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Finnish Violinist Elina Vähälä To Perform Britten Concerto With Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Vähälä was originally scheduled to perform with the PSO in fall 2020, but that concert was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Finnish Violinist Elina Vähälä To Perform Britten Concerto With Princeton Symphony Orchestra

American-born Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä appears for the first time with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) at performances the weekend of October 15-16.

She'll play Benjamin Britten's under-performed Violin Concerto, Op. 15 on a largely English program also featuring Edward Elgar's Variations on An Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma." US contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery's Starburst opens the concerts, conducted by Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov on Saturday, October 15 at 8pm and Sunday, October 16 at 4pm. Performances take place at Richardson Auditorium, on the campus of Princeton University, with a 3pm pre-concert talk on Sunday.

Vähälä was originally scheduled to perform with the PSO in fall 2020, but that concert was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Milanov says, "Britten's Violin Concerto is one of the most original and profound works in the repertoire. I am looking forward to collaboration with Elina Vähälä and to bringing to our audience this extraordinary piece!"

Born in the United States and raised in Finland, Elina Vähälä made her orchestral debut with Sinfonia Lahti at the age of twelve and was later chosen by Osmo Vänskä as the orchestra's "young master soloist." Since that time, her career has continued to expand on international stages, winning praise from audiences and musicians alike as "a fluent, stylish and gifted musician whose brilliant technique is matched by an abundant spirit, sensitivity and imagination" (Chicago Tribune). Elina Vähälä appears regularly with all of the key Finnish orchestras as well being a guest of countless high-profile orchestras across the globe, and has toured throughout the UK, Finland, Germany, China, Korea, and South America.

A composition fellow at Princeton University, Jessie Montgomery'sStarburst is characterized by exploding gestures juxtaposed with gentle fleeting melodies, and is the third work by the composer performed by the PSO in recent years. Benjamin Britten wrote his violin concerto as a requiem for the fallen soldiers of the Spanish Civil War, as well as a foreshadowing of World War II. Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations is his best-known work with its suggested, rather than played, main theme and variations linked to personal friends, represented in the score by cryptic initials.

Classical concerts take place on Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 4pm. Youths 5-17 receive a 50% discount with an adult purchase. To subscribe or purchase single tickets starting at $30, visit the Princeton Symphony Orchestra website at princetonsymphony.org or call 609-497-0020.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is closely monitoring and adhering to the New Jersey Department of Health's COVID-19 requirements and complies with rules set by partner venues. Concert attendees will receive information regarding safety procedures, entry, seating directions, etc. in advance of their selected live performance(s).

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is committed to ensuring all programming is accessible for everyone, working with venues to provide needed services. Online events include digital concert resources, closed captioning, and transcriptions as appropriate. If there are questions about these or if any additional services are required, contact ADA Coordinator Kitanya Khateri at kkhateri@princetonsymphony.org or 609 497-0020. Note: some services require at least two weeks' notice to arrange.

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