Guest conductor Charles Latshaw and violinist Jinjoo Cho join the Grand Junction Symphony for a pair of concerts Valentine’s weekend

January 22, 2016

The search for the Grand Junction Symphony’s new conductor continues as Latshaw Conducts Tchaikovsky. Guest conductor and GJSO Music Director candidate Charles Latshaw leads the Grand Junction Symphony along with South Korea native and 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis winner Jinjoo Cho in a weekend of performances on Saturday, February 13th at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 14th at 3:00pm.

Both performances will be held in the Historic Avalon Theatre and will feature Arturo Marquez’s Danzon No. 2, Glazunov’s Violin Concerto, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Charles Latshaw is the director of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival and the Kent State University Orchestras. He previously served as artistic director and conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana. Latshaw has also held conducting positions with the Indianapolis Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Washington Sinfonietta, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. Latshaw’s performances are not limited to the podium. He has held the position of principal trumpet in orchestras in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. He has performed with jazz bands as a trumpet player, vocalist, and band leader. He has appeared in acting and singing roles with the Palace Professional Theater of Manchester and the New Hampshire State Opera. Performance tours have brought him to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, as well as across the United States. Latshaw is one of four finalists for the position of music director of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.

Critically acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho has established herself as one of the most vibrant, engaging and charismatic violinists of her generation.  Gold Medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Jinjoo made her first appearance on the international music scene when she garnered the First Grand Prize and Radio Canada’s People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Montreal International Musical Competition at age 17.  Times Argus of Montreal proclaimed her performance of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto as possessing “an undeniable charisma and depth…with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine.”  Born in Seoul, Korea, Jinjoo moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 14 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Young Artist Program student.  Jinjoo finished her Bachelor of Music degree both at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Paul Kantor, who has been her mentor since 2001.

Composed in 1994, Danzón No. 2 has quickly become one of the most popular orchestral pieces by a Mexican composer. “Danzón” refers to a Cuban style of dance dating back to the late 19th century, and is closely related to the Spanish Habanera. Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 was inspired by an evening spent in a ballroom in Veracruz, Mexico. It was commissioned by, and premiered at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

Glazunov’s Violin Concerto was composed in 1904. It was premiered in 1905, with Glazunov conducting and Leopold Auer as violinist, just before Glazunov was elected as director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. The Glazunov Violin Concerto follows a fairly traditional 3-part fast-slow-fast format, but the sections are played attacca, strung together in a single movement. The piece has no introduction, but instead starts right into the soloist’s main theme– a melody that is distinctly Russian and feels very much like folk music. The concerto is extremely virtuosic, and feels thoroughly Romantic in style.

Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony was composed in 1888, when Tchaikovsky had just returned to Russia after a successful trip to Germany and was first performed by the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra in 1994 under the direction of Kirk Gustafson. The Fifth Symphony takes a new view of the composer’s struggles with Fate. Tchaikovsky wrote in his diary that the beginning of the work, a gloomy theme in the clarinets, is “a complete resignation before fate.” But unlike his Fourth Symphony, this new Fate theme is not some outside force interrupting the music. Instead it is the piece. All four movements of the Fifth Symphony incorporate this same Fate theme, and as the work progresses, the sound of Fate grows and changes along with it.

Tickets for Latshaw Conducts Tchaikovsky are $20, $30 and $40 for adults and only $5 for students with ID. They can be purchased online at GJSO.org, by calling 243-6787 or visiting the Grand Junction Symphony office at 414 Main Street. Tickets are also available one hour prior to each performance at the Avalon Theatre box office.

Latshaw Conducts Tchaikovsky is sponsored by Bob & Adele Suydam and the Grand Junction Symphony Foundation.

Don’t miss your chance to see the potential future Maestro of the GJSO as Latshaw Conducts Tchaikovsky. Saturday, February 13th at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 14th at 3:00pm at the Avalon Theatre.

Jinjoo Cho

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