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JoAnn Falletta Conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at the Kimmel Center October 27

Elissa Lee Koljonen Performs Philadelphia Premiere of Ranjbaran's Violin Concerto

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra brings its signature exuberance to Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center on Tuesday, October 27 at 8 p.m. The season-premiere Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, features Strauss' Don Juan, Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade, and violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen performing the Philadelphia premiere of Behzad Ranjbaran's virtuosic, Persian-inspired Violin Concerto.

Subscriptions to the Curtis Symphony Orchestra's three-concert season at the Kimmel Center, priced $15 to $91, are available from the Curtis Ticket Office at 215-893-7902 or Single tickets are $5 to $36 and are available at the Kimmel Center Box Office and through Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999 or

The concert is part of the 2009-10 series of Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts. It is sponsored by INTECH Contruction, Razak Company, and Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates.

A season premiere gala to benefit the Student Assistance Fund, which provides financial support for students' living expenses, takes place before the concert at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. Gala tickets and more information are available from the Curtis Development Office at 215-893-5279 or

The orchestra performs the same program on Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. in a concert at Allentown Symphony Hall, 23 North Sixth Street, Allentown. For tickets and more information, call 610-432-6715 or visit

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra has been called "an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble" (Philadelphia Inquirer) and has been praised for its "otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication" (New York Times). Recent visiting conductors include Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. This real-world training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in major orchestras across the United States, Canada, and abroad. Sixteen percent of the principal chairs in America's top twenty-five orchestras are held by Curtis-trained musicians.

JoAnn Falletta has been praised by the Washington Post as having "Toscanini's tight control over ensemble, Walter's affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski's gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein." A vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader, she serves as the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Falletta has guest conducted over one hundred orchestras in North America including the orchestras of Philadelphia, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Toronto, New Jersey, Seattle, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Houston, Rochester, Utah, Edmonton, and Quebec. This past May, she led the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala.

Ms. Falletta is an ardent champion of music of our time, introducing over 400 works by American composers, including more than eighty world premieres. Hailing her as a "leading force for the music of our time", the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored JoAnn Falletta with her tenth ASCAP award in 2008. Ms. Falletta serves as a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since stepping up to the podium as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall of 1999, Ms. Falletta has been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence, including two Grammy awards in 2009 for Best Classical Performance and Best Classical Composition for its John Corigliano: Mr. Tambourine Man CD.

Elissa Lee Koljonen has thrilled audiences and critics in over one hundred cities throughout the world. Ms. Koljonen initially received international acclaim when she became the first recipient of the prestigious Henryk Szeryng Foundation Award and silver medalist of the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition. Her playing has been lauded by the Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki) as "sparkling, sensual and personal." The Chicago Tribune has praised her "boundless technique and musicianship," and the Detroit News writes, "Koljonen brings to her playing not just assured technique but unflinching purpose and confidence."

Philadelphia audiences last heard Ms. Koljonen perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra in July 2007, playing Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1. Recent and upcoming engagements include her debut in Spain with James Judd and the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, performances with José-Luis Novo and the orchestras in Annapolis and Binghamton, the Delaware Symphony, Reading Symphony, and the Kimmel Center's Summer Solstice. Other engagements include the Boston Pops, Minnesota Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Helsinki, and Seoul.

Ms. Koljonen has collaborated with such noted conductors as Matthias Bamert, James DePriest, Lawrence Foster, Richard Hickox, Neeme Järvi, Louis Lane, Andrew Litton, Eiji Oue, and the late Bryden Thompson. Her engagements have taken her to some of the world's most important venues, among them the Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Mozarteum, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London's Barbican Centre, Seoul Arts Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

A protégé of the great Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music, Ms. Koljonen continues the legacy and tradition of Leopold Auer and his legendary school of violin playing.

Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
Tuesday, October 27 at 8 p.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Elissa Lee Koljonen, violin ('94)

R. STRAUSS                  Don Juan
RANJBARAN                  Violin Concerto
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV      Sheherazade

Subscriptions: $15, $30, $50, $64, $91; available from the Curtis Ticket Office at 215-893-7902 or

Single tickets: $5, $12, $15, $25, $36; available at the Kimmel Center Box Office and from Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999 or

Season Premiere Gala: Preconcert dinner and premium concert tickets. Proceeds benefit the Student Assistance Fund. Gala tickets: information available from the Curtis Development Office at 215-893-5279 or

Sponsored by INTECH Contruction, Razak Company, and Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates

Additional performance:
Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Allentown Symphony Hall, 23 North Sixth Street, Allentown
Presented by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra
Tickets: $20, $25, $35; available at 610-432-6715 or

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Jennifer Kallend
Managing Director of External Affairs and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3190

Diana Wensley
Communications Manager
(215) 717-3129

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