The Modesto Symphony Orchestra has hired a talented teenager from Chicago to serve as guest soloist of its Vivaldi Four Seasons program Feb. 8-9 at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
Only 15 years old, Ade (pronounced ah-DAY) Williams already is an accomplished artist who recently soloed with orchestras in Erie, Pa., Cleveland, South Bend, Ind., and Grand Rapids, Mich.
It was her engagement with the Grand Rapids Symphony that led to her invitation to perform in Modesto. David Lockington conducts both orchestras. "She's remarkable," Lockington said in a phone interview.
The intimate Modesto concertwill feature an 18-piece string orchestra plus a harpsichord performing music from the Baroque period (1600-1750). The group will play Antonio Vivaldi's famed "Four Seasons" and Concerto in D Minor, Johann Pachelbel's beloved Canon, Luigi Boccherini's "La Musica Delle Strade de Madrid" and Henry Purcell's Chacony in G Minor.
Lockington said much of the music has been featured in movies and TV shows. "I wanted to do a Baroque program that would be pleasing to everyone, with very famous pieces," he said.
Vivaldi wrote four sonnets to go with each of his compositions on the seasons that explain what the music is supposed to evoke.
"There are birds singing, dogs barking, the sounds of winter and summer storms and rain falling on the roof," Lockington said. "The music of Vivaldi had an enormous impact on Bach and on the Baroque period in general. He was a really imaginative Baroque composer."
Pachelbel's Canon is a staple of weddings, and the Boccherrini piece was performed by Russell Crowe's character in the 2003 movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World."
Williams, the guest soloist, has been playing violin since age 3 and currently studies at the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy program. She is home-schooled to give her more time to perform across the country.
The bubbly teen said she loved violin from the moment she started playing. Her mother said at her first recital, she held the last note of "Twinkle Little Star" a long time because she was having so much fun.
Neither of her parents are musicians. While her mother studied piano as a child, she didn't continue on with the instrument.
Williams said she generally practices four to five hours every day during the school year and up to eight hours a day during the summer.
She enjoys violin so much that the heavy schedule isn't a burden.
"I love it," Williams said. "I love everything about it."
WHAT: Modesto Symphony Orchestra: Vivaldi Four Seasons
WHEN: 8 p.m.Feb. 8-9
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 338-2100