West Virginia Symphony Orchestra to Perform on Campus Sept. 20

Friday, September 07, 2012

Under the direction of Grant Cooper, Artistic Director and Conductor, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform at Fairmont State University at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.

Containing works by Benjamin Britten, Dmitri Shostakovich and Edvard Grieg, the program in Colebank Hall also will feature pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi.

To order tickets, call (304) 367-4240. Parking for the event will be available on the top deck of the parking garage. FSU is committed to making performances and facilities accessible to all patrons. Large print programs and other accommodations are available.

Grant Cooper, Artistic Director and Conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, officially began his duties as the ninth conductor in the WVSO’s history on July 1, 2001. From 1997-2007, Cooper served as Resident Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, where he gave almost 600 performances with that orchestra, appearing to critical acclaim on all the major series. Cooper is also Artistic Director of a summer festival, the Bach and Beyond Festival in Fredonia, N.Y.

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting more than 50 concerts annually to audiences throughout the Mountain State. Programs include Symphonic, ZMM Pops and City National Bank Family Concert Series, performances by the Montclaire String Quartet, collaborations with the Charleston Ballet and other state arts organizations and a national award-winning education program. The Symphony’s home is the world-class Maier Foundation Performance Hall at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston.

Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi first came to the U.S. in 1999 to participate in the Cleveland International Piano Competition. He won the First Prize, and, while fulfilling all the engagements that came with it, he and his wife, Italian pianist Emanuela Friscioni, decided to make Cleveland their home. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, France, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, as well as the Award for the Best Performance of a New Work.

Pompa-Baldi has toured extensively in four continents, bringing his assured touch on the keyboard to some of the world's major concert venues including Cleveland's Severance Hall, Milan's Sala Verdi, Naples' Teatro Diana, New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall and Paris' Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, Salle Pleyel, Theatre des Champs-Elysees and Théâtre du Châtelet.

After a triumphant debut in Beijing, China, where Pompa-Baldi played a recital in the Forbidden City Concert Hall and Master Classes at the China National Conservatory, he was named Honorary Guest Professor of that Institution. Highly acclaimed recitals in London, England and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev were also among recent performances. Pompa-Baldi also made orchestral and solo appearances at Carnegie Hall, respectively in Isaac Stern Auditorium and Zankel Hall, as well as with the Houston Symphony, Berliner Symphoniker (in Tokyo, Japan), Colorado Symphony, North Carolina, Peoria, and Duluth Symphony Orchestras, Rochester Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Kansas City Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Cleveland Pops, National Orchestra of Santo Domingo, Symphony of the Americas (Ft. Lauderdale), Canton Symphony and Orchestra di Toscana (in Nancy, France). He also performed recitals in cities such as Seoul, Paris (Chopin Festival), Chicago, Ravinia, Houston (Texas Music Festival), Portland (Ore.), Sacramento, Fort Worth (Cliburn Series), Salt Lake City (Assembly Hall) and Duszniki Zdroj, Poland (Chopin Festival).

Antonio Pompa-Baldi has collaborated with leading conductors including Hans Graf, James Conlon, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Keith Lockhart, Christopher Seaman, Fabio Mechetti, Daniel Hege, Louis Lane, Pascal Rophe', Grant Llewellyn and Stefan Sanderling, appearing with the Boston Pops, the Pacific Symphony, the Orchestre Philarmonique de Metz (France), the Orchestre National de Paris-Radio France, as well as the Symphony Orchestras of Fort Worth, Syracuse, Columbus, Charleston, Southwest Florida and Spokane. Other notable recital engagements include Bologna, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Hartford, Miami and San Juan (Puerto Rico).

A passionate chamber musician, Antonio Pompa-Baldi is a frequent guest at events like the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Music in the Mountains Festival (Durango, Colo.), Strings in the mountains (Steambot Springs, Colo.), and the Fort Worth Chamber Music Society Series among others, collaborating with such ensembles as the Takacs and Cavani String Quartets.

Upcoming orchestral engagements for pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi include performances with the Stockton and Pensacola Symphony Orchestras. Recital engagements include Orlando (Fla.), Fort Worth (Texas), Cleveland (Ohio), the Liszt Society of Eugene (Ore.), and Corvallis (Ore.), as well as a tour of South Africa.

Pompa-Baldi's recordings include an all-Brahms disc (Azica), and a live and unedited recital from his award-winning Cliburn Competition performances (Harmonia Mundi). Since 2002, he has recorded for Centaur Records: the Josef Rheinberger Piano Sonatas; the entire piano and chamber music output of Edward Grieg, in 11 volumes; an all-Rachmaninoff CD; and the first volume of the Hummel Piano Sonatas. Soon-to-be-released are the second volume of the Hummel Sonatas and an all- Schumann album, also for Centaur.

Pompa-Baldi has been seen and heard many times on French National Television, Radio-France, Ukrainian National television, Cleveland's WCLV, Boston's WGBH and National Public Radio's Performance Today, and appeared in the PBS documentary on the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition "Playing on the Edge" which premiered in October 2001 in USA and Canada.

Pompa-Baldi appeared again on PBS in the documentary Concerto: A Sense of Self, featuring his performance of Prokofiev's Concerto #3 with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and James Conlon. This performance was also seen on French National Television in May, 2003, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Prokofiev's death, as well as throughout Europe.

Antonio Pompa-Baldi is a Steinway Artist. He serves as Distinguished Professor of Piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and gives master-classes around the world, both in conjunction with his performing engagements, and at summer festivals including Piano Fest in the Hamptons, TCU-Cliburn Institute, Southeastern Piano Festival (University of South Carolina School of Music), Paisiello Academy (Lucera, Italy) and Napolinova Academy (Naples, Italy). He helped found the Academia Manuel Rueda in Santo Domingo, where he also gives regular master-classes.

Pompa-Baldi is often invited to judge international piano competitions, and has served as president of the jury for the International Russian Piano Music Competition in San Jose, Calif., since 2006. His students have been prize winners in important competitions such as Marguerite Long, Hilton Head, Isang Yun, and Gina Bachauer. He lives in Cleveland Heights with his wife, Emanuela, and their daughter, Eleanor.

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