Violin virtuoso joins Auburn Symphony Orchestra for special show

Auburn Symphony Orchestra welcomes 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Rachell Ellen Wong to perform in ASO’s January concert. “Pure Resonance” will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Auburn Performing Arts Center. Tickets and information can be found at or by calling the ASO office at 253-887-7777. Ticket prices are $40 general, $32 seniors, and $12 students.

Rachell Ellen Wong will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s passionate Violin Concerto. Auburn Symphony is excited to be able to reschedule Wong to perform in Auburn after her performance in September was postponed. She is a co-founder of Twelfth Night, specialist in both Baroque and modern violin, and concertmaster of Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Rachell Ellen Wong is a rising star on both the historical performance and modern violin stages. She has performed in numerous countries spanning five continents. Her growing reputation as one of the top historical performers of her generation has resulted in appearances with renowned ensembles such as the Academy of Ancient Music, American Bach Soloists, Jupiter Ensemble (led by lutenist Thomas Dunford), Bach Collegium Japan, Les Arts Florissants, and others. Equally accomplished on the modern violin, Rachell made her first public appearance with Philharmonia Northwest at age 11 and has since performed as a soloist with orchestras such as Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá and the Seattle Symphony. Rachell made her conducting debut with the Seattle Symphony in 2020 when she directed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons from the violin. She also serves as concertmaster of Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Also on the program is Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, widely regarded as his finest symphony. Shostakovich found it difficult to compose in a climate of Soviet artistic censorship. It was with his Tenth Symphony that he began to find a more personal voice in his music. Composed soon after the death of Stalin, this piece is filled with moments of melancholy, rage, defiance, and ultimately exultation as Shostakovich finds and expresses his truth.

A recent addition to the program is Jean Sibelius’s popular work, Finlandia. This hymn-like symphonic poem was written to rouse a feeling of Finnish pride at a time of Russian oppression in Finland a half century before Shostakovich’s Tenth. The selection of these two pieces is unfortunately relevant today during the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ticketholders are invited to join the symphony for Meet the Music, a pre-concert lecture, with Dr. Gwynne Kuhner Brown, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Brown, Professor of Music at the University of Puget Sound, has presented her scholarship at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, at the African American Art Song Alliance.