Organizer: School of Music
Venue: Crowder Hall
Start Time: 7:30pm
Tickets:

$25

The School of Music presents the 50th Annual President’s Concert on Feb. 3-4 at Crowder Hall, featuring the 2023-2024 Concerto Competition winners.

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024 | 7:30p
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024 | 3:00 pm
Crowder Hall, $25 Admission
Livestream: music.arizona.edu/live

Three Songs by Richard Strauss
Clarissa Christina Smith, soprano

Bassoon Concerto by Daniel Schnyder
Kenny Kriha, bassoon

Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Andrew D. Nix

Piano Concerto, Op. 13 by Benjamin Britten
Shih-Han Su, piano

The students are selected from each area of the School of Music – strings, voice, wind and percussion, and keyboard. They represent the depth of talent at the school, shining in this performance with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Their performances will be conducted by doctoral students María Fátima Corona del Toro and J Alexander Bennett. The program will also include Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino, under the baton of Dr. Thomas Cockrell.

About the Soloists

Clarissa Christina Smith, soprano, a Tucson, Arizona native, discovered her passion for opera during her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University, where her musical talents blossomed. Clarissa is a dedicated and disciplined performer, earning her numerous opera roles, including La Contessa in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Emily Webb in Rorem’s Our Town, and the Princess in Louis Aubert’s Le forêt bleue. She holds a master’s degree in voice performance from the University of Arizona and had the opportunity to shine as the principal character in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and as La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro during her time there. Notably, she is the winner of the Marguerite Ough and Amelia Rieman vocal competitions and most recently performed the role of Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at the Berlin Opera Academy. Clarissa is currently working with Arizona OperaTunity’s youth education troupe while pursuing her doctoral degree under the guidance of Dr. Kristin Dauphinais.

Andrew Nix, violin, a native of Tucson, Arizona, began playing the violin at age 3. His first pivotal experience with the violin was when he joined the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra (TPYO) in 7th grade, which set his passion for orchestral music into motion. By the end of high school, he achieved the position of concertmaster in the TPYO and soloed with the orchestra on the Sibelius Violin Concerto. He remains with the TPYO to this day as orchestra manager, where he assists with behind the scenes operations and serves as livestream and recording engineer. Upon graduating high school, Andrew began his undergraduate studies with Professor Timothy Kantor at the University of Arizona. In his sophomore year, he successfully auditioned for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO), becoming the youngest member of the orchestra at the time. While learning from many experienced players in the TSO, he simultaneously received opportunities to play as principal and concertmaster in the University of Arizona Symphony, which contributed to his understanding of the responsibility that comes with a leadership position. Andrew is set to graduate in the Spring of 2024, and afterwards he aspires to play with professional training orchestras such as the Chicago Civic Orchestra or the New World Symphony. Outside of his violin-related pursuits, Andrew also is pursuing a minor in Chinese language, plays the flugelhorn, and works for the UA School of Music designing concert programs and webpages.

Kenny Kriha is a bassoonist and contrabassoonist known for their passionate and personality-filled performances. They are currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance at the University of Arizona School of Music under Dr. Marissa Olegario, and recently earned the Creative Achievement Award. During their studies, Kenny has played in a vast variety of chamber ensembles and large ensembles, playing multiple positions in both the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble, as well as leading a grant-winning reed quintet. They spent the last summer under the baton of Rodolfo Saglimbeni at the National Music Festival and later collaborating with the Akropolis Reed Quintet to premier new chamber works. Throughout their musical career, they have brought the spotlight forth on new music and living composers. Having already commissioned several works, and several world premiers under their belt, they intend to continue to grow the very diverse pool of bassoon music. As a genderqueer individual, they want to shine light onto women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ composers when commissioning works to elevate the ideals and perspectives of the diverse groups of people who contribute to the industry.

Shih-Han Su, piano is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in collaborative piano at the University of Arizona, under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Linder. She earned her master’s degree in collaborative piano from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Kelly Kuo and Tamara Sanikidze. She has served as the rehearsal pianist and coach for the University of Texas at Austin Butler opera center and University of Arizona Opera Theatre since Fall 2018, and has prepared performances of The Tender Land, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Dido and AneasLa clemenza di Tito, and Eugene Onegin. In the summer of 2023, she served as a collaborative pianist at Miami Music Festival and Chicago Summer Opera. Shih-han is in demand as a collaborative pianist playing for both vocalists and instrumentalists. Recent and upcoming projects include serving as pianist for the 2023 Meg Quigley Vivaldi competition, work as coaching staff for the UA Opera Theatre’s 2024 production of Thumbprint, and participation in the 2024 International Lyric Academy in Vicenza, Italy. Recent highlights of Shih-han’s solo work include winning third prize in the 2023 Trester Competition, and first prize in the 2023-24 President’s Concerto Competition at the University of Arizona. She has performed in master classes for Dr. Diego Caetano, Dr. Catherine Kautsky, and Steven Vanhauwaert.

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