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Orchestra concert features student soloists

by Tonya Durlach

April 6, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU students Samantha London, Pieter Crathorne and Melissa Taddie.
Competition winners and soloists London, Crathorne and Taddie
KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra will present its final concert of the season at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at Miller Auditorium. The concert is open to the public free of charge.

Led by Bruce Uchimura, professor of music, the orchestra will perform Danzon Number 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez and Maurice Ravel's immortal orchestral masterpiece "La Valse." The program also will feature student soloists Pieter Crathorne, Samantha London and Melissa Taddie, winners of the 52nd annual WMU School of Music Concerto Competition.

Pianist Pieter Jacobus Crathorne of Cape Town, South Africa, is a graduate student majoring in performance. He will play the Piano Concerto Number 2 in A Major S. 125 by Franz Liszt. Crathorne holds a graduate assistantship as well as the Phyllis Rappeport Accompanying Scholarship. A veteran of national and international competitions, Crathorne most recently was named a winner of the School of Music Chopin Piano Competition as well as awarded first prize in both the Tertiary and Concerto categories at the Thirds National Grahamstown Music Competition. He was also honored by invitation and membership to the Golden Key International Honor Society. He previously studied at the University of Stellenbosch Konservatorium and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Pianist Samantha London of Baltimore is a graduate student majoring in performance. She will perform Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto Number 1 in E-Flat Major S. 124. London holds a graduate assistantship and served as the accompanist for the School of Music's recent production of Albert Herring. She was named a winner of the WMU School of Music Chopin Competition in 2010. She previously studied with Logan Skelton at the University of Michigan, where she received her bachelor's degree, graduating summa cum laude.

Violinist Melissa Taddie of Strongsville, Ohio, is a sophomore performance major. She will perform Ziguenerweisen (Gypsy Airs) for Violin Op. 20 by Pablo De Sarasate. Taddie is one of four recipients of the prestigious Rhea Yeager Fetzer Scholarship. An active chamber musician, she has played with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra and in various quartets.

For more information, contact Matt Jensen, WMU School of Music, at or (269) 387-4678.