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Join the YSO for an exciting concert of classical masterworks, joined by renowned

artists Eliot Heaton (violin) and John Madison (viola)

YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN, January 9, 2024— Music Director Adam C. Riccinto and the Ypsilanti

Symphony Orchestra (YSO) continue celebrating their 25th season as the orchestra takes the stage at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center for a concert of classical favorites on Sunday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m. The orchestra will be joined by celebrated guest artists, violinist Eliot Heaton and violist John Madison, who will delight audiences with a collaborative performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola. The family-friendly concert will also offer two masterpieces by Czech composer Antonin Dvořák: the popular Carnival Overture and the joyful Symphony No. 8.

““The Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra is honored to welcome exceptional artists Eliot Heaton and John Madison to the stage in this special performance of the Mozart Sinfonia for violin and viola,” said Music Director Adam C. Riccinto. “Those who have been lucky enough to hear either of them perform know the opportunity to hear them concertizing together will be a special experience. Audiences are in for a treat, and this program of works by Mozart and Dvorak is one everyone will enjoy.”

Violinist Eliot Heaton is the current Concertmaster of the Detroit Opera Orchestra, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Saginaw Bay Symphony. He previously served as Concertmaster of the Terre Haute Symphony and Oberlin Symphony orchestras, and has played as guest Concertmaster with the Lansing Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. He also plays as an extra musician in both the Detroit and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Eliot has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras throughout the Midwest, performing a wide variety of concertos from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. He also performs regularly on a number of chamber series, including Chamber Soloists of Detroit, the Scarab Club, New Music Detroit, the Geneva Music Festival, and Manchester Summer Chamber Music.

Eliot was a double major at Oberlin College and Conservatory, earning degrees in History and in violin performance, the latter with Professor Marilyn McDonald. He later received his Master of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying violin with Professor Kevork Mardirossian and completing an outside area specialty in jazz studies. When he’s not playing the violin, he enjoys reading, tennis, and spending time with his wife and their two cats. Eliot plays on a 2019 Joseph Curtin violin.

Violist John Alexander Madison received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Viola Performance from The University of Michigan and is currently the Principal Violist of The Detroit Opera orchestra, and performs regularly with The Detroit Symphony and the Sphinx Symphony orchestras. He is a founding member of New Verse Chamber Ensemble and The Cassini Ensemble and performs chamber music as a guest with various chamber ensembles around the country. John has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Grosse Pointe Symphony and Southfield Symphony, and has performed as guest with The New York City Opera and toured the United States with the Paris Chamber Orchestra.

As an educator, John has taught at Sienna Heights College, University of Michigan, served as Dean of the Sphinx Preparatory Music program, and is currently on faculty at Wayne State University. Outside of music, John is a master gardener and enjoys spending time both gardening and landscaping. He has also been a hospice volunteer for over 25 years, specializing in terminal children. John’s latest recording project “Of Time and Love,” music for contralto, viola and piano, was recently released on Centaur records.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed his three-movement Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in 1779 at the age of 23. The work falls somewhere between the symphony and the concerto, beautifully incorporating aspects of both by highlighting the two solo instruments equally through their interplay with each other, and with the modest but richly voiced orchestra.

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) wrote his Carnival Overture in 1891, premiering it the following year in Prague and then in America at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The work was the second in a collection of three overtures by the composer intended to represent Nature, Life, and Love. The exuberant and spirited Carnival Overture—embodying life and merriment—is characterized by evocative instrumentation and lighthearted musical references to the dances and folk melodies of Dvořák’s native Bohemia.

Similarly, Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, composed in 1889, is steeped in the music of Dvořák’s homeland. The composer dedicated the work in gratitude for his election to the Bohemian Academy of Science, Literature and the Arts. The four-movement work is optimistic and lyrical, beginning with a rapturous opening movement, followed by a melancholy Adagio and waltzing third movement—all culminating in a thrilling finale marked by fanfares and lively dances that bring this unmistakenly Bohemian work to a jubilant conclusion. 

The YSO will perform with Eliot Heaton and John Madison as guest artists on Sunday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln High School’s Performing Arts Center, 7425 Willis Road, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students/seniors/children, and $30/ per family, and can be purchased at the door or online at A2Tix.com.

The Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) is proud of its unique and significant cultural contribution to the Ypsilanti area. The YSO’s mission is “to share our passion for music through innovative programming, creative collaboration, and arts advocacy,” and to “actively contribute to the music appreciation and education of our musicians, organizational members and audience.” Led by Founder and Music Director Adam C. Riccinto, the Symphony marks its 25th anniversary with the 2024-24 season.

The YSO is grateful for the many businesses and individuals who shared their support by contributing auction items. The YSO also thanks its Corporate Sponsors: Bank of Ann Arbor, The City of Ypsilanti Bicentennial Committee, Dennis Green, Dykema, The Faber Piano Institute, in2being LLC., Dan and Linda Wagner, Washtenaw Parks & Recreation Commission, Wealthpoint Management, The Ypsilanti Performance Space (The Ypsi), and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. As well as our Business Sponsors: The Brian Bundesen Team, King’s Keyboard House, Meadow Montessori School, The Pho House, Ruoff Mortgage, Satchel’s BBQ, Sidetracks Bar & Grill, South Arbor Animal Hospital, and Wellspring Healing Center LLC.

More information about the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra can be found at www.ypsilantisymphony.org, on Instagram @ypsilantisymphony, on TikTok @ypsilantisymphony, on our youtube channel @ypsilantisymphonyorchestra194  and on Facebook.

Venue Information

Lincoln High School
7425 Willis Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Organizer Information

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra

P.O. Box 970942
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

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