LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2023) — University of Kentucky's Symphony Orchestra will continue their 2023-24 season with Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with special guest Amit Peled 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Singletary Center for the Arts. The concert will also feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and the Kentucky premiere of “Lumina,” by composer and multimedia artist Nina Shekhar.
Internationally renowned cellist Amit Peled is acclaimed as one of the most exciting and virtuosic instrumentalists on the concert stage today. Having performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Konzerthaus Berlin, Peled has released over a dozen recordings on the Naxos, Centaur, Delos and CTM Classics labels.
Peled is on the faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and has performed in and presented master classes around the world including at the Marlboro and Newport Music Festivals and the Heifetz International Music Summer Institute in the U.S., the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove in England, and Keshet Eilon in Israel. Embracing the new era of the pandemic, Peled has established the Amit Peled Online Cello Academy reaching out to cellists all over the world. Moreover, his home studio in Baltimore has turned into a virtual art gallery promoting and supporting local artists while teaching and livestreaming to a worldwide audience. Raised on a kibbutz in Israel, Peled began playing the cello at age 10. He is represented worldwide by CTM Classics.
Nina Shekhar is a composer and multimedia artist who explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter to create bold and intensely personal works. Described as “tart and compelling” (New York Times), “vivid” (Washington Post) and an “orchestral supernova” (Los Angeles Times), Shekar’s music has been commissioned and performed by leading artists including the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Nashville Symphony and many others. Aside from composing, Shekhar is a versatile performing artist as a flutist, pianist and saxophonist. Shekhar is a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at Princeton University. She previously completed composition graduate studies at University of Southern California and undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering.
Shekhar is currently serving as composer-in-residence of The Crossing and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2023-2024 Sound Investment Composer. An active educator, she recently joined the composition faculty of Mannes School of Music at The New School and is a faculty mentor for Luna Composition Lab and Brightwork newmusic‘s Project Beacon initiative. She is a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Music Fellow and previously completed her tenure as composer-in-residence for Young Concert Artists. She has held guest composer residencies at New York University, Colburn School, University of Colorado Boulder, Western Michigan University and Portland State University. She is a first-generation Indian American and a native of Detroit, Michigan.
Tickets for UK Symphony Orchestra concerts are $14 for general admission, $7 for students, and free for UK students with a valid ID before the day of the performance (at the Singletary Center ticket office). Tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office online at www.singletarycenter.com, by phone at 859-257-4929, or in person at the venue. Children 6 and older are welcome.
Founded in 1918, the UKSO is a 100-member all-student orchestra, presenting classical, chamber, opera and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. The orchestra has regularly performed with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Lang Lang, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Christine Brewer, Pink Martini, Ronan Tynan, Mark O’Connor, Wynonna Judd, Keith Lockhart and Arlo Guthrie.
UK’s orchestra has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., tours the state of Kentucky regularly, and has toured China, playing concerts in major concert halls in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Yangzhou and Beijing. The orchestra’s performance at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts was broadcast on China Central Television, a network reaching more than 1.5 billion viewers. In the fall of 2010, the orchestra played for the opening ceremonies of the World Equestrian Games, a performance that featured more than 1,500 performers and 200 horses that was seen live on NBC in the United States by 39 million people, and by an estimated 500 million more television viewers worldwide.
Maestro John Nardolillo has appeared with more than 30 of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the National Symphony, and principal orchestras of Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee, Utah, Columbus, Indianapolis, Oregon, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Alabama, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina, Toledo, Vermont, Columbus, Omaha and Hawaii. He also recently conducted concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Nardolillo made his professional conducting debut in 1994 at the Sully Festival in France and has since made conducting appearances in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic and China. He has led major American orchestras in subscription series concerts, summer and pops concerts, education concerts and tours, and for television and radio broadcasts. Nardolillo is the artistic director of the Prague Summer Nights Music Festival, and in 2004, he joined the faculty at the UK School of Music, where he serves as the director of orchestras.
The UK Symphony Orchestra is housed in the School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The UK School of Music has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.