This week's National Repertory Orchestra lineup includes a season-favorite pops concert featuring a young pianist, a brunch performance and a revered guest conductor. All three concerts take place at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
Tonight's 7:30 p.m. "Topilow Pops" concert is packed with recognizable favorites. After music director Carl Topilow joins the orchestra for "South Rampart Street Parade" by Baudue and Bob Haggart on clarinet, vocalists Jennifer DeDominici and Daniel Fosha will sing popular selections from "West Side Story," "Secret Garden," "Titanic," "Phantom of the Opera" and more.
Another feature of "Topilow Pops" will be Haydn's Concerto for Piano in D major, Op. 21 played by young pianist Paul Sri. Sri, who recently received first place in the Schmitt Music Competition in Denver, began playing piano at age 2, starting formal lessons at age 5. He has a particular fondness for Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, he said.
"We are excited to have Paul Sri performing the first movement of Haydn's Piano Concerto in D. We have hosted the winners of the Schmitt Piano Competition each year and are delighted to give these opportunities to talented young Colorado pianists," Topilow said.
Sunday, guests can join the NRO for a brunch concert at 11 a.m. featuring compositions by Dvorak. Guest artists Molly Werts and Trevor Kazarian join on violin and cello, respectively.
Werts, a 2010 orchestra alumnus and Kansas native, plays as a substitute violin with the New World Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Kansas City Symphony. "For years I have dreamed of playing in a great professional orchestra, and I am constantly working toward that goal. But what I love most about music is the possibility of exploring many different genres and becoming a versatile performer," she said.
Kazarian, who will play the cello solo on Rondo for Cello and Orchestra in G minor, began playing cello at age 6 under Nancy Blum. Kazarian is currently pursuing a master's degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studies with Stephen Geber.
The brunch concert is designed so attendees can enjoy a meal in town before or after the performance. "I hope to see families come out and enjoy the music and the fine restaurants of Breckenridge," marketing director Julie Chandler said.
Rounding out this week's concerts, the NRO welcomes back guest conductor Peter Oundjian Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
The Toronto-born conductor is noted for his "probing musicality, collaborative spirit, and engaging personality," and has been instrumental in the rebirth of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since his appointment as music director in 2004, according to his bio.
"Maestro Oundjian is very detail oriented and holds the musicians to an extremely high standard. The 2011 orchestra raved about his energy and inspiration, and how he keeps the orchestra engaged through his energetic rehearsal technique," Chandler said.
Oundjian will lead the orchestra through Edouard Lalo's Concerto for Cello in D major and Richard Strauss' "Ein Heldenleben."
Tickets for National Repertory Orchestra concerts range from $7 for juniors to $35. For ticket information and purchase, call the orchestra at (970) 453-5825. To purchase online, visit the website at www.nromusic.com