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UST, ROCO Present “Czechs, Please!”
3/26/2013
River Oaks Chamber OrchestraUniversity of St. Thomas and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra are acclaiming the musical influence of Czechoslovakian composers with “Czechs, Please!” at 7:30 p.m. on April 4 in Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon.

The ROCO String Quartet will perform the program, which features beautiful and lyrical love songs for quartet from Dvoøák as well as Erwin Schulhoff’s first string quartet. The night will be filled with Czech dance music, jazz influenced tunes, folksongs and a lively movement "alla slovacca." The program will also include music from Kozeluch and Suk, plus a ROCO surprise or two.

ROCO and St. Thomas are presenting the third in a series of chamber concerts featuring the String Quartet. This series, also in collaboration with CultureMap, is another way UST is working with the arts community as it moves forward with a plan to establish a major Performing Arts Center on the St. Thomas campus.

ROCO is a professional chamber orchestra of 40 all-star musicians, distinguished guest conductors and composers who come together from all over the world to present engaging performances of classical and original compositions. Founded in 2005 by oboist, Alecia Lawyer, ROCO is “the most fun you can have with serious music.”

Tickets are $20 general admission and $10 for students. Attend a pre-event reception at 7 p.m. Additional information and tickets are available at www.rocohouston.org.

About the ROCO String Quartet

Through this String Quartet series, ROCO is featuring chamber ensembles drawn from within the full 40-piece chamber orchestra. Chamber music has been called “music among friends” because of its intimate nature. The series allows ROCO to expand relationships among musicians, with composers and with the audience by presenting musical conversations that include contemporary as well as classic repertoire.

Performing with the ROCO String Quartet will be violinists Cecila Belcher and Pasha Sabouri, violist Suzanne LeFevre, and cellist Erik Gaenslen. Each is an accomplished artist-performer.

New York-based violinist Cecilia Belcher has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburg and Houston Symphony, The Knights and ROCO. She has previously been a member of the New World Symphony, as concertmaster and principal second violin, Verbier Festival Orchestra, and Canton Symphony. Belcher is ROCO’s principal second violin.

Pasha Sabouri has soloed at the Edinburugh Festival, as well as with the Texas Chamber Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Henderson Symphony and others. He has also won first prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Competition, as well as being National Finalist for Music Teachers National Association Young Artists Division. This is Sabouri’s fourth season with ROCO.

Suzanne LeFevre is a violist and personnel manager for ROCO, as well as a violist for Houston Grand Opera and Mercury Baroque, and an affiliate artist at University of Houston. This is LeFevre’s eighth season with ROCO.

Cellist Eric Gaenslen has performed as a chamber musician, recitalist and guest soloist in venues across North America and Europe. As cellist of the renowned Rossetti String Quartet, Eric has performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Berlin Konzerthaus, with such artists as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Eugenia Zuckerman, Gautier Capuçon and Pepe Romero. This is Gaenslen’s second season with ROCO.

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