Orchestra Concert Features Crane Concerto Competition Winners


Crane Student Concerto Competition winner Mikaela Davis will perform on the harp alongside the Crane Symphony Orchestra on April 9.

The Crane Symphony Orchestra will perform alongside the winners of the annual Crane Student Concerto Competition in an upcoming concert, on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

The program will start with “Concertstück pour Harpe et Orchestre” by Gabriel Pierné, featuring Mikaela Davis on the harp. Student pianist Rhimmon Simchy-Gross will then present the “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C-Minor” by Sergei Rachmaninoff alongside the orchestra.

After the intermission, the Crane Symphony Orchestra concert will conclude with “Symphony No. 2 (A London Symphony)” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

This event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

About the performers:

Mikaela Davis has played harp since she was eight and has studied with Grace Wong, principal harpist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, for nine years. Davis was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2006 to 2010, and performed Debussy’s “Danse Profane” in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater as a concerto competition winner. She performed “The Planets” and “Symphonie Fantastique” with the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra in 2009, and was the winner of the Charlie Coté Music Award in 2010 for her own compositions. She recently recorded and released a 13-track self-titled album of original music where she sings, plays harp, and is joined by guitar, sitar, keyboard and drums. Davis is a junior at The Crane School of Music, studying harp performance with Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis and is a recipient of the Curtis S. and Irma B. Bailey Memorial Scholarship, the Mary Lou Hultberg Scholarship and a Crane Scholarship. For the past three years, she has arranged popular songs for the Crane Harp Ensemble. Her research project for the SUNY Potsdam Presidential Scholar Program is to publish and distribute these arrangements so that young harpists can gain better ensemble experience. This year, Davis was selected to perform in the Crane Honors Concert, where she played “Scintillation” by Carlos Salzedo.

While studying with artist Steven Heyman in Syracuse, N.Y., Rhimmon Simchy-Gross took top prizes in several competitions, including the 2008 Chopin International Piano Competition of the Thousand Islands, the 2008 Music Teachers National Association New York State Division Piano Competition, the 2008 Central New York Association of Music Teachers Advanced Piano Competition, and the 2008 Patricia DeAngelis Piano Competition. As the first prize-winner of the Youth Concerto Competition, Simchy-Gross performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in 2009. After participating in masterclasses with artists Andre LaPlante, Marc Durand and Anton Kuerti at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec, and at the Adamante School in Vermont, Simchy-Gross had the privilege of performing in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2012. Currently in the piano studio of Eugenia Tsarov at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in piano performance and a second major in psychology. Anticipating graduation in May 2013, Simchy-Gross plans to move on to graduate work with Lisa Margulis at the University of Arkansas, conducting research in the field of music cognition, and pursuing a Ph.D. in experimental psychology.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.