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Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra Presents Stars of Tomorrow Concert February 25 with Concerto Winners and Prokofiev's Classic "Peter& the Wolf"

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


Annsley Edwards
Annsley Edwards

2/2/2011 -

The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFS0) presents its annual "Stars of Tomorrow" concert on Friday, February 25th at 7:30 pm in the mainstage theater of Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center in Niceville. Featured will be the talented winners of the 24th annual Concerto Competition for young musicians who will perform piano concerti by Schumann, Liszt, Kabalevsky and Prokofiev that are sure to inspire and delight audience of all ages. In addition, to these talented soloists, the NFSO will present a performance of the playful classic by Russian composer Prokofiev, "Peter and the Wolf," with narration by NFSO Emeritus Conductor John Leatherwood. As the region's premiere professional symphony, the NFSO is in its 24th season and performs in residence at Northwest Florida State College where a custom orchestral shell in the college's Mattie Kelly Arts Center provides an optimum acoustical experience for symphony patrons.

Tickets are on sale now for $22.50 each for adults and $16 each for youth age 18 and younger. Active duty military members may also purchase the $16 discount ticket with ID. Contact the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box office at 850-729-6000 or purchase tickets online at the center's website at The box office phone and in-person ticket sales are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. the evening of the concert for any available at-the-door tickets. The winners of the NFSO Concerto Competition who will perform as part of the concert are chosen by a panel of judges, receive cash prizes ranging from $500 to $1,500, and will also perform with the NFSO at the symphony's annual concerts for all fifth-grade students in Okaloosa and Walton County. The Northwest Florida Symphony Guild sponsors the annual competition and cash awards.

Concerto Competition winners who will perform with the NFSO include:

• Julian Toha (2009 College Division winner) who will perform the first movement of the Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor. Julian received his bachelor's degree in piano performance from Florida State University in 2010 and is currently enrolled as a student in the Royal College of Music in London, England;

• Annsley Edwards (2010 College Division winner), a senior at the University of Florida where she is completing her bachelor's degree in piano performance, will perform the first movement of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major;

• G. Bolton Ellenberg, Jr. (2010 Senior Division winner), a 17-year old home schooled student who is dual enrolled at the University of West Florida in a piano performance program where he is a student of Dr. Hedi Salanki-Rubardt, will perform Liszt's Totentanz for piano and orchestra; and

• Kelly Lanxin Wu (2010 Junior Division winner), a middle school student who resides in Pensacola, will perform the Third movement of Dmitri Kabalevsky's Piano Concerto No. 3.

"Each year the winners of this competition simply astound our patrons with their sheer talent," noted Jeffrey Rink, NFSO conductor and Music Director. "This family-friendly concert is the one to attend if you want to want to be amazed by young musicians who are dedicated to their craft and are truly both stars today- for winning the concerto competition- as well as the stars of tomorrow."

In addition to the Stars of Tomorrow concert, tickets are available now for the NFSO season finale "Prayer, Beauty and Strength" on April 30 at 7:30 p.m. featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven and Faure. Witness the power of music to move listeners in countless ways as the NFSO concludes its 24th season with Beethoven's towering Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring guest artist, pianist Anna Bulkina, the 2009 Gold-medal winner of the prestigious Wideman Piano Competition. Also performed will be the rarely heard Mozart motet Misericordias Domini and the immensely popular and sublime Faure Requiem, combining for an extraordinary concert of contrasts and emotion.

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is easily accessible from Interstate 10 and Highways 85 and 285 on the Niceville campus of NWF State College, at 100 College Boulevard. For information about the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, its performance schedule and the various educational programs for youth the symphony provides each season, see or contact Jeffrey Rink, conductor and music director, at 729-6023.