DOWNEY - Two-hundred-four years ago, an 18-year-old accidentally swallowed some concentrated nitric acid. This greatly offended his vocal cords and Carl Maria von Weber's budding career as an opera star was kaput. So he turned to piano performance and instrumental composition instead, producing concert pieces for a remarkable variety of solo instruments, one of which will be performed by another prodigious young talent as part of the Downey Symphony's program on Saturday evening, Jan. 23.The work is Weber's Concerto No. 2 for Clarinet, the soloist is Gabriel Campos, a native of San Jose, Costa Rica. He writes, "I am greatly thankful to the Downey Symphony and conductor Sharon Lavery for having me as a soloist in January…I was raised into a family of Jazz musicians and began to play the clarinet when I was about 10 years of age. Now, I have been in the United States for four years as a student at different institutions around the country." What he does not mention is the long list of awards he has already received across the country as a soloist in competitions, and as an orchestral musician. Currently he is principal clarinet of the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles and is a mentor of that orchestra's community outreach program. Pretty good credentials for a 20-year-old. Sharon Lavery, herself a clarinetist, says she can hardly wait to introduce him to our audience. That opportunity is coming soon, Jan. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Downey Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd., at the corner of Brookshire Avenue. Completing the program are Grieg's Holbert Suite and Mozart's Jupiter Symphony. All three works will be discussed at the pre-concert talk beginning at 7:15. Theater parking is free. Tickets for this performance, priced at $30 and $25, $10 for students, may be purchased Wednesday, Jan. 20, between noon and 4 p.m. at the theater box office, or prior to concert time. Reservations may also be made by phoning (562) 403-2944. And visit our website at www.downeysymphony.org. One final note: The Downey Symphony does not recommend the use of nitric acid as an aid in forming career decisions. You knew that, didn't you?
********** Published: January 15, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 39