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Symphony to close 2012-13 season

Published 10:18am Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Austin Symphony Orchestra will cap off its 56th season with a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday in Austin High School’s Knowlton Auditorium.

This concert will feature the two high school winners of the annual Young Artist Competition: violist Ethan Johnson and pianist William Cao.

The symphony will also perform a variety of works by composers from France, Italy and Russia. All the works are familiar to many audiences.

The Young Artist Competition started four years ago after Symphony Conductor Steve Ramsey suggested the symphony recognize the talents of area youth.

Auditions are typically held early in the year, with winners selected by a team of judges. The winners perform a solo with the symphony at the final concert each season.

Johnson will perform the Max Bruch Romance Opus No. 85 with orchestral accompaniment. He is the son of high school choral director Brian Johnson and his wife, Debra. He is a member of the Austin Symphony, High School Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir, Austinaires and Vocal Jazz.

Johnson has received many superior ratings for solo and ensemble performances at regional and state music competitions, was selected to All-State Choir in 2012 and was awarded first chair violist in the Luther College Dorian String Festival in 2013.

Cao will perform the first movement of the Schumann Piano Concerto. Cao, of Rochester, is a student of Dr. Horacio Nuguid, who was a guest soloist with the symphony at last fall’s opening concert. He won the SEMYO Concerto Competition and was a finalist in the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Senior Young Artists Competition in 2011 and 2012.

One of last year’s Young Artist Competition winners, Jennifer Kim, has just been selected to be a member of the 122 piece National Youth Orchestra, which will travel and perform in Europe this summer.

Jazz It Up! to follow concert

After the concert, symphony will host the Jazz It Up! fundraiser at the Hormel Historic Home.

The night will start with a social hour and silent auction at 5 p.m. with a dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and available at Hy-Vee, the Coffee House on Main and by calling 507-433-8719 or 507-433-5647.

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