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Concerto Competition Winners, UGA Symphony Orchestra, to Perform Thursday Concert

Soloist winners of the annual Concerto Competition, a longstanding tradition of the Hodgson School of Music, will perform with the UGA Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m. in Hodgson Hall for the next installment of the Thursday Scholarship Series:

“What makes [the program] a challenge is you never know what the winning selections are going to be. It can make for some very challenging programming,” says Mark Cedel, Director of Symphony Orchestra and one of the conductors of the Concerto Competition Program. Two of the pieces will be conducted by conducting assistant, Jean Gomez. 

The winners of the Concerto Competition this year are Sahada Buckley, violin; Megan Elks, saxophone; Mateus Falkemback, clarinet; Alexandre Tchaykov, piano; Laura Cotney, voice; and Elena Lyalina, piano.

Sahada Buckley, who is studying violin performance and music theory, will be performing her violin solo during Édouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra, Op. 21. Buckley has studied with the likes of Steve Weiss, Michael Heald, Paul Sonner, Linda Wang, Enen Yu, and Walter Schwede. She has performed in masterclasses for Arnaud Sussman, Espen Lilleslåten, and Oliver Yatsugafu.

From performing in a featured recital at the 2017 U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium to master classes with the Masato Kumoi Quartet of Japan, Megan Elks is no stranger to performance. She will be soloing in Henri Tomasi’s Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra. She is also a recipient of UGA’s Kenneth Fischer Scholarship and Outstanding Sophomore Award.

Mateus Falkemback, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be soloing during Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A Major, K. 622. An accomplished musician, Falkemback has participated in many music festivals, winning prizes in Brazil and abroad. He is a member of the Omega Clarinet Quartet and the Banda Filarmônica do Rio de Janeiro since its founding in 2010, among others.

Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was chosen by Alexandre Tchaykov, winner of the Georgia Music Teachers Association State Competition, Lower College Division, resulting in performances at the 2016 and 2017 state conferences. Originally from Varna, Bulgaria, Tchaykov has made his presence known here at the Hodgson School.

Vier letze Lieder (Four Last Songs) by Richard Strauss features Laura Ann Cotney, who was praised for her “mastery of the demanding vocal lines” of Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, which she performed with the Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater. Cotney has performed in many opera performances throughout the country with groups such as Atlanta Opera, Capitol City Opera, Great Lakes Light Op-era, Piedmont Opera, and Utah Lyric Opera.

For the final piece of the evening, Elena Lyalina will feature in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, op. 21. Lyalina, a native of Russia, received musical training from Irina Bogdanova and Valery Starynin at the College of Music in Togliatti and the Glinka State Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod. She is now she pursuing her D.M.A. degree at the UGA in the studio of Evgeny Rivkin.

Performance is one of the most demanding majors at the university and the Hodgson School attracts some of the most talented and passionate young musical artists in the world to study at UGA. A great night of music featuring five extraordinary students, accompanied by the symphony orchestra. Congratulations to all the Concerto Competition winners, their professors, and their proud families.


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