EL PASO, Texas - The 16th annual collaboration between the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and El Paso Pro-Musica is a case of 'Double Trouble.' El Pasoan Zuill Bailey and his cello team up with Helen Kim and her violin to perform one of Johannes Brahms lesser-known but most technically difficult pieces of classical music.
The two virtuosos join the El Paso Symphony Orchestra for two performances, Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 at the Plaza Theatre.
EPSO conductor Bohtuslav Rattay appeared on ABC-7 at 4 Monday to talk about the concerts.
"We should probably called this Triple Trouble, not because of me as a third person," Rattay explained. "But because the orchestra really plays a huge role in this (Double Concerto for Violin and Cello). So we have a cello solo, violin solo, and then the orchestra, so let's call it Triple Trouble."
Helen Kim made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of 6 and has gone on to become a respected and sought-after artist. She has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops, as well as with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Symphony orchestras. Kim earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, she served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and was the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition at both the pre-college and college levels. She is the recipient of more than 100 national and international awards. She won the prestigious Artists International Competition in New York and, as a result, gave debut recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Aspen Summer Music Festival.
Rattay says he's looking forward to working with Kim and Zuill Bailey. "Zuill is the one who brought her in to collaborate with us," Rattay exclaimed. "I can't wait to hear them both play this weekend.
Rattay also spoke about Bailey. "It's always so much fun to work with him. And, of course, he is a local celebrity, and that also draws people in, so it helps us to fill the seats in the Plaza Theatre."
Rattay and the orchestra will play Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony for the second half of the program. "The two pieces we'll be performing this week were written one year apart, 1887 and 1888," said Rattay. "Two totally different pieces, one German and one Russian, but written almost at the same time. (It's) a wonderful piece full of love. It kind of starts a little gloomy, and then it evolves into this love song with a very happy ending."
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at epso.org, ticketmaster.com or by calling the EPSO office at 915-532-3776. Prices are $46, $41, $35, $22 and $16 plus fees. Student tickets for $9 and $12 plus fees are also available.