The Starling Chamber Orchestra will begin its 2011-2012 concert series at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 at CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. This free performance will showcase the versatile pre-college string players as soloists, chamber musicians and as members of the orchestra.

Cincinnati-area young artists Mariko Shimasaki and Isabella Geis, violins, Domenic DiFrancesco, viola and Matt Shin, cello, will begin the November program with chamber music, performing the “Allegro con brio” first movement of the Beethoven “Serioso” String Quartet Op. 95 Quartet No. 11. Violinist Jenny Lee and cellist Josh Halpern, first-place prizewinners at the 2011 Fischoff Competition as members of the Polaris String Quartet, collaborate as a duo for the famous Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia. The full Starling Chamber Orchestra will perform a short piece from the Palladio Suite by Karl Jenkins and an arrangement of Puccini’s Chrysantemi for orchestra leading into solo performances by two local violin virtuosos.

Cincinnati eighth-grader Isabella Geis will perform the Scherzo Tarantelle, one of Henryk Wieniawski’s trickiest violin compositions. Jenny Lee, a commuting Starling student from Bloomington, Indiana, will return to the stage to close the first half of the program with the first movement of the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major K. 219. The Starling Chamber Orchestra will end the November concert with an early Mozart symphony, No. 29 in A Major, a piece written while the composer himself was still a teenager.

Artistic Director Kurt Sassmannshaus will also conduct the November concert. “The orchestra always rejuvenates itself each year with very talented young performers. This concert will demonstrate the entire breadth of the Starling program with chamber music, orchestral works, and virtuosic solo performances,” stated Sassmannshaus.

About the Starling Chamber Orchestra
Founded in 1987 by Artistic Director Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Starling Chamber Orchestra is a part of the Cincinnati Starling Project’s specialized honors training program for gifted, pre-college string musicians. Students are selected by audition to participate in weekly classes studying music theory, ear-training, eurhythmics and composition in addition to private lessons, chamber music and orchestra rehearsal.

Members of Starling Chamber Orchestra range in age from 10 to 18 and represent communities in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. A uniquely intense experience for the next generation of classical musicians, many students’ families have relocated to Cincinnati for this program from other cities and overseas.

The Starling Chamber Orchestra is generously supported by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation, the Starling Project Foundation and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Find recordings of past performances at the Starling Project’s YouTube page,

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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