GSO Conductor Edvard Tchivzhel leads Furman Symphony Orchestra Feb. 22

Greenville Symphony Orchestra Conductor Edvard Tchivzhel leads the Furman Symphony Orchestra Feb. 22

Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, will lead the Furman Symphony Orchestra (FSO) in a Concerto Concert Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. in McAlister Auditorium on campus.

A Sound Quality Series event presented by the Furman Department of Music, the concert is open to the public. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and older, and $5 for students.

Presented biennially, the Furman Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert features student soloists selected by competitive audition who will perform concerto movements from the standard repertoire. Maestro Tchivzhel, who takes the podium while FSO conductor Thomas Joiner is on sabbatical, will also lead the FSO in Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.”

Listed alphabetically, soloists for the concert are:

Charles Baldwin, piano, (Decorah, Iowa), Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, by Sergei Prokofiev
Elliott Cihlar, violin, (Charleston, South Carolina), Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, by Felix Mendelssohn
Leo De La Cruz, oboe, (Spring, Texas), Concerto in A Minor for Oboe & Strings, by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Patrick Rice, guitar, (Anderson, South Carolina), Lute Concerto in D Major, RV 93, by Antonio Vivaldi
Sean Simmons, marimba, (Mechanicsville, Virginia), Concerto for Marimba & Strings, by Emmanuel Séjourné

Biographical information for the soloists follows:

Charles Baldwin, son of Anne Bulliung and Daniel Baldwin, is a senior piano performance major at Furman. Charles is a former student of Du Huang, professor of piano at Luther College (Decorah, Iowa); he currently studies with Derek Parsons. In addition to piano, Charles has a special interest in orchestral conducting. As inaugural recipient of the Daniel Boda Orchestral Conducting Scholarship, he holds the position of student conductor of the Furman Symphony Orchestra. In fall 2018, he prepared and performed Sibelius’ “Karelia Suite” with the FSO. He has also studied cello with Christopher Hutton and plays cello in the orchestra. Charles is passionate about education, having been active in the department as a Furman Advantage Teaching Fellow for music theory, keyboard harmony, and orchestration, as well as an applied teacher through the Piano for Young People program. After graduating in May, he hopes to pursue an advanced degree in orchestral conducting.

Elliott Cihlar is a violin student of Thomas Joiner and is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in String Performance. A junior at Furman, Elliott performs with the Furman Symphony Orchestra, serving as concertmaster for several performances. He also has participated in both the Gladden and Hartness String Quartets and has played with Furman’s Pauper Players in their productions of “Hairspray” and “Legally Blonde.” Last semester, he participated in the Music in Italy program, studying abroad in Arezzo, Italy. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Elliott attended the Charleston County School of the Arts as a strings major, studying under Christopher Selby. His previous teachers include Deborah Menick, Susan Mears, Rex Conner, and Erika Blanco. The son of John and Laurie Cihlar, Elliott plans to pursue a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance.

Leo De La Cruz, son of Jose and Siggley De La Cruz, is a senior oboe performance and music theory major from Spring, Texas. He serves a number of roles in the music department, most notably as a Furman Advantage Teaching Fellow for the Theory Division, as well as Head Librarian for Furman Bands. In addition to being named Furman’s 2018-2019 Presser Scholar in his junior year, his paper, “Rameau as Composer and Theorist: Discrepancies Surrounding the Expression of Mode in Castor et Pollux,” was selected for presentation at the Rethinking Music in France in the Baroque Era conference in Paris, Versailles, and Royaumont in June 2018, where he was the only undergraduate chosen to present. He holds memberships to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, and Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. After Furman, he intends to pursue graduate study in oboe performance. He is a student of Petrea Warneck.

