WMU News

Concerto competition winners featured in Miller concert

April 2, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The School of Music at Western Michigan University presents its 44th annual Concerto Concert Sunday, April 13, beginning at 3 p.m. in Miller Auditorium.

The free concert features the University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruce Uchimura, and three outstanding student soloists selected through the highly competitive concerto competition in February. This year's concerto competition winners are euphonium player Michael Idzior, a senior from Pinconning, Mich.; oboist Diana Larson, a graduate student from Ludington, Mich.; and pianist Henning Vauth, a graduate student from Germany. (See below for more information about each concerto winner.)

Each vocal and instrumental area of study in the School of Music held preliminary auditions earlier this year, and 10 finalists advanced to the concerto competition, held Feb. 16 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. There is no prescribed number of winners in the competition--most years one or two students are selected. Only those who meet standards of excellence as determined by a panel of guest adjudicators are afforded the honor of performing in the annual Concerto Concert. This year's jury members were Dan Gustin, director of the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival; Robert Nordling, director of orchestras at Calvin College; and Steven Ward, director of bands at Hope College and music director for the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to selections featuring each of the three soloists during the April 13 concert, the University Symphony Orchestra will perform Jean Sibelius' "Karelia Overture" and Igor Stravinsky's famous "Firebird Suite."

2003 Concerto Competition Winners

Michael Idzior will perform Mozart's "Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in B-Flat Major, K.191." A graduate of Pinconning High School, Idzior is a senior music education major. His teachers include Robert Whaley, WMU professor emeritus of music, and current professor Andrew Miller. Idzior is principal euphonium of the University Symphonic Band, and he has served as drum major of the Bronco Marching Band. His past three summers were spent performing and touring with the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps, for which he served as soloist in 2002. Idzior is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. He is the son of Thomas and Mary Idzior of Pinconning.

Diana Larson has selected Richard Strauss' "Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra" for the April 13 concert. Larson received a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, graduating with honors. A candidate for the Master of Music degree in oboe performance, she is in her final year at WMU, where she studies with Dr. Michael Miller and holds a graduate assistantship. Larson serves as principal oboe of the University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band; is a member of the Western Winds, a select ensemble of faculty and graduate students; and is oboist of the Graduate Wind Quintet. She also teaches classes in music theory and oboe techniques. As an orchestral musician, Larson has performed with the Battle Creek and West Shore symphonies. Her professional affiliations include membership in the International Double Reed Society and Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She is the daughter of Betty A. Larson of Ludington.

Henning Vauth will perform the first movement of Maurice Ravel's "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G Major." A student of WMU Professor Lori Sims, Henning is the recipient of a graduate assistantship and is in his first year of study for the Master of Music degree in piano performance. He came to WMU from the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany. A busy 2002 included concerts in Paris, France; Newcastle, Great Britain; and New York City. Henning's performance experience also includes competition appearances at the 2001 Concours Grieg International Competition for Pianists in Norway, where he was named a semifinalist and received special mention recognition; the 2001 IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competition in Italy, where he received distinguished musician and special mention honors; and the 2002 International Piano Competition Theodor Leschetizky in Taiwan, where he was named a semifinalist. In 1999 he was selected as one of only 250 recipients from around the world of a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Stipendienstiftung. Henning is the son of Gunter and Monika Vauth of Porta Westfalica, Germany.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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