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Columbus Symphony Orchestra ringing in 2012 with Mozart, Brahms

Courtesy of Eric Larrayadieu

As students adjust to their schedules and settle back into college life, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra is busy readying itself for its first performance of the new year. Continuing its 61st season, CSO hopes to keep the momentum going after a successful 2011.

The orchestra will hold its first program of 2012 at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ohio Theater. The performances will explore the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms.

Conductor Matthias Bamert will lead the orchestra through sets including Mozart’s “Symphony No. 25 in G Minor,” “Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major” and Brahms-Schoenberg’s “Piano Quartet in G Minor.”

Having previously served as resident conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra, Bamert is no stranger to Ohio. He has released more than 80 discs and has held many prestigious roles, including music director for the London Mozart Players and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Steven Wedell, full-time violist for CSO and lecturer at the Ohio State School of Music, said having a guest conductor is a great experience.

“It gives us a new way of looking at things and it is fun for us,” Wedell said. “It’s an instant opportunity. We hope he will go back to his home city and tell them how great we were and he hopes we will do the same.”

Featured in Mozart’s Violin Concerto will be Belgium-born violinist Yossif Ivanov. Only 23 years old, Ivanov has already built an impressive resume. At 16, he received First Prize at the Montreal International Music Competition. Two years later, he received Second Prize and Public Prize at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels.

He currently serves as the youngest violin teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

The Stradivarius Society of Chicago lent Ivanov the 1699 “Lady Tennant” Stradivarius Violin. In 2005, the violin was purchased for more than $2 million at auction.

WOSU’s Christopher Purdy will hold a free lecture about the program for all ticket holders at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $24.75-$68 and are available at the Ohio Theater Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Discount tickets are available for students with a valid BuckID for $13.

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