DSO show to feature piano solo by Cory Chang '13

by Laura Sim | 2/27/13 11:00pm

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The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra will perform selections by Prokofiev and Beethoven.
by Gavin Huang / The Dartmouth

The concert will feature two major works of music: Prokofiev's third piano concerto and seventh symphony by Beethoven. Featuring a solo by pianist Cory Chang '13, it will not only highlight the DSO's talents as an orchestra, but showcase the formidable musical skills of Chang, orchestra manager and violinist Damaris Altomerianos '13 said.

"With every concert, the orchestra tries to learn and grow," Altomerianos said. "We really enjoy learning the new music and playing together."

Altomerianos said the orchestra will work to both support and highlight Chang's performance.

"The music is really beautiful and distinctive in a lot of ways, so the orchestra is aiming to show that," she said.

Altomerianos and fellow orchestra manager Amy Bray '13 said the decision to cast Chang for the solo was difficult because the orchestra is home to several solo musicians.

"Across the board, I think everyone knows that the '13s are a musically phenomenal class," Bray said. "Like with a capella groups, the Glee Club and everything like that, you really see this big, talented class and there was so much talent to choose from when deciding on just one soloist. The DSO is definitely no exception to this rule."

Chang's appearance marks the last of five student soloist performances in DSO concerts this year.

The solo will serve as a final culmination of Chang's musical experience at the College. A chemistry and music major, Chang said he enjoys playing for an array of occasions with a variety of musicians. During his time at the College, Chang found a strong source of support in the student music community.

"Apart from taking theory and history classes in the music department as a major, I've taken every opportunity to make music with other students, whether it may be through orchestral groups, chamber music, accompanying soloists or classes, teaching piano lessons or even spontaneous improvisatory jam sessions during the wee hours of the morning," Chang said. "We're all very supportive of each other, and oftentimes if we see a friend through the window of a practice room, we'll walk in to chat or even sit and listen for a while."

The upcoming performance will provide Chang the rare opportunity to perform outside of his typical roles as a violinist and pianist for the orchestra.

"It goes without saying, but performing a piano concerto with a full symphony orchestra is an incredibly sublime experience, one that I'll almost certainly not be able to have for the rest of my life," Chang said.

For Bray, the DSO's winter concert showcases a genre of music that most students do not usually consider easy to comprehend. However, Bray and her fellow musicians have ensured that their upcoming performance will reach a wider audience, not just those who are experts in classical music.

"I think people should come out and watch because it showcases student talent really obviously," Bray said. "Cory is going to give a phenomenal performance. Also, for this concert especially, it is very accessible music. Sometimes, people get intimidated by classical music, thinking that they're not going to understand it, they'll fall asleep or maybe it'll go over their heads."

Bray said the orchestra's selections will engage audience members because of their fast-paced liveliness.

"Beethoven is so easy to listen to and get excited about because it's quick-moving, and Cory's performance is going to be great," she said. "It's going to be easy to get into the music, maybe more so than other performances we've had."

The DSO will perform in Spaulding Auditorium on Saturday at 8 p.m.