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Albany Symphony to feature violin virtuoso Gareth Johnson

Gareth Johnson

Gareth Johnson

ALBANY, Ga. -- Violin virtuoso Gareth Johnson will be the featured artist at the Albany Symphony Orchestra's third concert of the subscription season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St.

Johnson has the distinction of winning both the junior and senior divisions of the Sphinx competition. He is currently completing his second year as distinguished lecturer and artist in residence at Albany State University. He plays an 1840 J.B. Vuillaume violin.

Johnson will appear with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. The concert will also include works by African-American composers, Respighi's picturesque Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome and Jeffrey Mumford's "a dance into reflected daylight," which was named the 2012 commissioned composition by the Sphinx Competition.

Mumford has received an "Academy Award in Music" from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition, he has received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, an American Music Center Composer Assistance Program (CAP) grant and several American Society of Composers Authors Publishers (ASCAP) awards and grants.

In addition to his talents as a classical violinist, Johnson is a devoted composer, teacher and arranger of other music forms.

Maestro Claire Fox Hillard said, "I have been watching Gareth Johnson's career since the time he first played with the Albany Symphony 11 years ago as winner of the Sphinx Competition Junior Division. He has developed into a mature and engaging artist and I think his future as a concert violinist is very bright."

The New York Times has said of Johnson that he "possesses prodigious musical gifts -- like Joshua Bell or Maxim Vengerov ... he dominates the stage." He has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Admission is $35 or $25, depending on seat location, and $20 for military personnel and senior citizens. Tickets are available by calling the symphony office at (229) 430.8933, online at AlbanySymphony.org or at the box office one hour before the concert.

Hillard and Johnson will present complimentary pre-concert notes, informative comments and insights into the performance, at 6:30 p.m. from the auditorium stage.

Following the 7:30 concert, the Conductor's Circle reception is held at the the Albany Area Arts Council (the former Carnegie Library) at 215 N. Front St., next door to the auditorium. Members and others who may pay at the door ($15) can enjoy refreshments and greet Hillard and Johnson.

The symphony is a fully professional per service orchestra serving the Southwest Georgia region with classical, pops, educational and special concerts. For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit albanysymphony.org or call (229) 430-8933.