BBC Concert Orchestra with Sophie Shao to Play Mesa Arts Center, 2/16

Mesa Arts Center will host the BBC Concert Orchestra with Principal Conductor Keith Lockhart and acclaimed cello soloist Sophie Shao. One of the world's most respected and versatile orchestras is performing in the Ikeda Theater on Saturday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available through the Mesa Arts Center Box Office at or by calling 480-644-6500.

The BBC Concert Orchestra never stops moving. In a year, they can play as many as 111 performances in halls across 14 UK towns and 13 cities abroad, including travel and rehearsal times. Aside from live performances, the BBC Concert Orchestra can also be heard on cinema soundtracks, BBC film soundtracks, BBC natural history series soundtracks, televised political election theme songs, and children's music. Composer in Association, Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood, commission for the BBC CO, Popcorn Superhet Receiver received its premiere on 23rd April 2005. Jonny won the Radio 3 Listeners' Award at the 2006 BBC British Composer Awards for this piece. They can also be found on BBC Radio 2 where they have performed the world's longest running music show called Friday Night is Music Night, which has aired every week for an amazing length of 60 years. The BBC Concert Orchestra is also known for their Extreme versatility. They think nothing of playing a concert celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, then moving to a tribute of Oliver!, and then going to play a sold-out Queen Elizabeth Hall gig of avant-garde electronica.

In August of 2010, the BBC Concert Orchestra appointed conductor Keith Lockhart. Keith Lockhart is also the conductor of Boston Pops, serves as the artistic director of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute, and is also the Music Director Emeritus of the Utah Symphony. Keith Lockhart has immense experience and talent as he has conducted the Symphony Orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Minnesota, Montreal, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and many more. Guest performer Sophie Shao, a brilliant cellist, is rapidly gaining fame as a musician known for her mature interpretations of repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Crumb and Wilson. At the BBC Concert Orchestra performance, she will be playing Elgar's Cello Concerto. The collaboration of this talented trio will surely satisfy music enthusiasts all around.

The Mesa Arts Center, owned and operated by the City of Mesa, is a unique, architecturally stunning facility located in the heart of downtown Mesa. Arizona's largest arts center is home to four theaters, five art galleries, and 14 art studios. Guests, patrons, and students come to Mesa Arts Center to enjoy the finest live entertainment and performances, world-class visual art exhibitions, and outstanding arts Education classes. The Mesa Arts Center mission is to inspire people through engaging arts experiences that are diverse, accessible, and relevant. Mesa Arts Center has received numerous awards and accolades including the "2010 Arts Organization of the Year," by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix; the "2011 Best Venue to See National Acts" Best of Phoenix New Times; "2012 Best Arts Center" Critic's Choice, and most recently "2012 Venue of Excellence" by the International Association of Venue Managers.

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