music that was not only fashionable but also evolved into high art. Pieces by Strauss Jr. include Pizzicato Polka (composed with his brother Josef Strauss), Unter Donner Und Blitz (Thunder and Lightning), Wiener Blut Waltz, and Vergnügungszug (Pleasure Train Polka).
Jia-Ye will perform in Pablo Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 5, Vittorio Monti’s Czardas, and Ernesto Lecuona’s Malaguena. A world-class harmonica player, Jia-Yi won silver medals at the World Harmonica Championships in Germany in 1989 and Japan in 1995 and the bronze at the International Competition in the U.S. 1991. He has been a soloist with China’s National Symphony Orchestra and National Ballet Symphony Orchestra, Nassau Symphony Pops, Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, California Pops Orchestra, Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and numerous others.
Jia-Yi regularly performs recitals throughout Europe and Asia and has appeared on ABC, NBC, News 12 Long Island, Queens Public Television, and Sino Television. He has performed at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations and at a pregame show at Shea Stadium for the New York Mets. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended his seminar and learned how to play harmonica at Harmonica Mass Appeal MMNY 2012. Jia-Yi performed at International Peace Day in China in 2012 and received the honorary title of "Messenger of Peace" by Friends of the U.N. He is currently on the faculty of the Turtle Bay Music School in New York City.
Skidmore’s semi-professional orchestra consists of Skidmore students and top players from several regional orchestras, including the Albany Symphony, Berkshire Symphony, Schenectady Symphony and Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra. Anthony G. Holland, associate professor of music at Skidmore, directs the orchestra. He is a composer, conductor, electronic musician and performer who holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case-Western Reserve University.
Admission for the Dec. 10 concert is free for Skidmore students, $8 adults, and $5 seniors. For advance reservations or information please click here or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.