Pacific Symphony Presents Three Events OC FRONT AND CENTER

Pacific Symphony shares its stage and presents some of the best community talent, while providing an opportunity to be inspired and learn from professionals during three events collectively titled, "OC Front and Center." Beginning Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 2 p.m., in the Samueli Theater, acclaimed violinist and music educator Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg takes three multi-generational violinists to the next level in a Violin Master Class. The following weekend, the Symphony presents a live taping of the popular, nationally broadcast NPR show, "From the Top" with host Christopher O'Riley, showcasing the captivating stories and musical prowess of the country's top-notch young musicians-Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The Community Ensembles Festival gives the adult musical community a chance to perform on the concert hall stage, learn from other ensembles and receive feedback from Pacific Symphony musicians. This all-day event, featuring eight Orange County ensembles, is open to the public and takes place Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Both "Violin Master Class with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg" and "Community Ensembles Festival" are underwritten by The James Irvine Foundation and are free to attend, but due to limited seating, tickets are required. Tickets for NPR's "From the Top" are $20. Students are $10. For ticket reservations or more information, please call (714) 755-5799 or visit

Event #1: Violin Master Class with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

The first event, a Violin Master Class with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg" offers a "behind-the-scenes" look at what it takes to become an accomplished musician. Three advanced students-Sydney Grace Mariano, Chloé Tardif and Debbie Tindle-have the opportunity to work directly with Salerno-Sonnenberg in an open performance setting to receive her guidance and expertise. Audience members and performers alike have the chance to discover the vital differences in interpreting and playing that can make someone a better musician. Musical master classes focus on the finer details of attack, tone, phrasing and overall shape rather than the more fundamental basics of rhythm and phrasing of which students are expected to have control. Students to be featured were selected from Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, Chapman University and the adult music community.

Sixteen-year-old Mariano began studying violin at age 6 at the Cristofori Music School in Singapore before her family relocated to Irvine, where she now attends University High School and continues her study of violin at the prestigious Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. A former member of Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings, she is currently principal second violin of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has also played in the Idyllwild High School Chamber Music Festival Orchestra, 2011 All Southern California Honors Orchestra and the 2012 All-State Honors Orchestra. Her awards include the grand prize in the 2013 Satori International Strings Solo Competition, the 2012 Cal Poly All State Music Festival solo competition, the "Young Artist Award" for outstanding achievement in violin from the L.A. International Performing Arts Institute and a Certificate of Achievement with honors from Junior Chamber Music. She is a regular violinist at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Church.

Tardif, 19, lives in Old Towne Orange, is a sophomore at the Chapman Conservatory of Music and has studied violin since her sophomore year at the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). In 2012, she toured England as concertmaster of the orchestra. Professor Robert Becker (Pacific Symphony's principal violist) coached her in various small ensembles, including the Ravel Piano Trio, which won first place in the California Association of Professional Music Teachers competition in 2010. In 2008, Tardif toured southeastern Australia with the OCSA Symphony Orchestra and performed in the Sydney Opera House. She is also a student in Chapman University's Honors Program and has spent the past two summers studying with Cornelia Heard at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. She has been a member of the Chapman String Quartet for two years and has been assistant concertmaster of the Chapman Orchestra. Last year, she was named "runner-up" in the Chapman Concerto Competition.

Tindle was raised in Long Beach, where her interest in music was influenced by her parents, attending concerts by the Long Beach Symphony, and a strong public school music program. She began learning piano from her mother at age 3, and then changed to violin in the public school program at age 9. For the past 35 years, Tindle has performed with a variety of ensembles including Lakewood Philharmonia, Long Beach City College Coterie Symphonique, Garden Grove Symphony, Jewish Community Center Symphony, Irvine Valley College Orchestra and the Montage Civic Orchestra. Currently, she performs with Symphony Irvine along with two chamber groups, Ensemble Lirico and Double Treble. Music is a passion for Tindle, who has been a registered dietitian for the past 30 years. Her current position is systems director of nutrition II for Morrison Healthcare, Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, where she is known as "Debbie Diet." She also provides presentations on nutrition and was featured in a country-wide webinar, "Elevating the Role of the RD."

"The Violin Master Class is a rare opportunity to see into the mind and work process of a world-class musician," explains Molly Pontin, the Symphony's director of community arts participation. "And Nadja is not only a world-class musician, but is also known as a world-class educator. She has appeared in numerous non-musical formats and also wrote an autobiography intended for children that focuses on herself as a young musician. She's also a very lovely individual and will be a pleasure to work with."

Salerno-Sonnenberg is highly regarded for her compelling performances, daring interpretations and dedication to her craft. She is one of today's leading violinists, renowned for her work on the concert stage, in the recording studio and in her role as music director of the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra. She was the subject of the 2000 Academy Award-nominated film, "Speaking in Strings," an intensely personal documentary on her life. With an impressively demanding workload and glowing reputation, Salerno-Sonnenberg offers her time to direct aspiring students toward reaching a future in music. She is both conducting and performing during the Symphony's concert, "Nadja Plays Mendelssohn," taking place Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 9-11, 2014.

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by Peter Danish