Arts & Culture

UK Orchestra concert to showcase Richard Strauss' 'Death and Transfiguration,' Concerto Competition winners

web banner of featured conductors, musicians at UK Symphony Orchestra 10/28 concert
Conducting students and UK's 2020 Concerto Competition winners will take center stage with Maestro John Nardolillo at UK Symphony Orchestra's concert Oct. 28.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2022) —​ Up next for the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will be Richard Strauss’ programmatic tone poem, "Death and Transfiguration," at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the Singletary Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall. The program will also include Cesar Franck’s "Psyche et Eros," Jean Francaix’ "L'Horloge de Flore (The Flower Clock)" and Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto. 

Joining Maestro John Nardolillo for conducting duties will be doctoral students Sean Radermacher, DMA ‘23, and Merih Erdem Özden, DMA ‘23, along with feature soloists and UK alumnae Taylor McLellan, DMA’ 23, on oboe, and Concerto Competition winner, Abby Temple, BM’ 20, on trumpet.   

Each year, the UKSO hosts a Concerto Competition for its students,” says Temple. “Taylor and I both won in 2020, along with Madison Jones, who was able to play her concerto last season. Due to COVID, our concert in March 2020 was canceled, so we are finally getting a chance to perform these solos for an audience after two and a half years!” 

Tickets for UK Symphony Orchestra concerts are $10 for general admission, $4 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.scfatickets.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.  

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.  

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.