The West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra will perform its final concert of the season, titled “In Paris…” and featuring works by Maurice Ravel, Georges Bizet and George Gershwin, Thursday.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre, under the baton of Maestro Mitchell Arnold, director of Orchestral Studies at WVU.

In addition, WVU Piano Professor Christine Kefferstan will join the Orchestra to perform “Piano Concerto for the Left Hand” by Maurice Ravel.

“Ravel’s ‘Piano Concerto for the Left Hand’ is a rigorous treat for any pianist,” said Dr. Arnold. “Written for a performer who lost his right arm in World War I, the concerto may call for only one hand, but it uses the entire piano!”

Also on the program will be popular excerpts from Bizet’s opera “Carmen,” and Ravel’s “LaValse.” The concert will close with Gershwin’s universally loved “An American in Paris.”

“Composing ‘La Valse’ in 1920, Ravel seems to have used the waltz, a popular late-19th century dance, as a symbol of the calamitous destruction brought on by World War I,” Arnold said. “The waltz tunes explode from within and finally collapse in catastrophe.”

Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” is the composer’s homage to the “City of Lights.”

“Imagine strolling through the streets of Paris, dodging taxis, passing or stopping in caf�s, and wistfully thinking of home,” Arnold said. “These are the subjects of Gershwin’s colorful orchestral poem.”

Kefferstan graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, where she earned her doctorate with Israeli pianist David Bar-Illan. She has had additional coaching with Anna McGrosso, Sedmara Rutstein and Viachaslov Gabrielov.

Recent international performances include recitals in London at St. Martin-in-the-Fields (2008 and 2010) and a performance for the 2010 British Flute Society, Manchester, England, with WVU faculty colleague Francesca Arnone.

Interested in collaborations of all kinds, Kefferstan’s invited presentations in national venues include the 2003 MTNA conference, “Issues of Dance and Duality in Maurice Ravel’s two-piano transcription of La Valse,” Salt Lake City; and the 2009 MTNA conference “Dvorak’s Dumky Trio: Czech and Balance,” Atlanta.

She has also performed for the National Women and Creativity Conference; the College Music Society; the 2009 Music in the Museums of Rio Festival, Rio de Janeiro; and the 2010 9th International Festival of Women Composers. Additional solo performances include recitals at the National Institute of Culture and History in Belize City, Belize, the Stifel Fine Arts Series, Wheeling; the Silver Series, Plymouth, N.H.; and the Steinway Society Series, Pittsburgh.

Kefferstan is a founding member of the Sarasvati Piano Trio and has been recognized by the WVU Division of Music and by the West Virginia Music Teachers Association for her excellence in teaching.

For concert tickets and information, call the WVU Box Office at (304) 293-SHOW.


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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