Featuring the winners of the 2011 Westminster Conservatory Piano Concerto Competition and community ensembles.
Anne Sears
Westminster Community Orchestra, Ruth Ochs, conductor

Westminster Community Orchestra, Ruth Ochs, conductor

Westminster Conservatory will present a showcase featuring community ensembles and the winners of its piano concerto competition on Sunday, March 13 at 3 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the campus of Princeton University.

The program will feature the Westminster Community Orchestra, Ruth Ochs, conductor; the Westminster Conservatory Children’s Choir and the Trenton Children’s Chorus, Patricia Thel, conductor; the Princeton High School Freshman Women’s Choir, Vincent Metallo, conductor; and the Princeton Charter School/Westminster Conservatory Youth Orchestra, Ruth Ochs, conductor. 

Each of the piano concerto competition winners will perform a concerto movement with one of the orchestras.  Farshad Tahvildar-Zadeh will perform the first movement of Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Emperor, by Ludwig van Beethoven. Jonathan Taratuta-Titus will perform the third movement from Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, The Egyptian, by Camille Saint-Saëns.  Aditya Raguram will perform the third movement of Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor by Camille Saint-Saëns.  Albert Lee will perform the first movement of Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Now celebrating its 25th season, the Westminster Community is composed of professional and gifted amateur musicians from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They come from all walks of life but share a common goal: the desire to make wonderful music for themselves and their community.

The Westminster Children's Choir program has performed with the Westminster Community Orchestra each year for over 10 years. The Cantus Choir, the middle school honors section of the choirs, has performed three times at the White House and once at the National Cathedral.  They have performed several times with the Trenton Children's Chorus and were invited to sing with them at the United Nations this year.

The Trenton Children’s Chorus (TCC), now in its 21st year, offers traditional choral music education and performance opportunities to children in grades K-12 from the greater Trenton area. The program includes rehearsal, music theory, drumming, tutoring and homework help. TCC offers current students and graduates financial support for tutoring, music lessons, private secondary schools and college.

Princeton Charter School/Westminster Conservatory Youth Orchestra, conducted by Ruth Ochs, was founded in February 2009 to serve middle-school instrumentalists at the Princeton Charter School and interested musicians from the Westminster Conservatory community. Its mission is to create an inclusive, non-competitive environment to help nourish students’ love of music and advance their orchestral skills.

Conductor Ruth Ochs, now in her sixth season as conductor and music director of the Westminster Community Orchestra, has led the orchestra in performances of major orchestral and choral-orchestral works. Under her leadership the orchestra continues to feature choral ensembles and soloists from the Westminster Conservatory and to collaborate with Westminster Choir College students in piano concerto concerts and readings of new music. She is also the conductor of the Princeton Charter School/Westminster Conservatory Youth Orchestra and in her ninth season as the conductor of the Princeton University Sinfonia.

Patricia Thel, conductor, founded the Children’s Choir Program at Westminster 21 years ago. In addition to her work through the Conservatory she has taught as an adjunct at Westminster Choir College and Ithaca College School of Music. Under her direction, the Cantus Choir has performed three times at the White House and once at the National Cathedral in addition to performances at Princeton University and Westminster. She is also the artistic director of the Trenton Children's Chorus.

Conductor Vincent Metallo has distinguished himself in recent years as an eagerly sought after conductor, singer and music educator. In his third year as Director of the Princeton High School Choral Department, Mr. Metallo has held the positions of Chair of the Performing Arts at the Princeton Day School, Artistic Director of the American Boychoir and Assistant Professor of Music at Westminster Choir College, DePauw University, Wellesley College and Lehigh University.

Farshad Tahvildar- Zadeh is a senior at Princeton High School. He has received many piano honors including being a first place winner of the Westminster Conservatory’s Concerto Competition three times and winner of the Westminster Conservatory’s Piano Scholarship Competition in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.  

Jonathan Taratuta Titus is also a Princeton High School senior. A member of Westminster’s Young Artists Program, he studies piano and chamber music with Margarita Shklar and saxophone and clarinet with Kenneth Ellison. Jonathan has previously won the Conservatory Concerto Competition twice on saxophone.

Aditya Raguram is a Princeton High School freshman. He has won several awards including the Conservatory’s concerto and scholarship competitions, NJMTA, American Fine Arts Festival and Music-Fest competitions. He has performed at many venues including Weill Recital Hall, Hochschule fur Musik Franz Liszt Weimar, Hochschule fur Musik Wurzburg, and Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris.

Albert Lee, a junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, has played piano since he was seven. A winner in Westminster Conservatory’s 2009 Concerto and 2010 Scholarship Competitions, he has performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, most recently as a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival 2010 Fall Gala Concert.  

Westminster Conservatory is the community music school of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts.

Admission to the performance is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. To order tickets call the Box Office at 609-258-9220 or go to  www.princeton.edu/utickets.