RIT Concert Premieres Frederick Lesemann’s ‘Concerto for Violin and Orchestra’

Also features first American performance of Carr’s ‘Federal Overture’ in 200 years

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Elizabeth Lamark, ETC Photo/The Wallace Center

The RIT Orchestra, conducted by Michael Ruhling, will present the concert “The American Violin,” Feb. 19. The event will include the world premier of Frederick Lesemann’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Rochester Institute of Technology’s winter concert celebrates the beauty of folk music through the premiere of a new composition and the performance of multiple folk-inspired selections.

The RIT Orchestra and violinist Anyango Yarbo-Davenport will present the world premiere of Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, created by noted composer Frederick Lesemann, as part of the concert “The American Violin,” at 3 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Ingle Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

The event will also include the first American performance of Benjamin Carr’s Federal Overture in approximately 200 years, as well as folk inspired pieces by Felix Mendelssohn, Antonin Dvorák and Morton Gould.

“The RIT Orchestra is exploring the influence of folk, sacred and popular music on orchestral repertoire,” notes Michael Ruhling, conductor of the RIT Orchestra. “We are extremely honored to have the opportunity to premier Frederick Lesemann’s new concerto and are also thrilled to have the talents of Ms. Yarbo-Davenport for this performance.”

Prior to the concert, Lesemann and Ruhling will discuss the development of the piece and the influence of folk and popular music on the orchestral repertoire, beginning at 2:15 p.m. in Ingle Auditorium.

Lesemann is a professor of composition at the University of Southern California and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Centrum Center for the Arts. His compositions have been performed by numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Kronos Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Yarbo-Davenport has toured and performed around the world as a soloist and with small ensembles and larger orchestras. She received first prize at the 2010 American Protégé International Competition and at the 2010 International Competition of Romantic Music, both held at Carnegie Hall.

The RIT Orchestra, formed in 1981, includes students and Rochester community members and performs orchestral works from circa 1600 to the present. For more information about the concert, go to people.rit.edu/ritorch.