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String symphony performs classic range of tunes
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‘String Serenade'

What: Gainesville Symphony Orchestra's chamber orchestra concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 500 Washington St., Gainesville

How much: $30 adults, $27 senior adults, $12 students

More info: 770-532-5727

The popular classical piece by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, "Serenade for Strings," will be just one of the featured pieces Friday during "String Serenade," a production of the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra.

"This is a concert that really features our string section," said Ken Lambert, a violin soloist who also performs with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, among others. "The music is all really upbeat and very exciting, there not a whole lot of somberness to it.

"We're playing a wide range of music, going back as far as (Johann Sebastian) Bach in the 1700s all the way up to Tchaikovsky in the 1800s."

The GSO's production is a chamber orchestra concert, which features 25 to 30 string instruments.

String Serenade will feature guest conductor and founder of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Bruce Sorrell, and violin soloist Lambert, who also is the GSO's concertmaster.

Sorrell said Greg Pritchard, the GSO music director, put together the concert before he was chosen to guest conduct the event.

"He was looking around for a guest conductor and I became sort of an obvious choice," said Sorrell, who will make his first trip to Gainesville this week. "Because this is a repertoire that I have done a lot as the founder and conductor of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and so it was a great fit."

The concert will begin with a solo performance by Lambert of Bach's "Violin Concerto in A Minor."

"It's maybe a piece that isn't as well known," Sorrell said. "Probably the least well known of the pieces in the program, which is unfortunate because it's a really great concerto. I've never really performed it before, so that was one of the attractions for me, too, was to get to know this concerto. I'm hoping to program it in Kansas City soon because I think it should be heard more."

Then there will be a performance of Antonio Vivaldi's "Autumn" from "Four Seasons."

Other selections will be "Percy Grainger," an Irish tune from County Derry, which many recognize as "Danny Boy."

According to Lambert, a big draw to the concert will be Vivaldi's "Autumn."

"(It is) certainly the most famous, popular piece in the program," he said. "‘The Four Seasons' are the most recorded ... piece of classical music out there."

Lambert, the only soloist performing during the concert, over the years has played with musicians such as Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Andre Watts and Rachel Barton-Pine.

"I will play a violin that is on loan to me from a collector in Florida," Lambert said. "It's a 1946 Guiseppe Pedrazzini. It's from Cremona, Italy, which is the center of the world for violin making. It's on indefinite loan from Margaret VanEvery, someone I met doing my master's degree at Florida State."

Sorrell said Lambert will be a talented and interesting violinist to watch.

"Kenny is a very eclectic violinist in his career, so we have some nonclassical elements to his experience," Sorrell said. "So he really captures it really, really well ... I think the whole concert will be a lot of fun."

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