Two Soloists, Two Concerts, One Beginning

Two different soloists will perform concertos this weekend, on different instruments, accompanied by different orchestras: What links these two soloists together is a shared beginning in the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra. 

Tom Sauer, a former member of the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra, will return to the Quad Cities on April 13th and 14th to perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.  This concert will also feature Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. Saturday evening's concert will be held at the Adler Theatre in Davenport at 7:30 p.m., and followed on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Centennial Hall in Rock Island.

Only a few hours later, the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra will take the Centennial Hall stage to perform their Spring Concert.  This year Jacob Warner, a senior at Davenport North High School, is the winner of the annual Concerto Competition and will be performing Concerto for Cello and Orchestra by Shostakovich.  Although these two soloists are separated by years, they both have a common bond through their passion for music that began in the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Tom Sauer played violin and performed multiple concertos with the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra from 1977–1982 and went on to become an international soloist, a chamber musician, and teacher.  Today Sauer is a member of the music faculty of Vassar College and the piano faculty of the Mannes College.  He is the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute and co-founder of Chamber Music Quad Cities.  A graduate of the Curtis Institute, Mannes College of Music, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, his major teachers included Jorge Bolet, Edward Aldwell, and Carl Schachter.

Jacob Warner is a Senior at Davenport North High School, and has been a cellist in the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra for five years, being co-principal cellist for the past three years.  He began playing the cello at the age of 8, studying with Virginia Ewoldt in Davenport, and now studies with Hannah Holman in Iowa City. Jacob is the principal cellist in the Davenport North High School Orchestra and participates in the school’s Senior String Quartet.

Also this week, the QCSO is excited to provide Inside the Music at the hip and historic Hotel Blackhawk. The lectures series is held on the Thursday previous to the program at 5:30 p.m. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. with free hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar available.

Music Director Mark Russell Smith will also be available at Concert Conversations, held in the concert hall an hour before each of the weekend's concerts. At Concert Conversations the audience members will be given an overview of the program they are about to experience. This look into the background of the concert's repertoire is sponsored by Rich James of Wells Fargo Advisors.

After the Saturday night performance, the audience is invited to mingle with Tom Sauer, the musicians of the QCSO, and Maestro Mark Russell Smith in the lobby of the Hotel Blackhawk at Afterglow. The evening includes free hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and remarkable repartee.

Tickets for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Masterworks concert on April 13th and 14th can be purchased in person at the QCSO Box Office, 327 Brady Street in Davenport, by phone at 800.745.3000, or online at  

The Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra concert is on April 14th at 7:00 p.m. at Centennial Hall in Rock Island, IL.  Tickets for the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra are only $10 and are available at the door.