YSO strings concert at Ford

If You Go

What: Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Ford Family Recital Hall, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown

Tickets: $30 and $45; 330-744-0264; or youngstownsymphony.com




The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will perform the music of Baroque composers Bach and Vivaldi in a more appropriate venue: Ford Family Recital Hall.

The orchestra is going with the intimate 600-seat venue instead of Powers Auditorium because it will better suit the music and the musicians. The YSO will perform that night as a large chamber orchestra – strings, some percussion and a harpsichord, but no horns or woodwinds.

Patricia Syak, president of the symphony society, said the venue is perfect for strings, and a smaller classical music audience might appreciate it more.

“It’s an experiment,” said Syak. “We thought that it would be fun. It’s an entirely Baroque concert and will sound extra special and we’ll see how the audience responds.”

The YSO rarely does chamber orchestra concerts. The only other time it performed as such in Ford recital hall was a couple of years ago.

“I think it’s the perfect place for a chamber orchestra program,” said Randall Craig Fleischer, music director and conductor of the YSO. “Intimate and beautiful.”

Fleischer said it will likely not be the last time the orchestra performs in the smaller room. “We look forward to doing other chamber orchestra programs there or even some medium-size orchestra stuff, maybe early Beethoven, Schubert or Mozart.”

The program will begin with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

The piece uses a wide variety of solo instruments, which breaks from similar concerti of its period which showcased strings.

In one segment, Bach uses the flute and harpsichord extensively. Kathleen Shaffer, the YSO’s principal flutist, and pianist Nancy DeSalvo will handle the parts at Saturday’s concert.

For Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Rachel Stegeman, concertmaster of the YSO, will perform solo passages.

Vivaldi composed this famed piece while teaching at an institution for orphans with the intention that the students perform it for nobility.

Each of the four concerti – spring, summer, autumn and winter – includes a sonnet that is attributed to Vivaldi. Stan Boney, newscaster for WKBN-TV, will narrate those sonnets at Saturday’s YSO concert.

Stegeman joined the YSO as concertmaster three years ago, after a yearlong search. A native of Washington, D.C., she began her violin studies at age 8. She has played with the National Symphony and Kennedy Center Orchestra.

Stegeman has also played with the Pacific and Sacramento orchestras and was assistant concertmaster with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she is a music professor at Duquesne University and assistant concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet orchestras.

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