Professionals Featured in Orchestra Concert


Natalie Li, News Editor

Orchestra presented its Winter Concert on Thursday, February 21, in the CPAC, featuring guest violinist Mariya Borozina and violist Pamela Freund-Striplen.

According to senior Kyle Chan, since this particular concert is considered the orchestra “feature concert,” a more music was in the repertoire than usual. Violinists Maya Bulos and Valerie Chiou, violist Jacob Kluzik, and cellist Jiwon Lee opened the concert with “Por una Cabeza (Tango),” by Carlos Gardel and Alredo Le Pera. Guest artists Borozina and Freund-Striplen joined the orchestra to perform all 3 movements of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major K.364. The concert ended with the orchestra playing all 4 movements of Symphony No. 82 in C Major, Hob. I: 82 “The Bear” by Franz Joseph Haydn.

According to Chan, the orchestra did not get the chance to practice with the soloists until a month before, however, he believes they were able to coordinate the parts well. “Johnson did a good job of balancing the soloists and the orchestra and bringing the pieces together, especially the winds and the professionals,” he said.

Senior Jiwon Lee said, “Mozart could have been a lot better but I liked how we played in the Haydn piece and the string quartet. The quartet was part of the soundtrack of a movie and arranged for us as a string concert. I very much enjoyed playing a tango like that because it’s passionate and very fun.”

However, according to Lee, the four quartet performers were not aware they were playing the piece for the winter concert in addition to their final. “Johnson only notified us 3 days before so we didn’t practice that much but it turned out better than we had expected,” she said.

Violinist Mariya Borozina is a member of the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet Orchestras and has traveled around the world from Tokyo to Sydney performing orchestral, solo, and chamber music. She performs with leading Bay Area instrumentalists and often judges youth competitions. Violist Pamela Freund-Striplen has been the Artistic Director of Gold Coast Chamber Players for over 23 years. She  has a private teaching studio in Lafayette and is a member of the Saint Mary’s College music department.

“Mrs. Strickland is the viola coach and we’re familiar with her so it’s nice to be able to play with someone at a high level. [The concert] was a nice blend of familiarity and mystique since we didn’t know Ms. Borozina as well,” said Chan. “Pam is a great viola player. I love hearing Mrs. Borozina play and even when she plays just one short phrase, she makes it so smooth and passionate that I fall in love with her playing,” said Lee.

“In spite of the ups and downs, we started strong and finished strong. I liked the energy brought out in the second half, and overall we showed development and progress. I’m proud of the organization,” said Chan.