Violinist featured at Rockford Symphony’s SoundBites Feb. 10

Staff Report

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) welcomes Canadian-born violinist Michele Lekas, the RSO’s concertmaster, as the guest artist for SoundBites, the lunchtime discussion series hosted by RSO Music Director Steven Larsen.

SoundBites will be held at noon, Friday, Feb. 10, at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See-Country Club, 5151 Guilford Road. The violinist will perform the Concert Fantasy on Carmen by Pablo De Sarasate with the RSO at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center as part of the Valentine Bon-bons Concert.

This seminal composition is a virtuoso showpiece in the violin repertoire. Lekas has served as concertmaster with the orchestra since 1994 and has become an audience favorite. Her elegant and engaging performances with the RSO most recently included thematic solo passages in Scheherazade, which she performed at the RSO’s January 2012 Classics concert.

SoundBites is an engaging and entertaining prelude to the RSO concert experience. The discussions begin at noon on the Friday before each RSO Classics Series concert at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See-Country Club. The SoundBites lunchtime series includes informal discussions featuring Music Director Larsen and a variety of exciting guest musicians who will perform with the RSO on concerts throughout the season.

SoundBites is free; however, reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by calling (815) 972-2939. Cash or checks only are accepted for lunch orders.

The topics for each SoundBites vary, offering a personal perspective by the particular guest musician featured at the discussion. Insights into the performers’ backgrounds and their reflections on the music they will perform with the RSO are major features of the series. There is also ample opportunity for those attending the discussions to join in with questions or comments.

For more information about other RSO events and concerts, call (815) 965-0049 or visit

From the Feb. 8-14, 2012, issue

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