Sep. 16 – Opening Night: Beethoven & Schumann


September 16, 2017―7:30 PM
RiverView Theater
Michael Butterman, conductor

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 4   

SCHUMANN  Piano Concerto in A minor   
with Aristo Sham, piano

BEETHOVEN  Choral Fantasy  
with Aristo Sham, piano, and the Centenary College Choir

Majesty abounds in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Schumann’s beloved Piano Concerto, performed by 2015 Wideman Gold Medalist Aristo Sham, plus Beethoven’s beautiful and rarely performed Choral Fantasy featuring the engaging Centenary College Choir.

“This young artist’s potential is boundless.”  ~Washington Post

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Aristo Sham, born in Hong Kong, was first introduced to the piano at the age of three, and joined the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts at the age of six under the tutelage of Professor Eleanor Wong. He was a student at Harrow School in the UK, where he worked with Professor Colin Stone, and is currently pursuing a BA in Economics and French, and an MMus in Piano Performance as a joint programme at Harvard University and New England Conservatory, studying with Professor Victor Rosenbaum.

Having given concerts on five continents in countries ranging from Singapore and Argentina to Slovenia and Morocco, Aristo has played for Prince Andrew at Windsor Castle, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and the Queen of Belgium and President Hu of China on their respective visits to Hong Kong. He has also collaborated with orchestras such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Aristo has won a number of international prizes, including First Prize and the Barenreiter Urtext Special Prize in the 10th Ettlingen International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Germany in 2006, First Prize in the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in 2008, First Prize and two special prizes in the Minnesota International Junior Piano-e-Competition in 2011. More recently, he was awarded First Prize in the inaugural Viseu International Piano Competition in Portugal in 2015, First Prize in the Wideman International Piano Competition in 2015, First Prize in the PianoArts Competition in Milwaukee in 2016, and First Prize, and Best Performance of the Commissioned Work in the New York International Piano Competition in 2016.

Aristo was featured in the documentary The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK, and was awarded a Fellowship with distinction in Piano Performance of the Royal Schools of Music (FRSM) in 2011.

Centenary College Choir is the primary touring choral ensemble and musical ambassador for Centenary College. Established in 1941, the Choir is the oldest and largest ensemble at Centenary College, made up of 55-65 singers. The group sings a diverse repertoire of music, from classical to casual, making an international tour every other year.

Nicknamed “America’s Singing Ambassadors” by the press, the Choir has toured throughout the world, bringing the name of Centenary College to audiences in 32 countries on six continents. The Choir is well-known for its engaging visual and aural appeal, and for its heartfelt connections to audiences.

The group has the high distinction of having performed seven times at the White House, two lengthy engagements at Radio City Music Hall, for American Choral Directors and International Lions Club conventions, for numerous conferences of the United Methodist Church, at famed cathedrals such as Notre Dame in Paris and St. Peters in Rome, and in renowned concert venues such as the Sydney Opera House.