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Canadian violinist headlines concert series

Violinist Karen Gomyo

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

1037 SW Broadway

Oct 5-6

7:30 pm

Oct 7

8 pm

tickets range from $16 to $72


The second Oregon Symphony classical concert features Canadian violinist Karen Gomyo. She will be performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26, with Associate Conductor Norman Leyden on Oct. 5-7 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Included in this performance is Haydn’s “Symphony No. 96 (‘Miracle’)”, Blacher’s “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” and Liszt’s “Les Preludes.”

Gomyo – who before age 10 won three straight years at a local competition in Montreal, where she lived with her mother before they moved to New York City – makes her Oregon Symphony debut as a young concert artist.

Young Concert Artists Series is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving performance opportunities to young performers such as Gomyo, who passed her audition in 1997 at age 15, thereby becoming the youngest ever to be presented. It was her second audition, her first coming in 1994, when she was 12.

Born in Tokyo, she moved with her mother to Canada when she was 2. Since her career began, she has traveled throughout most of Europe, Japan and the United States, giving 20 to 25 performances a year whenever she’s not busy with school.

“Once I started taking violin lessons (at age 5), I fell in love with it,” she said. “For me, classical music is antique.”

“The magic comes where you’re saying something and are taken somewhere else.”

At 10, she played for Dorothy Delay at a master class in Chicago and was invited to study with the nationally renowned teacher at Juilliard.

When her 2001-2002 season concludes, she will have performed all the major violin concertos at least once. But it will by no means be the last.

“I know as I grow, my technique will grow as well, and I’ll mature along with the concertos in the years to come.”

Opening the concert, is one of the 10 symphonies Haydn composed during his later years in London, “Symphony No. 96 (‘Miracle’)” followed by Gomyo and the Brush Concerto.

The concert continues with Blacher’s “Variations on a Theme of Paganni,” made famous by Rachmaninoff’s variations on the same theme.

“Les Preludes,” by Franz Liszt, concludes the concert. Liszt, who is credited with inventing the symphonic poem, a one-movement composition of loose structure, illustrates tests, paintings or even abstract ideas through music.

One hour before the concert there will be a pre-concert talk with conducting assistant Jonathan Pasternack, who will be discussing the works to be performed. Saturday, Oct. 5, associate conductor Norman Leyden will discuss the program from the podium in “Saturday Interactive.” Local FM radio station KINK 102 will broadcast this pre-concert discussion. After Sunday’s performance, there will be a 15 to 20 minute discussion with Pasternick and Gomyo.

Gomyo has a 1714 “ex Foulis” Stradivarius violin, on loan to her from a private sponsor.