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SOLOISTS

OVIDIU MARINESCU, Cello

Ovidiu Marinescu, one of the outstanding musicians of his native Romania, was chosen to play at Carnegie Hall for Romanian President Constantinescu on an official visit to the United States. Soon after, he made his debut with the New York Chamber Symphony in Beethoven's Triple Concerto, followed by recitals in Merkin Hall (New York), Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Last season he played solo recitals in Weill Hall and at Bargemusic in New York, California and Parma Festival. After his debut with the National Radio Orchestra of Romania in the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto, which was broadcast live across Romania, he returned several times to perform works by Mozart and Iorgulescu, followed by an appearance soloist and conductor in works by Boccherini, Beethoven and Glinka. Other notable concerts include Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Slobodkin Center, Elgar Concerto with Helena and Newark Symphonies, and Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Shostakovich and with the Cleveland Philharmonic, and Mozart Concerto with Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain. This season he performs with the Cleveland Philharmonic, Great Falls Symphony, and just returned from a tour of Brazil playing the Dvorak Cello Concerto. His critically acclaimed first recording "Fiesta Latina" was followed by a recording of the complete Miaskovsky cello works with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Kenneth Boulton released by Cambria. His recording of the Bach Cello Suites, released by Navona Records, has received international critical acclaim, this year alone receiving over 50,000 hits on Spotify.

Marinescu has performed at festivals in Luzerne, Bayreuth, Chautauqua, South Bohemia, Orlando and Brasov, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and Magie Barocche in Italy, and recently was one of the featured artists at the Parma Festival. Active as a chamber musician, between 1995 and 2002 Marinescu was a member of Adirondack Ensemble, a year-around resident group in New York State that performed over 200 concerts, presented school programs and founded Adirondack Music Camp. This season Marinescu performs recitals at Bargemusic and Weill Recital Hall in New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles, as well as chamber music concerts in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and New York as a member of Trio Casals.

A product of the illustrious Romanian National Academy of Music, he won first prize and Music Critics' Award in the George Dima Cello Competition. In the United States, he studied with Wolfgang Laufer at the University of Wisconsin, and with Orlando Cole, at Temple University. Marinescu has been honored in Romania with invitations to perform with many renowned orchestras including the orchestras of Cluj, Iasi and Brasov. In addition, he has toured with Bucharest Symphony. Mr. Marinescu premiered with Newark Symphony a new work for cello and orchestra, "Anecdote," by Hilary Tann, and he presented the first performance of “Ostinato” by Liviu Marinescu with “Orchestra 2001” in Philadelphia. “Penn Presents” featured Marinescu in a multi-media program at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, in works for solo cello, film and electronics by four local teams of composers and filmmakers. Marinescu is on faculty at West Chester University.

Equally outstanding as a conductor, Marinescu combines a precise technique with great musical inspiration. He is the Director of the West Chester University Symphony, which under his leadership made a sold out debut at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and embarked in its first European tour. Subsequently, the orchestra was invited to participate in the prestigious Catania International Festival in Sicily, Italy. He served as the conductor for the Wilmington Orchestra, the Music Director of the Immaculata Symphony and Manalapan Orchestra in New Jersey, and Principal Conductor of the Goppisberg Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. His guest conducting includes the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow, the Bacau, Craiova, Ploiesti, Botosani, and Brasov Philharmonics in Romania, Filarmonica de Gaia in Portugal, and Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, both as conductor and soloist. Marinescu led the Delaware Chamber Orchestra in its first tour abroad, with performances for the South Bohemia Festival in the Czech Republic. Marinescu has conducted the world premiere of the ballet Helen Keller by The Rebecca David Ballet Company in Philadelphia. He has developed several programs for young audiences, including a narrated version of Lt. Kije by Prokofiev.

Known for his powerful interpretations of orchestral works by Russian composers, Marinescu was invited to record Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5 and Marche Slave with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow. Other conducting recordings include orchestral music by Samuel Barber, Michael Cunningham, Rain Worthington, Stephen Limbaugh III, David Laganella, and Andrea Clearfield, also recorded in Moscow. In the last 3 years Marinescu has six album releases for Parma Recordings as a cellist, conductor, or chamber musician, and has embarked on a long term project to record American cello works and orchestral compositions.



MICHELLE CONNOR, Violin

Michelle Connor (b.1992) is native of West Chester, PA. Michelle attended Villa Maria Academy High School in Malvern, PA. There she served as Concertmaster of the Orchestra and String Ensemble. While in High School, Michelle actively participated in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Festivals, All-Catholic Orchestra, Chester County Youth Orchestra, and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Program under Maestro Louis Scaglione. At age 13, Michelle was concertmaster of the All-Catholic Middle School & High School Orchestra performance at the Kimmel Center in Center City Philadelphia. Michelle studied violin, viola, cello, and piano during High School.

At age 11, Michelle auditioned and received acceptance for the Immaculata Symphony under the baton of Roman Pawlowski. A year later, she was accepted into the Chester County Pops Orchestra under conductor Jacques Voois. Michelle attended the prestigious Indiana University Summer String Academy and worked as Staff Violinist and Cabin Counselor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Michelle formerly worked at Taylor’s Music Store as String Repair Personnel. Michelle actively plays violin at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, PA with Temple University Professor Edward Latham.

Michelle is a recent graduate of the University of Dayton with a double degree in Mathematics (B.S) and Music Performance (B.M) as well as an honors diploma. Michelle served as concertmaster of the University Orchestra and first violinist of Grace Note String Quartet. She has been a part of the Gamelan ensemble as well as the Early Music Ensemble. Moreover, she is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the Mathematics Honor Society. Michelle has studied violin Jessica Hung, Concertmaster of the Dayton Philharmonic as well as John Lardinois, first violinist of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Michelle studies violin with MoonSun Shannon Lee, first violinist of the Philly Pops and Pennsylvania Ballet. Michelle privately teaches in the West Chester area. This is Michelle’s debut of Barber’s Violin Concerto.