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Friday, April 30, 1999

Salisbury Symphony Orchestra Performance May 8

SALISBURY, MD--An avid supporter of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra at Salisbury State University will take up the baton as guest conductor for the first time in the orchestra's history on Saturday, May 8, as part of a pair of concerts also featuring a guest soloist of international renown.

Christine Strauss of Rehoboth Beach, formerly of Salisbury, has long been a patron of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. When the chance to be guest conductor was auctioned during the symphony's recent "Savor Goes Broadway" event, Strauss cast the winning silent auction bid even though she is far more comfortable watching from beyond the orchestra pit.

"I've been interested in performance for years, and my kids have all done it. But I've mainly been involved in community events and charity work, first in Salisbury and now in Rehoboth Beach," Strauss said. "I can't even imagine what it's going to be like, and I won't know until I stand in front of the musicians. I'm pretty excited."

Strauss plans to rehearse with the orchestra before the concert, and expects to lead it in a George Gershwin medley. Her background isn't in conducting or musical performance, but she'll draw on her experiences in amateur theater to lead with both poise and pizazz. A Realtor for the Delaware resort areas, Strauss is also involved in bringing professional performers to Rehoboth Beach in the Henlopen Theatre Project, which will soon feature a Cole Porter show from Broadway.

"This is the first time a patron of the orchestra will be stepping up to the podium, and it should be fun for all," said Dr. Thomas G. Elliot, the SSO's music director and conductor.

Bernard Zinck, a native of France who entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 15 and finished first in its violin competition in 1984 and chamber music competition in 1985, is the featured guest performer. He will perform Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in e minor, Op. 64." He attended master classes at the Moscow Tschaikovsky Conservatory, and received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in violin performance from the Juilliard School in New York while on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is presently a faculty member of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, while pursuing a career both as a soloist and in chamber music in the United States and Europe. Zinck has performed in Salzburg, Brighton, Montpellier, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Recital Hall.

While in Salisbury for the spring concert, Zinck will also offer a master class for SSU music students on May 7. The event will be open to the public. "This will be an excellent opportunity to observe and listen to a professional musician at work," Elliot said. "We are looking forward to working with this talented musician who is so dedicated to his instrument and his music."

Also on the program for the May 8 spring concert is the "March Hongroise" from "The Damnation of Faust" by Hector Berlioz, Tschaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy," a Stokowski arrangement of Bach's "Komm Susser Tod" and a light piece by Morton Gould entitled "Minute 'Plus' Waltz Rag."

Performance times are at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 8, in SSU’s Holloway Hall Auditorium. A reception where the audience can meet orchestra members will be held immediately after the8 p.m. performance.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for seniors 60 and up and for students 18 and under. Tickets are available at any Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council ticket outlet, 410-341-0024; Salisbury Music and Instrument Repair on Eastern Shore Drive in Salisbury; or by calling the Symphony Office at 410-548-5587.


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