NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Pianist Kwan Yi, winner of Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music's first Schmidbauer International Young Artist Competition, will be the featured soloist during the Orchestra of the Pines' "Grandeur and Virtuosity" concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.
Yi will perform Franz Liszt's Second Piano Concerto, the same piece he played to win the Schmidbauer Competition in January, which garnered him the appearance with the Orchestra of the Pines.
Yi said he chose the concerto for the competition because it has a combination of virtuosic, bravura passages as well as lyrical, poetic sections.
"This concert is a hallmark moment for the Orchestra of the Pines and the Schmidbauer Competition," said Gene H. Moon, music director of the orchestra. "Add the high level of solo artistry Kwan Yi brings to the stage, and it makes for an unforgettable evening."
Yi began studying piano at age 11 in Korea and attended the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. He received his Bachelor's of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music and is currently studying with Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School.
The pianist made his solo debut with the Houston Symphony in 2007 under the baton of Hans Graf in Jones Hall. He has also made solo appearances with the Pottstown Symphony and the LaGuardia Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, Yi has performed in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Nichols Hall in Chicago, Gusman Hall in Miami, for the Channing Recital Series in Houston and in San Francisco.
His recent awards include the National Foundation in the Advancement in the ARTS Award, the ASCAP Foundation's Ira Gershwin Award for Outstanding Musicianship and the Grand Prize in the 2007 Sorantin International Young Artist Competition.
The concert will open with the regional orchestra, composed of SFA faculty and students and import musicians from Dallas, Houston and surrounding states, performing Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D major, and close with Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture.
"The Sibelius is a grand work that will provide a fitting opening for this concert," Moon said. "And the audience will definitely connect with Rossini's overture and its popular melody that is inextricably associated with a certain famous masked cowboy."
The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts, University Series and School of Music. It is sponsored in part by Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital and the Wedgeworth-Wright Endowment for the Arts.
W.M. Turner Auditorium is located on the second floor of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr., on the SFA campus.
Prior to the concert, Moon will give a brief informative lecture about the evening's program at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery immediately after the concert for a reception honoring the event's sponsors and to meet the musicians.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and $6 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.sfasu.edu/finearts or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.