Youth solo winners to play in Dearborn Symphony’s final concert of season

Photos courtesy of the Dearborn Symphony
Isabelle Lian (above) and Allen Chang (below) are the two winners of the Dearborn Symphony’s Youth Artists Solo Competition. They will be performing at the final concert of the Dearborn Symphony’s 52nd season on Friday at the Ford Community
& Performing Arts Center.

Under the baton of Conductor Kypros Markou, the Dearborn Symphony ends its 52nd season with a rousing climax Friday at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. following a humorous free preview of the evening’s music at 7 p.m. by Jim Walters, a musician and Dearborn music teacher.

Tickets ranging from $15 to $30 (student $10) are available by phoning the Symphony office at 313-565-2424 or at the theater box office at 313-943-2354. Contact the Symphony office for group discounts. Go to for more information.

Aram Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Suite” sets the stage followed by Walter Piston’s “The Incredible Flutist Suite,” which takes place in a marketplace teeming with activity and enlivened by a circus. Among its troupe is an “Incredible Flutist,” a snake charmer who also bewitches women.

This concert is the orchestra’s annual celebration of youth. A perennial favorite, for those who haven’t attended before, the concert features the two winners of the Dearborn Symphony’s Youth Artists Solo Competition — Isabelle Lian, piano, and Allen Chang, clarinet.

This competition that was held this year at Marygrove College, is intended to discover, recognize and encourage youth with exceptional musical talent in southeast Michigan who study classical music. Contestants pay an application fee to compete for this award, and are judged by principals from the Dearborn Symphony, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and music educators.

In addition to a monetary prize, the winners are invited to solo with the Dearborn Symphony. Several past winners are now on world tours as major talents.

The competition was funded in part by support from Janet and William Leslie, and Anne and Donovan Bakalyar. The winner’s cash awards are funded by the Frank and Mary Padzieski Trust, and Anina and Ben Bachrach.

Lian, a seventh-grader at Novi Middle School, began piano lessons at age 5 and now studies with Professor Arthur Greene at the University of Michigan. Lian has won numerous piano competitions beginning in 2009.

Most recently, she won second place at the Michigan Music Teacher Association Concerto Competition, grades 7 to 9, and in 2013 she won first place at the Livonia Area Piano Teachers Forum Elementary Division Competition; she also received honorable mention in the Music Teachers National Association Competition.

Lian will perform the first movement, “Allegro Con Brio,” of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 1,” written to show off his piano prowess.

Allen Chang, a junior at Ann Arbor Huron High School, has played the clarinet since fifth grade. He started lessons with Lisa Raschiatore, Dearborn Symphony principal clarinet, and now studies with Professor Chad Burrow at U-M.

Chang plays in the Huron Symphony Band and Symphony Orchestra, and is also principal clarinet of the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra. An avid performer, he is the winner of the 2014 Ann Arbor Concert Band Concerto Competition and Michigan Pops Concerto Competition.

He is also first prize winner in his age group for the 2014 American Protégé International Concerto Competition (earning him a performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in May), and a finalist for the 2014 Navy Band Concerto Competition.

Chang will perform the “Allegro” movement of Carl Maria von Weber’s “Clarinet Concerto No. 2,” written to show off the capabilities of the clarinet. The movement ends with a virtuosic flair.

In keeping with the symphony’s annual Salute to Youth, the Dearborn Youth Symphony will join the Dearborn Symphony to perform Aleksandr Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances.” Drawn from his opera “Prince Igor,” the music was used for the 1953 musical “Kismet,” earning Borodin a posthumous Tony Award. The “Dances” flow from one to the other merging in a grand finale.

Concert goers who subscribe to the symphony’s 2014-15 season at the May 2 concert, will receive a corsage.

The Dearborn Symphony has partnered with local restaurants for “Dinner and a Concert.” The restaurants — Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse, Big Fish, Kiernan’s Steak House and Silky’s, LaPita, The Dearborn Inn and Tria at The Henry — offer a 20 percent discount to symphony ticket-holders on concert nights.

Advance reservations are recommended.