Bella Hristova attends the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and studies violin with Ida Kavafian. - Photo courtesy of RVSO

Bella Hristova and the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra

Young violinist Bella Hristova will perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra. Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 South Central Ave. Medford; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the High School Performing Arts Center, 830 N.E. Ninth St., Grants Pass; and 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, at the Music Recital Hall of Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Former music director of Jefferson Public Radio Pat Daly will offer a free pre-concert talk one hour prior to each performance.

Hristova first performed on television in her native Bulgaria at the age of 6. At 13 she moved to the United States, and currently attends the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she studies violin with Ida Kavafian.

Her credits include the first prize at the International Enesco Competition in Romania and the grand prize at the Czech Republic's International Kocian Competition. In 2007 she won the Michael Hill International Violin Competition and she was awarded the New York Concert Series Salon de Virtuosi career grant. She performs on live radio and television, and has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine. She plays a 17th century Amati violin, an instrument on permanent loan to her by famed violinist Louis Krasner.

Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major was considered by the finest violinists of the day in 1881 to be impossible to play. Adolf Brodsky, who premiered the concerto, complained that Tchaikovsky had "crammed too many difficulties into it." The depth and passion of the music triumphed with audiences and eventually Brodsky helped spread its fame. The virtuosic concerto is widely appealing and is now frequently performed.

Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte, La scuola degli amanti" was his 20th of 22 operas, a comic opera, completed just one year before his death in 1791 at age 35. The Overture begins with a contemplative solo melody, but soon the music becomes spirited and rhythmic, with rapid string passages bringing the short piece to its delightful conclusion.

Ottorino Respighi was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1879. At age 37 he completed his first of three orchestral works inspired by Rome, a city he loved so much he would make it his permanent home. In Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome) Respighi depicts four fountains of the city, transcribing his vision of their magnificent beauty into music. Respighi's body of work includes opera, chamber music, and several symphonic tone poems, including Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome) and Feste Romane (Roman Festivals).

Ashland ticket prices are $33 and $40; Medford tickets are $26 and $33; Grants Pass tickets are $23 and $30. Student tickets are $5 at each venue. See rvsymphony.org for further details about the orchestra's 41st season of concerts.

For tickets call the box office at 552-6398, open in the Music Building of Southern Oregon University from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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