Music Inspired by St. Mary's River to be Premiered at July 16 River Concert

Featuring Young Concerto Competition Winner Brian Hong

Violin soloist Brian Hong is a co-winner of the River Concert Series Young Artist Concerto Competition, along with bassist Nina DeCesare. (Submitted photo)
ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (July 14, 2010) — At the River Concert July 16 on the Townhouse Green at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), music director Jeffrey Silberschlag and the Chesapeake Orchestra present the world premiere of a work by Maryland composer William Kleinsasser, who was inspired by the lovely St. Mary’s River. The orchestra also performs Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and the concert’s guest artist is violinist Brian Hong, winner of the first annual River Concert Series Young Artist Concerto Competition. The weekly music celebrations on the college’s Townhouse Green continue every Friday through July 30 with world-class performances and a variety of food from local vendors. Gates open at 5 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. These outdoor concerts are free and open to the public, and picnic baskets are welcome. For more information, visit or call 240-895-3038.

“Many Rivers,” inspired by the topography around St. Mary’s River, was created just for the River Concert Series by Kleinsasser, a professor, assistant chairman of the Department of Music, and director of New Music Ensemble at Towson University. The piece, he says, “is the result of thinking musically for several years about the nature of rivers, their place in our lives, and the notion of their use as a metaphor for time.”

Violinist Brian Hong, winner of the concerto competition for talented high school musicians, will be the evening’s guest soloist, performing Wienlawski’s No. 2 Op. 22, a concerto for violin and orchestra. A sophomore at a Fairfax County high school, Hong won both the Music Teachers National Association’s Virginia and Southern Regional competitions.

The St. Mary’s County Arts Council is a soloist benefactor sponsor of July 16’s concert, “The Young and Gifted II,” and also sponsors winners of the St. Mary’s County Arts Council student scholarships supported by the St. Mary’s County Board of County Commissioners. The scholarship winners will be recognized at intermission.

The evening also includes Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, a “beautiful and majestic piece,” says Silberschlag. Silberschlag, also conductor of the Italy&USA Alba Music Festival, has recorded with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, and Czech Radio Orchestra. His performances have been hailed by European critics as thrilling, compelling, and outstanding.

The River Concert Series has become the cornerstone of growing arts activities at the college and throughout St. Mary's County. St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

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