Dearborn Symphony presents ‘Fantastique!’ Friday

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Symphony The Dearborn Symphony concert Friday will feature cellist Julie Albers.

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Symphony
The Dearborn Symphony concert Friday will feature cellist Julie Albers.

Critically acclaimed for her superlative artistry, charismatic and radiant performing style, and intense musicianship, cellist Julie Albers will be the featured artist during the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra’s “Fantastique!” concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.

Albers will perform Schumann’s “Cello Concerto” with the orchestra. The romantic, highly expressive piece was described by pre-eminent 20th century cellist Pablo Casals as “one of the finest works one could wish to hear – sublime music from beginning to end.”

The program begins with the “Overture to Mignon,” a love story and one of the most popular operas of the late 19th century. The concert culminates with Berlioz’ spectacular showpiece, “Symphonie Fantastique,” a musical tale of hopeless love when a young man’s obsessed love turns from a pastoral dream to a nightmare of jealousy. Its movements are replete with moments of tenderness, visions of suicide and murder, ecstasy and despair — a reflection of the composer’s own obcessed love.

“The subject of this musical drama was none other than my love for Miss Smithson and the anguish and ‘bad dreams’ it had brought me,” Berlioz. said of the piece.

James Walters, a musician and Dearborn music teacher, will conduct a humorous free preview of the evening’s music at 7 p.m.

Albers began cello studies at the age of 4. She moved to Cleveland during her junior year of high school to attend the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was soon awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, and as a result toured France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai.

She made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. She has won international cello competitions, and in 2003 was named the first Gold Medal Laureate of South Korea’s Gyeongnam International Music Competition, winning the $25,000 grand prize.

In addition to solo, recital and ensemble performances, Albers is assistant professor and holds the Mary Jean and Charles Yates Cello Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. She performs on a N.F. Vuillaume cello made in 1872.

Tickets, ranging from $15 to $30, are available by phoning the symphony at 313-565-2424 or at the theater box office at 313-943-2354. Go to www.dearbornsymphony.org for more information.

The Ford Center is at 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

The Dearborn Symphony has partnered with local restaurants for “Dinner and a Concert.” The restaurants offer a 20 percent discount to symphony ticket-holders on concert nights.

Advance reservations are recommended at Andiamo Dearborn, Big Fish, Ciao, Double Tree Grille39, The Dearborn Inn, The Henry, Kiernan’s & Silky’s, La Pita, and Ollie’s.

The concert and afterglow are sponsored by Friends of the Dearborn Symphony.

Season sponsors include Ford Land and Dearborn Sausage Co.