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ART BEAT: Ludwig Symphony to present international concert

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Janet Sung performs during the Atlanta premiere of the "Ludwig Violin Concerto" when the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra performs on Nov. 3. (Special Photo)

The Ludwig Symphony celebrates its 17th anniversary year in 2013-14, and the nonprofit classical music organization will launch the season with “An International Festival Concert” on Nov. 3. The concert begins at 4 p.m. in the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.

There are three special soloists to be featured. Korean violinist Janet Sung will perform the Atlanta premiere of the “Ludwig Violin Concerto.” Peruvian baritone Jose Sacin will interpret two Verdi arias in honor of the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth. In addition, local “wunderkind” pianist Joshua Shue will perform the Andante from Saint-Saens “Piano Concerto No. 2.”

Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors and $12 for students. They may be purchased by calling 770-623-8623 or by going online at www.ludwigsymphony.org.

The orchestra is composed of approximately 90 paid professional and semi-professional adult musicians, and a small component of extraordinarily gifted high school string musicians. Maestro Thomas Ludwig, former music director of the New York City Symphony and resident conductor for American Ballet Theatre with Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera House, will be at the orchestra’s helm. Ludwig recently returned from conducting the Cairo Symphony Orchestra at the Cairo Opera House in Egypt.

The three soloists for this concert come with high praise from reviewers. After an NPR radio broadcast of violinist Sung’s performance with the national Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Leonard Slakin called her a “major musical personality who blends bravura technique with a logical sense of musical style.” Sung debuted with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at age 9 and has toured throughout the world ever since to more acclaim. She has been featured on National Public Radio multiple times and served on the faculty at the Julliard School. She has also been a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard University.

Sung plays a rare 1600 Maggini violin, which she will utilize in performing the Ludwig violin concerto, called a “powerful kaleidoscopic tapestry” by the Miami Herald when reviewed at the world premiere at Guzman Hall for Festival Miami with Russian violinist Mark Peskanov.

Baritone Jose Sacin from the Washington Opera will perform two Verdi arias, “Pieta, rispetto amore,” from “Macbeth” and “Cortigiani” from “Rigoletto. Sacin has been hailed for having an “expressive voice of liquid gold,” and has performed with Placido Domingo in Washington, D.C., among other honors.

The orchestral program includes the “Scherzo” from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Rossini’s scintillating Overture to “The Siken Ladder,” and Wagner’s expansive and richly orchestrated “Prelude and Love Death” from Tristan and Isolde.

The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1998 by Ludwig. His original motivation was to develop an Atlanta youth orchestra to showcase and offer opportunity for his own three musically gifted children. The inaugural concert was held at the Performing Arts Studio at Emory University. Since its founding, the organization has offered audiences classical music mixed with the excitement of non-traditional performances. Every season Ludwig showcases a wide variety of local and internationally recognized soloists.

For more information visit www.ludwigsymphony.org.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.