Special to The Explorer

Cellist Nicholas Mariscal, an "uber-talented" 17-year-old University High School senior, performs a solo with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra this Sunday, April 18, at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

The program also features a semi-staged performance of Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow."

Tickets for the April 18 concert at St. Andrew's, located at 7650 N. Paseo del Norte, are $20 at the door, with free admission for ages 17 and under. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.sasomusic.org or by calling 323-7166.

Mariscal will play the first movement, Allegro Maestoso, of the Cello Concerto in D minor by Edouard Lalo.

"The Merry Widow" also features soprano Christi Amonson in the title role, costumed singers from the Southern Arizona Opera Company and cancan dancers. Other soloists include Curt Olds as Danilo, Betty Allen as Valencienne, Chris Hutchinson as Camille, Robin White as the Baron and Juan Aguire as Nitsch. Harold Dixon is the narrator.

Mariscal won first prize in the first Youth Concerto Competition presented by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and The Symphony Women's Association. He won a cash prize in addition to his solo opportunities. Nicholas performed with SASO last Sunday in SaddleBrooke.

Mariscal's musical talents are not limited to the cello. He's also an accomplished pianist and has composed music since age 11. In 2007, he was the first participant of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Youth Composers Project to have an original work programmed into one of the orchestra's subscription concerts.

Winners in this year's Youth Concerto Competition range in age from 8 to 18 years old, performing on a variety of instruments including violin, viola, cello, piano, flute, piccolo, trombone and marimba. Winners and finalists are: first prize, Nicholas Mariscal, cello; second prize, Ludek Wojtkowski, violin; and third prize, Elizabeth Pae, violin. Finalists are Trevor Barroero, marimba; Alexandra Birch, viola; and Shelby Yuan, piano.

The final concert in SASO's 2009-10 season will be presented on June 6 and 13, featuring Barber's Adagio for Strings, Vosk's Concerto for Harmonica and Chamber Orchestra with Pierre Herbineaux, and Silbelius' Symphony No. 2.

For more details, visit www.sasomusic.org, call 323-7166 or email info@sasomusic.org.

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