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Friends of Wadsworth Concert announces March 12 event

  • By Maggie Bowers
  • |
  • Feb. 05, 2016 - 12:52 PM

Friends of Wadsworth Concert announces March 12 event

The Newnan Times-Herald

Nokuthula Ngwenyama

Tickets will be on sale beginning today for the annual 2016 Friends of Wadsworth Concert: The Legacy Continues, which will take place March 12 at the Charles Wadsworth Auditorium located at 25 Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan.

The evening of song and chamber music will feature rising stars of the classical music world, with Newnan’s own Courteney Budd returning to the Wadsworth as artistic director and host.

Musicians Nokuthula Ngwenyama on viola, Wendy Sutter on cello, Laura Ward on piano, and returning is a familiar face to Newnan audiences, Chee-Yun on violin will perform at 7:30 p.m. Budd, herself an accomplished soprano, will also be joined by internationally-known baritone Randall Scarlata.

Nokuthula Ngwenyama, also known as “Thula,” for short, is a resident of Phoenix, AZ, not far from her native California. Ngwenyama gained international attention after winning the Primrose International Viola Competition and the Young Con- cert Artists International Auditions at age 17. Plaudits followed her debut recitals in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center and in New York at the 92nd Street ‘Y,’ and in 1998 Ngwenyama received the presti- gious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Featured as a “Face to Watch” in the Los Angeles Times, Ngwenyama’s perfor- mances as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician garner great attention. Gramophone proclaimed her playing as providing “solidly shaped music of bold, mesmerizing character,” and the Washington Post described her as playing “with dazzling technique in the virtuoso fast movements and deep expressiveness in the slow movements.”

Recent highlights include an appearance with the Sinfonieta Cracovia performing Pendericki’s Viola Concerto and multiple domestic performances, including appearances at the Kimmel Center in Philadel- phia and on the People’s Concert Series in New York with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She also completed a recording project of the three Bach Gamba Sonatas with keyboardist Eckart Sellheim. Ngwenyama has performed throughout the United States and across four continents.

Heralded as “one of the great leading cellists of the classical stage” by the Wall Street Journal, Wendy Sutter has proven herself to be one of the leading soloists of her generation. She is widely acclaimed by critics in the New York Times, the Wash- ington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sutter continues to perform on the beautiful “Ex-Vatican Stradivarius,” a cello was built in 1620 by the great Italian maker Nicolo Amati.

The cello began its life as a viola da gamba. Amati’s prize student, Antonio Stradivari, transformed it into the bigger, more modern sized cello, which then spent a century participating in performances and services in the Sistine Chapel.

In the 19th century the French luthier, Georges Chanot put the finishing touches on the expansion, then covered his work with gorgeous filigree and paintings of two angels with tambourine and harp. On the back of the cello are paintings of the Vatican flag and Papal hat, protected by two renaissance dolphins. This instrument came into Sutter’s hands through loan from the New York firm of Morel & Gradoux-Matt.

Sutter has appeared and collaborated with many prominent orchestras and con- ductors including The Brussels Philharmonic, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Dallas Symphony (2012) The Seattle Symphony, The Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, The North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, The Shanghai Symphony, The Juilliard Symphony, The Shenzen Philharmonic, The Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, The La Jolla Symphony and The Youth Orchestra of the Americas.

General admission tickets are $20 and are available online at Tickets can also be pur- chased at several local outlets including: Let Them Eat Toffee downtown on North Court Square; the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau in the historic Courthouse downtown; Matrix Insurance, 3111 Hwy. 34 E., Suite D, at Thomas Cross- roads; and SouthTowne Motors, 695 Bulls- boro Dr.

For more information, or to find out about other upcoming events at the Wadsworth, visit the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission section on the City of Newnan website at .