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Spring Finalé, May 3, 2008

Dry out from this spring’s rains by basking in the warm glow of great music and the sound of a Stradivarius at the Ohio Valley Symphony’s season finale. Led by music director Ray Fowler, the OVS offers works by Brahms and Schumann at 8:00 p.m. May 3 at the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre in downtown Gallipolis. Both Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 and Schumann’s Cello Concerto have been audience favorites since they premiered, thanks to their warmth and the parade of beautiful tunes that will leave concert-goers humming on their way home.

Schumann’s concerto wasn’t played until after  his death, but it was an instant classic with itsmusical innovations and technical display for the soloist. Brahms’ second symphony is his most pastoral, starting with the gentle breezes of a summer afternoon and ending with a blazing outburst of joy.

Soloist for the Schumann is Soo Bae, who began  studying cello at age 6 in her native South Korea. She moved to Toronto two years later and eventually enrolled in that city’s Royal Conservatory of Music. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Philadelphia’s Curtis School and an artist diploma from the Juilliard School in New York, where she now teaches as an assistant to Joel Krosnick.

Soo Bae in 2006 was awarded first prize in the Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank Competition, which earned her the three-year loan of a cello made in 1696 by the legendary Stradivarius. She thrives on innovative collaborations, and she has performed with jazz clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera well as with Grammy-winning fiddler-violinist-composer Mark O’Connor. In 2004, she founded — and, with her fiance Jason Suh, continues to direct — Angelos Mission Ensemble, a music academy for string students which aims to educate and mold future Christian musician leaders.

Tickets to the 2007-08 OVS finale are available through the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre at 426 Second Ave. in Gallipolis Ohio.  Call (740) 446-ARTS (2787). Prices are $22, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. Tickets are also available online at www.ohiovalleysymphony.org.

The public is also encouraged to attend OVS rehearsals for free at 7-10 p.m. Friday, May 2, and 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Open rehearsals are an excellent way for new audiences to grow comfortable with symphonic music.

The May 3 corporate sponsor is Baker & Hostetler. Funding for the Ohio Valley Symphony is provided by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment. Further support is provided by the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.