Youth Orchestra alumna returns as featured artist

Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra alumna Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir recently made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic where the LA Times praised her for her "emotional intensity." On September 15, Thorsteinsdottir will be bringing this same emotional intensity back to the Quad Cities as she performs Rachmaninov's Sonata for Piano and Cello and other selected works for the start of the QCSO’s Signature Series. Since the time her career burgeoned in the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra, Thorsteinsdottir has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the 2008 Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Coatia. Tickets for this concert are $25 for adults and $10 for students.

Thorsteinsdottir will be performing with pianist Benjamin Loeb. Recently appointed Executive Director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, this will be Loeb's first appearance on a QCSO concert. As a pianist, Benjamin Loeb has been praised by the Boston Globe: "[His] vigorous, cogent playing signaled the kind of equally weighted partnership, plus competition, plus mutual quest, etc. that [makes] this music live." His concerts have taken him around the world to major venues and on radio and TV in New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Berlin, Seoul, Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Panama City, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and tours across the United States. He has performed for community concerts and has been featured as Artist-in-Residence on NPR's Performance Today with violinist Livia Sohn.

In addition to the Rachmaninov Sonata, the duo will be performing other works including Beethoven's Seven Variations on a Theme of Mozart, Britten's Sonata for Cello and Piano, and a world premiere from local Composer William Campbell: Green Fire Variations for Piano and Cello. Campbell's Green Fire Variations for cello and piano is music about the energy within wild things. The title uses words borrowed from writer and conservationist Aldo Leopold: "We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes...I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view." (Sand County Almanac)

The Signature Series is a collaboration between the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and WVIK-Augustana Public Radio. Peformed in Augustana’s Wallenberg Hall and rebroadcast on WVIK, this versatile and intimate series features select members of the QCSO and visiting artists from across the nation. Under the artistic direction of Concertmaster Naha Greenholtz, the Signature Series is a testament to the vitality of the classical music community in the Quad Cities.

Get your tickets today for this very exciting start to the 2013-14 Signature Series by calling 563.322.QCSO (7276) or visiting www.qcsymphony.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.