Patrick Rice is a sophomore at Furman where he studies classical guitar under Silviu Ciulei. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance. Since the beginning of his studies at Furman he has won multiple awards in classical guitar competitions, including Southern Guitar Festival and Competition, The Appalachian Guitar Festival, and The Columbus State Guitar Symposium. More recently, Patrick participated in the U.S. premiere of “The Walls” by Grammy award-winning composer Sergio Assad, with renowned guitarist William Kanengiser of the Grammy-awarded Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He has performed in master classes for such artists as Piero Viti, Marina Alexandra, Justin Hoke and Andrew Zohn. Originally from Anderson, he is the son of Kristi and Patrick M. Rice (Furman alumni). In June 2019, Patrick will perform three World Premieres in New York’s famed Carnegie Hall as one of 40 American guitarists selected to be in the first ever United States Guitar Orchestra, followed by a concert tour of France. He plays a Millennium design guitar made by former Furman guitar professor Steven Walter, an acclaimed performer and luthier.

Sean Simmons, son of Richard and Connie Simmons of Mechanicsville, Virginia, is a percussion student of Omar Carmenates and a violin student of Thomas Joiner, and is pursuing Bachelor of Music degrees in both percussion and violin performance. A senior at Furman, Sean has performed with the Furman Symphony Orchestra and String Quartets as a violinist as well as the Furman Symphonic Winds, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Combos, and the Paladin Regiment as a percussionist throughout his time at Furman. Sean has served as Principal Second Violinist in the Fall 2017 FSO Concert and as a percussion section leader with the 2018 Paladin Regiment. Outside of his academic duties at Furman, Sean frequently assists local marching band programs, including his former high school, as a percussion instructor and music arranger. After graduating from Furman, Sean plans to pursue a Master of Music Performance degree after first earning his teaching certification in his home state of Virginia.

About Edvard Tchivzhel
Internationally acclaimed conductor, Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel (pronounced CHIV-gel), serves as music director and conductor of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. “Maestro Tchivzhel is, simply put, a master…his music-making is indisputably commanding and communicative,” wrote Yo-Yo Ma after performing with Tchivzhel in 2004. Now in his 19th season with the GSO, Tchivzhel has become an icon in the Greenville community and a motivational force behind the orchestra.

Son of the Violinist of the Mariinsky Theater of Opera and Ballet and concert organist, Tchivzhel was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia). He graduated from the Leningrad Conservatoire with the highest distinction in the areas of piano and conducting and completed three more years of postgraduate study at the Conservatoire’s Higher Academy of Music in the prestigious conducting classes of Arvid Jansons. While still a student, Tchivzhel scored remarkable success by winning the Third Soviet Conductor’s Competition in Moscow. He worked as assistant conductor to the legendary conductor Yevgeni Mravinsky with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra from 1974 until 1977.

By the late 1970s, Tchivzhel appeared as permanent guest conductor with the Leningrad Philharmonic and conducted the Moscow Philharmonic, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leningrad’s Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet, as well as many other orchestras throughout the former USSR. In 1973, Tchivzhel became music director and principal conductor of the Karelian Symphony Orchestra of National Television and Radio, a position he held until 1991. Maestro has been awarded the ranks of “Honored Artist of the Republic of Karelia” and “Honored Artist of the Russian Federation.”

In the 1980s, Tchivzhel’s career achieved international status with appearances in England, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand, where he served as artistic advisor for the Auckland Philharmonic.

As associate conductor of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Tchivzhel toured widely, winning acclaim during a tour in Japan in 1990. In February 1991, Tchivzhel was enthusiastically received during a tour of the State Russian Symphony Orchestra in the United States. Following this tour, he defected to the U.S with the help of friends in Greenville, the city he considers his “American cradle.” After defecting, his son Arvid, and his wife Luba became U.S. citizens in 1999. As an American citizen, it is now a tradition for the Maestro to lead the orchestra in the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of each concert.

As recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the musical arts, Tchivzhel was awarded The Congressional Johnny Appleseed Award in 2004 and The Order of the Palmetto, the highest award in the State of South Carolina, in 2016.

Learn more about Edvard Tchivzhel. For more information about the concert, contact the Furman Music Office at 864-294-2086, and Release is online:

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