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‘Excited’ symphony returns to Mishler

Limited in-person tickets, new streaming options available in wake of COVID-19

The Altoona Symphony Orchestra kicks off a three-concert “Musician Spotlight” series Oct. 4 featuring ASO Concertmaster Genaro Medina on the violin, with internationally-acclaimed pianist Hugh Sung performing the music of Mozart, Gluck, Strauss and others.

Tickets are on sale for either an in-person or pay-per-view experience.

The pandemic has silenced the symphony and other live music performances since March. Symphony officials strived to bring back live music as safely as possible by featuring certain orchestra members and guest performers, as well as offering a for-pay streaming option for those in nursing and assisted living homes, Pamela Snyder Etters, executive director, said.

“We are so excited to be offering this series to our community, and we are really hopeful everyone will have a chance to enjoy it safely,” she said. “So many exciting things coming out of this situation that can hopefully continue once we get on the other side of the COVID-19 situation and are able to resume a more normal schedule.”

Hugh Sung previously performed with the entire symphony at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in 2018. He debuted with The Philadelphia Orchestra as an 11-year-old and two years later studied chamber music at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has since performed throughout the Americas, England, Canada, South Africa, Japan and Korea. Sung has been presented at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Wigmore Hall, The National Gallery of Art and The Ravinia Festival.

Concertmaster Medina is excited to be back in Altoona for a live performance and said the absence of performing live music for himself and other musicians is “crazy.”

“It’s like telling a bird not to fly anymore,” he said. “We are thrilled to collaborate together again.”

For $10, people may purchase a virtual ticket to live stream the event. A virtual stream package for personal care, assisted living, independent living and health care facilities costs $250 for up to 500 residents.

A discount is offered for organizations that subscribe for all three concerts, according to Snyder Etters.

“The Live Stream will begin at 2:30 p.m. on the Sunday of the performance, but each facility will have access to the livestream until midnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning,” she said.

“This means a facility can stream the event when it best fits the schedule of the residents, and can stream it multiple times, as many times as you want within that time frame,” Snyder Etters said, adding the livestream allows for maximum flexibility for sharing the concerts.

Medina said of Sung, “He is one of the best pianist accompanists in America right now.”

Among the concert attendees and a highlight of the concert, Medina said, will be Israeli-American composer Dr. Eli Tamar of Pittsburgh, one of the composers featured during the recital.

Tamar is a former music teacher at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University and gaining international reputation, Medina said. Medina will perform a violin solo of Tamar’s composition “Lacrymae.”

“It’s really unique to have the composer present,” Medina said. “It is the duty of the performer to showcase contemporary music … it’s a unique opportunity and a blessing for us.”

For more information visit: www.altoonasymphony.org www.facebook.com/AltoonaSymphonyOrchestra.

For livestream information, call 944-9434.

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