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Symphony Orchestra to perform March 23
By David West

NATCHITOCHES – The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will present a concert Monday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $10. Northwestern State University, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D. Douglas Bakenhus is musical director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony.

The program will feature winners of the annual NSU Concerto Competition, Roman Carranza of San Pedro Sula, Honduras on violin and Milovan Paz of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on cello. Paz also won the Concerto Competition in 2011 and 2013. Carranza won in 2013.

The orchestra will perform “Symphony No. 5 in B flat Major” by Franz Schubert, “Overture” by Mary Alice Rich and Puccini’s “Un bel di” from “Madame Butterfly” featuring NSU faculty member soprano D’Nissa Hester.

Also on the program are “Tzigane, rapsodie for Violin and Orchestra” by Ravel and featuring Carranza, “Cello Concerto in B Minor” by Dvorak featuring Paz and “March and Procession of Bacchus” by Leo Delibes.    

Bakenhus calls the work by Schubert “a beautifully written masterpiece with beautiful melodies.”

Rich is a Dallas composer. Bakenhus heard her overture and thought it would be a good work to perform.

Bakenhus said the piece by Ravel is “gypsy music,” and praised the way Carranza performs it.

“It is a colorful work and very difficult for violin,” said Bakenhus. “I am amazed how well Roman plays it.”

The Dvorak work featuring Paz also requires great skill from a performer.

“It is one of the great concertos of any genre. It is a big work,” said Bakenhus.