Cellist Marie-Elaine Gagnon will highlight the upcoming free concert of the USD Symphony Orchestra, Friday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Slagle Auditorium. Dr. Gagnon, on the faculty at USD and cellist in the Rawlins Piano trio, will play the sparkling Variations on a Rococo Theme, by Tchaikovsky. One of the most charming, melodic, and pyrotechnic of the concertos for cello, it was written for and in collaboration with the famous cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen. Fitzenhagen, the cello professor at the Moscow Conservatory, was asked by Tchaikovsky to suggest revisions of his initial work and their collaboration has become one of the best-loved works in the cello repertoire.
Marie-Elaine Gagnon began studying cello at age 10 in her home town of Chicoutimi in Qué'bec, Canada. She graduated from the Conservatoire de Montreal with a Superior Diplomas I and II and received a doctoral degree in cello performance from Florida International University. Dr. Gagnon has won numerous music competitions in Canada and the United States, and as a member of the Ibis Camerata from performed in Russia, at the White Nights Festival, in Serbia and in Switzerland. In 2006, their first recording, Glisten, was released by Albany Records. She joined the Rawlins Piano Trio and USD music faculty last fall, and Albany Records will release the Trio's fourth CD after it is recorded this summer.
The orchestra will also play Bizet's charming Carmen Suite No. 1, Handel's rousing Royal Fireworks Music, and the Creole Adagio by American composer Harry Redman. For additional information contact Rick Rognstad, 677-5722.