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Soloists to perform in Freeland
Treat yourself to a sweet mid-winter serenade to warm those chilly bones.
The Seattle Freelance Soloists will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island church in Freeland.
You won’t want to miss these exciting and talented Seattle musicians who’ll play a benefit concert for UUCWI-supported charities and the Good Cheer Food Bank.
Former Whidbey resident and violinist Teo Benson will be joined by fellow performers Sachi Hirakouji, piano; Miodrag Veselinovic, violin; and Dylan Rieck, cello.
When Benson was 2 years old, he asked his parents if he could play the violin. They asked him to wait awhile, and when he was 5 they took him to his first violin lesson with Island Strings music teacher Linda Good.
“Linda was my teacher for the first eight years after I began playing violin,” Benson said.
“She taught me how to use my ear to reproduce melodies, and she introduced me to a variety of musical genres.”
It was at Island Strings that the future musician would find his niche among other musical peers. He would also go on to be taught by other island teachers including Michael Nutt, Talia Marcus and Jackie Evans, though any thought of a career as a violinist was overshadowed by his life at South Whidbey High School and in sports.
As an undergraduate at Colorado College, Benson studied with Colorado Springs Symphony concermaster Michael Hanson.
“He gave me music to play that I had never heard before, and I found a whole new enthusiasm for music and my violin,” Benson said.
By the end of his sophomore year he had decided he would become a professional violinist.
Benson has been a full-time member of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra for four years. The Seattle Freelance Soloists have been playing together for three years.
Hirakouji studied in Tokyo and Hawaii before completing her doctorate of musical arts from the University of Washington. She has performed as a chamber musician and featured soloist with the University of Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Opera Theater and the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra.
Rieck holds music degrees from the University of Washington, where he was a concerto competition winner and principal cellist, and from the University of Texas, where he was awarded Outstanding Masters Recital recognition. Rieck has been featured on more than 30 recordings by bands and songwriters.
Veselinovic is a native of Belgrade, Serbia, where he performed for radio and television. He is a prizewinner of national and international competitions, including the 1994 Concorso Internacionale di Musica in Stresa, Italy. He was awarded his master of arts diploma from the Academy of Music at the University of Belgrade. He appears regularly in solo, chamber and orchestral concerts in the Seattle area, as well as abroad. Formerly concertmaster of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, Veselinovic is currently a member of the Federal Way Symphony.
On the program Sunday is “Chaconne from Sonata No. 2 in D minor for Violin Solo” by J.S. Bach, and “Poeme” by Ernest Chausson. Veselinovic will play “Adagio and Allegro from Sonata No. 3 in C major for Violin Solo” by Bach. Rieck will play “Suite No. 4 for Cello Solo” by Bach. Hirakouji will play “Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor,” “Op. 66, Etude in E major Op. 10, No. 3” and “Etude in C minor Op. 10, No. 12,” all by Frederic Chopin. Listeners will also be treated to “Sonata No. 32 in B flat major,” by W.A. Mozart.
Tickets cost $15 for adults; $8 for children 6 to 12; and $25 per family.
A limited number of tickets are available, and can be purchased at Island Angel Chocolates in Langley, Pickles Deli in Clinton or BookBay in Freeland.