SOSL to feature four gifted young soloists and composer

The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) will continue its memorable 52nd season with the popular Young Soloists’ Concert which showcases Sri Lanka’s young musical talent and has been held annually for over two decades. Four talented young soloists and a composer will feature in this year’s concert on August 1 at the Ladies College Hall at 7 p.m.

SOSL will premiere young composer Natasha Senanayake’s composition, ‘Of Shores Near and Far’ written especially for SOSL. Fifteen-year-old Liezl Fernando will play one of Mozart’s finest concertos his famous Piano Concerto No. 20; Johann A. Peiris makes his début in his piano performance of César Franck’s Symphonic Variations; Tilanka Jayamanne will be the soloist in Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1; and soprano Dinali David’s repertoire will be Agustín Lara’s Granada, Charles Gounod’s Repentir (O Divine Redeemer) and Carl M. von Weber’s Leise, leise, fromme Weise (Agathe's aria) from Act 2: Der Freischütz (The Marksman).

‘Of Shores Near and Far’ is a fusion of musical thoughts influenced by Natasha’s life experiences in Sri Lanka and the USA. Natasha, who is also a pianist and flautist, began her music studies at the age of five and has won many prizes for her achievements in music, both in and outside her alma mater, Ladies College, and many awards from the Trinity College of Music, London including an ATCL in Piano. She is currently a student at the Petrie School of Music at Converse College, South Carolina, USA and has completed one year of study of her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition, under Dr. Scott Robbins and piano under Dr. Douglas Weeks.

Liezl started playing the piano at the age of six, and has won many awards and competitions. Among these she counts her winning of the 1st place in the Port Gardner Bay Chamber Orchestra competition as being the climax of many years of diligent study and practice. Another significant win was the Gold Medal at the Seattle Young Musician’s Festival 2008 for Piano performance. Liezl holds a scholarship from the Washington Music Teachers’ Association for the years 2008 and 2009 and is also the pianist for the Bishop Blanchett High School Chamber Orchestra.

Johann, 19, says César Franck’s Symphonic Variations inspires him by its subtle and ethereal quality. He commenced learning the piano at the age of six and since 2000, has been under the tutelage of renowned pianist and teacher Ramya De Livera Perera. He completed the Grade 8 examination from the Board of the Royal Schools of Music with Distinction and has been a frequent prize winner and collaborator. He is also a keen flautist and received his Performer’s Certificate for flute from the Trinity College London in 2005.

Tilanka, 20, won a music scholarship to the University of Warwick, UK, rated one of the most active student oriented music centres in the UK. He obtained distinctions for the LTCL and Dip ABRSM exams and won first place in Sri Lanka at both these exams for Flute Music Performance. He was also the winner of the Wind Category Award at the Concerto Competition 2004 of SOSL and held his debut recital on the Flute at the age of 15.

Soprano Dinali has been involved in music and drama from childhood and pursues her life-long passion for operatic and classical music. She continues to train in vocal music with Mary Anne David and is a member of the Merry An Singers and is currently a principal soloist in the choir. Dinali has won several competitions and awards. She received her training in speech and drama from her mother Anne Wijesinghe and was awarded an honourable mention at SOSL’s 2006 Concerto Competition
The conductor of the concert is Ajit Abeysekera.

SOSL opened its 52nd season with a landmark concert, Verdi's magnificent Requiem, in March this year. This was followed by the Mostly Mozart concert in May, which was also very well patronised by Sri Lankan music lovers.

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