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Ludwig symphonys spring gala Saturday
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The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents “A Cherry Blossom Spring Fling” gala concert to close its 15th season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Gwinnett Center-Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

The performance will feature internationally acclaimed Norwegian pianist John Chen interpreting Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor; Zachary Mansell, first-prize winner of the Cleveland International Cello Society Competition, performing Tschaikovsky’s popular “Rococo” variations for cello and orchestra; and local Atlanta soprano Perri Montane performing arias by Mozart and Wagner.

Chen, born in Oslo, Norway, of Chinese parents, made his orchestral solo debut at age 12 with the Valdres Festival Summer Symphony. Currently a masters degree student at the New England Conservatory of Music, he has soloed with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Oslo Symphony Orchestra and Trondheim Symphony. Chen has won many international piano competitions and performed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Africa and the U.S.

Mansell, a native of Roswell, is working on his masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he recently performed Dohnany’s Piano Quintet. He was 2011 winner of the Cleveland International Cello Society Competition. He has worked with such esteemed conductors as Leonard Slatkin and Christoph Eschenbach and performed at the Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Round Top International Festival in Texas and Indiana University Summer Festival.

Montane is one of Atlanta’s most talented and versatile sopranos praised by critics and audiences for her “rich vocal timbre and expressive acting.” A graduate of New England Conservatory in Boston and district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, she has sung with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Capitol City Opera of Atlanta, St. Petersburg Opera of Florida and Asheville Lyric Opera.

In her debut with the Ludwig Symphony, she will interpret Mozart’s challenging “Come scoglio” from Cosi Fan Tutte and Wagner’s “Dich teure Halle” from Tannhauser.

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 lead the 70-piece orchestra in a program that includes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Mozart’s ”Haffner” Symphony No. 35 in D major and Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain.”

Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 seniors older than age 65 and $12 for students younger than age 21. Purchase tickets by calling 770-623-8623 or online at