Michael Jorgensen featured on next LU Philharmonic program

pic1Faculty member and violinist Michael Jorgensen will be featured on the first Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra concert this coming Friday at Saturday at 8pm in Baker Hall.

He will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Eugene Albulescu. The concert Autumn Romantics will also feature works by Schubert and Tchaikovsky on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 at 8 pm.  Tickets are $18; LUstudents free with valid ID; Available online at zoellnerartscenter.org.  WDIY is the Lehigh University Music Department media sponsor.

“The orchestra is performing Schubert’s incomplete eighth symphony, and although it contains only two movements, the composition is considered one of the greatest and one of the most unique of the genre.  Our concert also features Beethoven’s significant Violin Concerto performed by Lehigh music department faculty member Michael Jorgensen and we are performing the always popular Romeo and Juliet overture by Tchaikovksy,” said Albulescu.

LU Philharmonic conductor, Eugene Albulescu

LU Philharmonic conductor, Eugene Albulescu

Lehigh University Philharmonic Music Director Eugene Albulescu is an award-winning performer and conductor who has led the Lehigh University Philharmonic for the past five years. Among his conducting accomplishments are a stint as director of the French Chamber Orchestra while on tour during 2008-2010, as well as several performances and recordings with top orchestras including the Romanian NationalPhilharmonic, New York Chamber Orchestra, as well as the New Zealand Symphony, which released his recent recording of Jenny McLeod’s “Rock Concerto” on the Naxos label. As a pianist, Albulescu is Steinway Artist who combines a blazing technique with the artistic integrity and originality to express musical emotions at their most personal level. He started his piano studies in Romania at the age of six, at the Enescu Music School in Bucharest. His family moved to New Zealand in 1984 to escape Romania’s Communist regime.

Albulescu completed his musical studies at Indiana University where, at 19, he was the youngest person ever to reach the level of assistant instructor. He emerged on the international scene in 1994 when his debut CD was awarded the International Grand Prix Liszt, adding Albulescu’s name to the list of winners which include Brendel, Arrau, Horowitz and Bolet.  Since then Albulescu has performed worldwide, including concerts at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, Bargemusic in New York, the Purely Piano series in Auckland, New Zealand, the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as the International Liszt Festival of the American Liszt Society. Having been invited to the White House to perform for the Millennium celebrations, he also performed at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Celebrated critic Harold C. Schonberg hailed Albulescu’s “power and infallible fingers of steel,” declaring that “nothing anywhere has any terrors for him.”

Described as an “exceptional” player by Maestro Lorin Maazel, violinist Michael Jorgensen is the Professor of Practice in Orchestral Strings at Lehigh University, where he serves as the concertmaster of the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also taught violin at Middle Tennessee State University, Covenant College, and the Wyoming Center for the Arts in their Touchstone program for at-risk youth. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, a master’s from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and a doctorate from Florida State University.

A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, Jorgensen has performed recitals at the London School of Contemporary Dance, the Taft Museum of Art Chamber Music Series, and has been a returning guest artist to Middle Tennessee State University. As a string quartet performer, he founded the Frequency String Quartet, a new music group with an education and community building mission that was described as “a gifted and stimulating foursome” by Cincinnati classical music reviewer Mary Ellyn Hutton. He has also played first violin in the Chanticleer String Quartet which holds an annual rural residency in Richmond, Indiana.

The highly acclaimed Lehigh University Philharmonic is a group of talented musicians, most of whom are undergraduate students majoring in disciplines outside of music. They regularly perform at their home in Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University, and have performed at various international venues in Europe, Asia and South America and Africa. The orchestra celebrated the Mahler centennial year (2011) with a memorable rendition of his first symphony, a performance that was cited by The Morning Call as “one of the ten best performances of the year” in the Lehigh Valley. The orchestra also champions student achievement, presenting each February a marathon of concerto movements where orchestra members have a chance to play a solo.  The orchestra’s programming focus is the historically important main orchestral repertoire, ranging from Bach to Barber and everything in between. New multi-media presentations of such works as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite have earned the orchestra a reputation for originality.  Pioneering new music is also a focus.  In the past few years the orchestra presented several North American as well as world premieres and a yearly concert featuring works of Lehigh University student composers.

Tickets for the September 25 and 26 performances are $18; LU students free; Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available.  For more information, call 610-758-2787, ext. 0; visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday – Friday 12-5 pm, and 2 hours before curtain, or order online atwww.zoellnerartscenter.org.