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Orchestra will celebrate anniversary with concert

In honor of its tenth anniversary celebration season, the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra is preparing for an out-of-this-world classical music concert this weekend.

"Music is like going to the stars," said orchestra conductor and founder Thomas Ludwig. "The possibility of energy and vibe is so great."

Ludwig, a Duluth resident who has been conducting professional orchestras nationally and internationally for 35 years, founded the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra in 1998. The group consists of professional and semi-professional musicians, as well as 25 local high school and college string musicians.

That same year, he established the Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, a youth preparatory group for elementary and middle school students. The goal for both groups is to help young musicians get experience for the future by playing alongside experienced soloists.

The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra uses a unique system of mixing professionals with student musicians, which allows them to play interesting and challenging songs Ludwig said. The blend of international soloists with young talent creates a diverse and interesting show that audiences love, he said.

The orchestra's 10th-anniversary gala concert will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center. The 80-piece orchestra will perform songs such as "Jupiter" from Holst's "The Planets" and Beethoven's "7th Symphony Finale."

The varied program will showcase seven harp soloists from the Atlanta Harp Ensemble. The ensemble, led by Susan Bennett Brady, will perform Vivaldi's Harp Concerto and a tango by Salzedo.

The concert will also feature Israeli violinist Anat Kardontchik performing Lalo-Symphonie Espagnole, and Japanese pianist Akiko Shibasaki performing the world premiere of the Ludwig Piano Concerto. Ludwig has worked on his piano concerto for 10 years, and Shibasaki will be performing the first three out of four movements of this piece.

SideBar:

- What: Ludwig Symphony Orchestra's 10th anniversary gala concert

- When: 4 p.m. Sunday

- Where: Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth

- Cost: Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for students. Call 770-623-8623 for tickets.

- Info: Call 770-632-8623 or visit www.ludwigsymphony.org.