Maestro Fred Devyatkin will conduct a celebration of Virtuoso Composers of the Nineteenth Century when the Beaufort Orchestra opens its twenty-second season on October 25th and 28th. Tamas Kocsis, concertmaster of the Orlando Symphony, will return as violin soloist in Paganini’s Violin Concerto in D.     Mr. Kocsis is familiar to Beaufort area music audiences who have showered him with standing ovations and shouts of “bravo” during recent performances of the violin concertos of Brahms, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky with the Beaufort Orchestra.
    Kocsis and Devyaktin are particularly fond of working together! According to the maestro, this is truly show stopping music and Tamas is a rare violinist talented enough to tackle the outrageously difficult runs, cadenzas and sky-high notes in the Paganini music.  
    Nicolo Paganini was one of the first great superstars of the musical stage.  Born in Genoa in 1782, he learned violin and mandolin from his father, a shipping clerk and respected area musician, but an extremely hard taskmaster.  By thirteen he had outpaced all of his teachers and had developed an original style of composition.  It was not until he was in his mid-forties that he left Italy and began to concertize more widely throughout Europe. His own compositions were written expressly to show off his phenomenal talent.  His adoring audiences were amazed, often lining up more than two hours before the performances to be assured of seats.  They left the concert halls stunned by his technical facility. Upon hearing him, Mendelssohn declared his playing so unique and original as to be beyond description!!
    Rumors were whispered about that he had gained his mastery of the violin by making a pact with the devil, and that he had learned to play in prison while serving time for a murderous love triangle. Paganini seems to have manipulated and encouraged these tales! Unfortunately his health began to decline by the age of fifty.  During his final years he commissioned Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, expecting to play the violin solos himself, but this never materailized.  Today he is known as the father of the modern violin playing.
    Maestro Devyatkin and The Beaufort Orchestra will also showcase a second nineteenth century virtuoso composer, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.  His Fingal’s Cave, also known as the Hebrides Overture, and Symphony No 3, “The Scottish” will be performed in the October concerts.
Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family in Germany in 1809. Because of growing anti-Semitism, his father adopted the name of Bartholdy and renounced his family’s religious background. Felix and his sister, Fanny were both extremely talented young musicians. Many of the greatest intellectual minds in Germany were frequent guests in his family’s home. Felix is regarded as the most gifted child prodigy after Mozart. Developing skills as a pianist and composer at an early age, and was thirteen when his first work was published. By this time he had already gained prominence as a virtuoso pianist.
    He was a prolific writer, composing in a wide variety of musical forms.  Beginning in 1829 he spent many summers in England and Scotland where he visited Queen Victoria and her musical husband, Albert.  These led to the composition of two of his most famous works, Fingal’s Cave and The Scottish Symphony.   
    He was also to become a celebrated conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, an institution that survives today. He married in 1837and his happy family included five children.  Among his other talents were watercolor painting and humorous writings in both German and English. During the last fifty years Mendelssohn’s works have enjoyed popularity with orchestras and audiences all over the world.  Nearly all his many published works are now available on CD’s.
    This summer the Beaufort Art Association and The Beaufort Orchestra together sponsored a competition for a new cover design for this year’s concert programs.  Members of the Beaufort Art Association were invited to create their artistic depiction of the theme, “Keep The Music Live!”  Jeanette England, a gallery member of the BAA and a resident of Port Royal, was selected as the winner.  She will be an honored guest at both October concerts and her original painting will be reproduced on the covers of The Beaufort Orchestra concerts during the entire 2007-2008 season.     The USCB Gallery will display all the contest entries at both the October 25th and 28th concerts Thursday and Sunday. Many of these works will be available for sale by the artists.

Virtuoso Composers of the 19th Century
Mendelssohn: Fingal’s Cave (The Hebrides Overture)
Paganini: Violin Concerto in D with Tamas Kocsis, soloist
Mendelssohn: Symphony #3 “ The Scottish”
October 25, 2007 (Thursday) 8:00 P.M.
October 28, 2007 (Sunday) 3:00 P.M.

Subscriptions and Reserved Seating now available through
Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1106 Carteret Street, Phone 843-986-5400, Ext 34
Single tickets are $25, Youth through High School $5
All concerts are held at the USCB Performing Arts Auditorium, 801 Carteret Street, Beaufort