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Ching-Yun Hu to perform at January SoNA event

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) continues its 2012-13 Season under the baton of Music Director Paul Haas on Jan. 26 at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville with its Masterworks II performance.

In the third performance of a five-concert season, the Masterworks II concert features the ever-popular Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor with international piano sensation Ching-Yun Hu as guest soloist. This piece is one of the most celebrated of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concerti.

Ching-Yun Hu was scheduled as the guest artist for SoNA's Masterworks II concert last season, but due to a finger injury, she was unable to perform. Her mentor, the renowned Sergei Babayan stepped in to take her place, and Ching-Yun attended the concert as part of the audience.

The symphony will also perform Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Major, which starts out dark, even cataclysmic, and ends with a celebration of the human spirit unparalleled in the classical repertoire.

In addition, musicians from the Youth Symphony of the Ozarks ensemble (part of the Ozarks Philharmonic Youth Orchestra under the direction of C. Myron Flippin) will be on the stage for a side-by-side rendition of Farandole by Bizet.

“This is an extraordinary chance for Northwest Arkansas to hear Ching-Yun Hu, who is one of the best young pianists out there,” Haas said in a statement.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall, and a Creative Conversation with Haas will be held one hour prior to the concert in Starr Theater.

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To purchase single tickets ($28, $38, $48), call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600 or visit the SoNA website. Children’s tickets are available for $5 each with the purchase of an adult ticket; college student tickets are available for $10 each with a valid student ID; groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount.

The Presenting Sponsor for Masterworks II is Highlands Oncology Group, and Supporting Sponsors are Mark and Diane Simmons.

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