UMD Symphony Orchestra opens its season with the tantalizing violin showpiece, Tzigane, on October 5 at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Monday, September 3, 2012

CONTACT: Missy McTamney
(301) 405-8102

September 3, 2012 – College Park, MD – Nicholas Montopoli will perform Ravel’s exotic and colorful violin showpiece Tzigane to open the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) season on October 5 at 8:00 p.m. at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Under the direction of James Ross, UMSO will also perform Lutoslawski’sSymphonic Variations, Barber’s 1st Essay and Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony.

Ravel’s Tzigane

Maurice Ravel is most often viewed as an “impressionist,” alongside his countryman Claude Debussy. In Tzigane, however, the influence of exoticism on his work seems more clear. After hearing Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Aranyi perform Gypsy folk music, Ravel resolved to compose for her “a short piece of diabolical difficulty, conjuring up the Hungary of my dreams.” The result was Tzigane, a rhapsodic piece that strings together episodes in a manner that recalls Gypsy storytelling. (The word “tzigane” stems from the generic French term for “gypsy.”) In Ravel’s view, Tziganewas a progressive attempt to blur the lines between popular and high art music in a display of originality.

About Nicholas Montopoli

Nicholas Montopoli, winner of the 2011 UMSO Concerto Competition, is a second-year masters student in Violin Performance, studying with David Salness at the University of Maryland. In addition to winning the UMSO Concerto Competition last November, he has placed in the Goldie B. Felder String Competition and the Army Band Concerto Competition. Hailed by the Washington Post as a performer with “no-fail agility,” he plays with the acclaimed University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, where he has served as both Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin. He also performs with the Fairfax, Alexandria and Annapolis symphonies.

About Conductor James Ross

James Ross is a musician of international repute. His musical activities cover three fields: conducting, horn playing and teaching. Presently, he is the Director of Orchestral Activity at the University of Maryland and newly-named Associate Director of the Conducting Program at the Juilliard School.


More information can be found on our website. Tickets for this performance are $25/$10 (Students/Youth), and can be purchased online or by calling (301) 405-ARTS (2787).


The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more about the Clarice Smith Center's donor support.