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14th March 1999

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Electrifying orchestral treat to start off the season

The Symphony Or-chestra of Sri Lanka, opens its 1999 concert season on Saturday, March 20 at Ladies' College Hall, Colombo 3. The concert programme includes two outstanding concerti, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in a major K488 with Sonia Wickremasinghe as soloist and Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. I in F major op. 73 featuring Ananda Premasiri as solo clarinetist.

Both artistes make their debut as soloists with the SOSL at this concert. The orchestra will be conducted by Dr. Earle de Fonseka.

Sonia Wickremasinghe who had her musical education in Russia, needs no introduction to audiences here following her piano recital last December, in which her handling of the romantic repetoire elicited high commendation from reviewers.

Ananda Premasiri, whose musical background was chiefly oriental, found his love for the instrument attracting him to the western classics. He is a gifted performer and has played principal clarinet in several orchestral concerts in Colombo previously.

The programme will start off with the electrifying overture to the opera "The Marriage of Figaro' by Mozart. This vivacious work, a firm favourite with audiences down the ages, is an ideal curtain-raiser racing along to its conclusion usually in just four minutes.

The main orchestral item for the evening will be 'St. John's Night on the Bald Mountain' by Modest Musorgsky. This work has as its theme the legend of St. John's triumphant resistance of the hideous onslaught by the satanic forces atop the bald mountain.

Musorgsky's apparent notoriety for incomplete works resulted in a re-arrangement of this composition by Rimsky-Korsakov and music lovers would probably be familiar with that version entitled 'Night on the Bare Mountain'. On this occasion, Dr. de Fonseka presents Musorgsky's original version which makes no less technical demands on all departments of the orchestra than the subsequent Rimsky-Korsakov version.

The concert is sponsored by St. Regis Packaging (Private) Limited and the Yamaha Music Centre.

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