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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Phillips Center hosts concert, "sexy" ballet tonight

Sexy, passionate and murderous are not words typically used to describe an orchestra concert.

But those are some of the words conductor Matthew Wardell used when talking about tonight's UF Symphony Orchestra performance.

At the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 tonight, the UF School of Music will present three musical pieces and a ballet.

Winners of the 42nd Annual Concerto Competition will perform, followed by a ballet by Béla Bartók, "The Miraculous Mandarin."

Wardell said two out of 25 students who auditioned won the School of Music's concerto competition. Concertos rely on a back and forth "conversation" between soloist and orchestra.

Yefim Romanov, the undergraduate winner, will perform Tchaikovsky's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra." Although the piece is difficult to perform, it is a passionate attention grabber, Romonov said.

Anastasiya Naplekova, the graduate student winner, follows with a performance of Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini."

After intermission, the UF School of Music and the UF School of Theatre and Dance will perform a ballet with original choreography by Ric Rose, associate professor of dance.

Based on the ideal that all beings deserve satisfaction, Bartók's "Miraculous Mandarin" is a chilling story told through sex, greed and violence.

After its first showing in Cologne, Germany in 1926, the ballet was banned and torn apart by censors because of its graphic content.

Although it has been performed since then, it wasn't until 2000 that the score was restored to its originally intended form, Wardell said.

Unlike many large-scale collaborations, this concert will be performed strictly by students.

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"A lot of times performances like this will include faculty members and hired professionals," he said. "The orchestra, the conductor, the soloists and the dancers are all products of the College of Fine Arts."

The performance will be a buffet for both the ears and the mind, said cellist Evan Kassof, a music composition and physics double major.

"It's an emotional experience," Kassof said. "There's nothing that we are playing tonight that someone can't relate to."

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