What has been called the best-known violin concerto in the world, the best-loved, most easily recognized? All of these apply to the violin concerto by Felix Mendelssohn. An Arkansas audience will certainly be caught up in it from the opening measures January 30-31. The soloist, Kiril Laskarov, is the Arkansas Symphony's Concert Master. He is from Bulgaria, where he received his training, up to his bachelors degree, from the state academy of music in Sofia. In 1995 he won the Bulgarian national competition and all that implied before moving to America where he earned his masters degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He was brought to Arkansas by then-maestro David Itkin to be one of the newly established co-concert masters. He is now in his 17th year with the ASO.
His connection to the Mendelssohn work goes back to his student days, which he discusses with Arts Scene.
Whatever Phillip Mann, the Arkansas Symphony Music Director/Conductor plans for performances and programs he brings to Arkansas for us to meet, these are always musical experiences that hold their own in any of the great concert halls. When he also introduced a few years ago, the position of Composer of the Year, the first Michael Torke, and subsequent choices, have added greatly to our musical horizons. Dan Visconti is this season's Composer in Residence and he will be in Little Rock this week and next weekend. Born in 1982, he has such an incredible number and variety of works already commissioned by an equally impressive list of major artists and organizations. The very first work he composed - was paid for and performed - is a string quartet called Black Bend, which is now also orchestrated and which we will hear January 30-31.
Arts Scene with Ann Nicholson airs weekly at Noon Sundays on KLRE Classical 90.5, and 5:30 p.m. Sundays on KUAR 89.1. This program first aired Sunday, January 24, 2016.