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World-Renowned Violinist joins the ISO Stage to perform Schumann’s heart wrenching violin concerto on Friday, January 28 in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON — Take your seat for an Incredibly Italian evening of music pre- pared by some of Germany’s greatest composers. This mu- sical feast begins with Mo- zart’s famous, but infamous, Overture from Don Giovanni, followed by world-renowned violinist Sayaka Shoji’s debut in Schumann’s heart-wrench- ing Violin Concerto. Mendels- sohn’s sunny Italian Sympho- ny rounds out the menu.

Join Music Director Ken Lam and violinist Sayaka Shoji before the concert at our Concert Comments. Concert Comments are

Friday, January 28, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts hosted by Laura Kennedy, and Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 6:30 PM at UIS Per- forming Arts Center hosted by Mark McDonald, Host of Illi- nois Stories.

Order your tickets today for an evening of inspiring LIVE music!

Tickets are $21, $42, and $63. Student tickets avail- able for $5 (Age 11 & under) and $10 (age 12-24) with valid Student ID. Senior and group discounts are also available. Tickets may be purchased in Bloomington through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts at (309) 434- 2777 or in Springfield through the UIS Performing Arts Cen- ter at (217) 206-6160. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or through the ticket office. Senior, group, or stu- dent-priced tickets are not available online.

Incredibly Italian is spon- sored by season sponsor The Landmark Automotive Group and Debra & Dan Brown- stone, M.D., concert sponsor Anonymous, and guest artist sponsors Anonymous & Trev- or & Liz Orthmann.

Sayaka Shoji was born in Tokyo and spent her early childhood in Siena, Italy, be- ginning her violin studies at the age of five. From 1995 until 2000, she studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana under Uto

Ughi and Riccardo Bren- gola. At the age of thirteen, she went to Germany to study with Saschko Gawriloff and later moved to Germany to study at the Hochschule für Musik Köln under Zakhar Bron, graduating in 2004.

In 1997, Ms. Shoji made her

debut at the Lucerne Festival and Musikverein in Vienna with Rudolf Baumgartner. In 1999, she took First Prize at the Paganini Competition. When Shoji auditioned for Zu- bin Mehta in 2000, he imme- diately changed his schedule so she could make her first recording with the Israel Phil- harmonic possible and then invited her to perform with the Bavarian State Opera Or- chestra and Los Angeles Phil- harmonic. Since then, many prominent orchestras have invited Shoji, including Berlin

Listen LIVE to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra on Fri- day, January 28, 2022, at 7:30 PM at Bloomington Cen- ter for the Performing Arts Center and Saturday, Janu- ary 29, 2022, at 7:30 PM at UIS Performing Arts Center.

Philharmonic, London Sym- phony Orchestra, Philhar- monia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Sym- phony, St. Petersburg Philhar-

monic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia, Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and WDR Sym- phony Orchestra.

Sayaka appears regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician at festivals such as Verbier, Annecy, Ravenna, Prague Spring, Settimane Mu- sicale di Chigiana, Beethoven- fest Bonn, and Rencontres Musicales d’Evian. She re- cently gave a recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, which included a new commission by Toshio Hosokawa. In 2014, she toured with pianist Me- nahem Pressler and their col- laboration was documented in a live recording. Sayaka and pianist Gianluca Cascioli re- corded all of Beethoven’s So- natas for Piano and Violin in 2015.

Sayaka plays the 1729 Re- camier Stradivarius – kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.

Under the leadership of Mu- sic Director Ken Lam, the Il- linois Symphony Orchestra

(ISO) and Chamber Orchestra (ISCO) is central Illinois’ larg- est professional Orchestra serving over 35,000 patrons in the communities Blooming- ton-Normal, Springfield, and the surrounding region with a budget of approximately $1.3 million. The ISO celebrates its 29th season of exciting per- formances with symphony or- chestra, chamber orchestra, and Concerts for Kids series in each community.

In addition to concert per- formances, the Orchestra’s music education and outreach programs serve elementary schools through the music Matters education program and reach middle schools, high schools, universities, community organizations, and senior centers through guest artist residencies and ensemble performances. The ISO also has an active Around the Town Chamber Music Se- ries and Sunday at Six Virtual Recital Series.

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