Northwestern State student Mario Torres and high school senior Emily Owens of Benton will perform in the concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center at 1202 3rd St. in Alexandria. Torres, who plays viola, is a winner of the Symphony Young Adult Concerto Competition and Owens, a violinist, is a winner of the Youth Concerto Competition.
Torres, a senior music performance, computer information systems and business administration major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, will perform the first movement of “Der Schwanendreher” by Paul Hindemith. Torres said the song title refers to someone who cooks swans over a pit.
“It is based on traditional folk songs. Hindemith was a viola player and premiered this work,” said Torres. “It was not played much in Germany, but was very popular in the rest of Europe. Hindemith studied a lot of baroque technique as well as contemporary technique so some of his work was in the middle between those two styles.”
Torres is a two-time winner of the NSU Concerto Competition. He has soloed with the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and with orchestras in Honduras and was also featured in a concert at the Monteux School of Music in Maine last summer.
Owens, a private student of Kurti, will play the first movement of “Concerto No. 2” by Henryk Wieniawski.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to play with the Rapides Symphony,” said Owens, who is homeschooled and is taking dual enrollment classes at Northwestern State. “Since I have never soloed with an orchestra, I am a little nervous, but I feel so honored to be a part of the upcoming concert. I can't wait to hear all the different musical voices come together, and I look forward to sharing the piece with the other musicians and with the audience.”