Concertmaster to offer masterclass to students

Naomi Greenstein, Staff writer

To promote the beginning of the 2016-17 season, the Erie Philharmonic will have two special events the week of the Symphonic Season opening night.
Concertmaster and violinist Ken Johnston will be coming to Mercyhurst University to present a masterclass on Oct. 12.
The class, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in D’Angelo Room 19, is free and open to the public.
The masterclass will feature a select few music majors. These music majors are: Grace Ferrara, Kayla Bravchok and Leah Elberfeld.
Ferrara will be performing the first movement of Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No.3 in G Major.”
Bravchok will perform the first movement of Viotti’s “Violin Concerto No. 23 in G Major.”
Elberfeld will play the second movement of Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 4.”
It is a great chance to see the methodology in person that the concertmaster of the Erie Philharmonic employs when approaching various pieces through each of the students.
Mercyhurst often prides itself on employing talented faculty members that involve themselves in the community through the art in which they teach their students.
One Mercyhurst faculty member will be doing just that next week as part of the opening events.
Pianist and Mercyhurst Music Department chair Nathan Hess, D.M.A., will be playing the celeste in Stravinsky’s “Petrushka” during the Erie Philharmonic’s Symphonic opening night.
The opening night for the 2016-17 season will take place on Oct. 15 at the Warner Theatre.
Student tickets can be purchased for $10. The opening night pieces consist of Russian composers.
“Petrushka” was a ballet commissioned by Diaghilev in 1911. The music brings a puppet to life during a Shrovetide Fair.
He falls for the beautiful ballerina, but certain circumstances keep Petrushka from realizing his romantic fantasies.
The music is said to be tender, violent and tragic.
Concertmaster Johnston will also be featured as a violin soloist in Glazunov Violin Concerto.
The evening will be brought to a close with selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Suite from Swan Lake.”
Hess will also be joining Johnston for an intimate recital as part of the Opening Night Symphonic Series week.
The recital will be hosted in partnership with the Erie County Public Library and presented in the Hirt Auditorium at Blasco Library on Oct. 10.