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Culture

Soprano Stella Markou Performs at UWSTL Chancellor’s Concert

March 3, 2017

WASHINGTON – the Washington University Symphony Orchestra will perform Giovanni Bottesini’s celebrated “Bass Concerto No. 2” (1845) as part of the 2017 Chancellor’s Concert, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 3,

The program will open with the first movement of Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8 (1828). The bass concerto will follow. The soloist will be Ryan Wahidi, a sophomore in physics in Arts & Sciences, who won the annual Friends of Music Concerto Competition last fall.

After intermission, the Washington University Choirs will join the symphony for a performance of Schubert’s “Mass No. 3 in B-flat Major” (1815).

Soloists will be Greek-Amerikan soprano Stella Markou, mezzo-soprano Martha J. Hart, tenor Keith Wehmeier and bass Matt Pentecost.

“It’s always a privilege to work with a fantastic group of musicians, but especially when you get to bring such an elegant work to life like Schubert’s Mass in B Flat. I love that throughout the piece, the soprano soloist is asked to charmingly float within the context of the ensemble, and is beautifully set up to do so within the Benedictus,” Markou said to The National Herald about her upcoming appearance.

Markou’s parents came from Volos, Greece, to New York and then moved to Arizona, where the soprano was born. She is versed in the realm of oratorio, opera and recital work. She has been a featured guest artist with the Edinburgh Contemporary Musical Ensemble, Union Avenue Opera, Masterworks Chorale, Dance New Amsterdam Company, University of Nevada Las Vegas Concert Series, Ambassadors of Harmony, Arianna String Quartet, and Nashville Ballet.

Bottesini (1821-1889) came to the bass by accident.

Entering the Milan Conservatory at age 14, Bottesini was a proficient violinist and timpanist. But his family was poor, and Bottesini, learning that the conservatory offered scholarships for the bassoon and bass, switched instruments.

Bottesini with his bass circa 1865. Bottesini is said to have found the instrument, attributed to the 18th century luthier Carlo Giuseppe Testore, in an old puppet theater, buried beneath a pile of trash. (Photo: Wikipedia)
The rest was history. Over the next five decades, as both composer and virtuoso, Bottesini helped to establish the bass as a viable solo instrument while challenging perceptions of its technical boundaries.

The 2017 Chancellor’s Concert is presented by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. It will take place in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the 560 Music Center. Nicole Aldrich, director of choral activities, leads the choirs. Horst Buchholz conducts the Symphony Orchestra. Sandra Geary is accompanist for the choir.

The 560 Music Center is located at 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. For more information, call 314-935-5566 or email daniels@wustl.edu.

See the event live: https://iframe.dacast.com/b/81475/c/427607

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