Concerts to feature Polish violinist


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The New Music Guild’s annual winter concerts will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at Saints Peter and Paul Church, 421 Covington St., and 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at First Congregational Church in Jefferson.

Both concerts are free and will feature violinist/violist Wanda Sobieska, assisted by pianist Anthony Ruggiero and violist Jamie Thornburg.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Sobieska belongs to the fifth generation of a family of musicians and musicologists. She has appeared as a solo and chamber musician in the United States, Poland and Canada, and regularly plays in many professional orchestras.

Sobieska began studying violin at age 5 and attended the Grazyna Bacewicz School of Music in Warsaw, the Cleveland Music School Settlement and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.

Sobieska is also a gifted arranger and has studied composition for many years.

In 2009 she launched freegigmusic.com, a website dedicated to making much-needed sheet music available to working musicians.

Dana School of Music alumni Anthony Ruggiero is a choir director who has worked at many churches in Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Thornburg plays regularly with the Ashland Symphony, the Chagrin Studio Orchestra, the Tuscarawas Symphony and the Black River String Quartet.

Violinist Gwyneth Rollin will begin the concert with the premiere of Robert Rollin’s Margeritkelach Variations accompanied by the composer at the piano. The melody, known worldwide, is an old Jewish folk song definitively recorded in the ’60s by singer Theodore Bikel.

Sobieska will also perform the world premiere of Rollin’s Rhapsody on Themes by Rachmaninoff accompanied by Ruggiero. The violin and piano piece is based on themes from Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos.

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