String Orchestra brings virtuoso guest to Missoula after two-year wait

Cory Walsh

The music on the String Orchestra of the Rockies concert this Sunday spans time and place, from 1822 in Germany to 2005 in Oregon. It’s also been two years’ wait for Stephanie Chase, an award-winning violinist, to perform here in Missoula.

“Knock on wood, it’s finally happening,” said Maria Larionoff, the artistic director of the conductorless professional ensemble.

In 2020, they extended an invitation to Chase, a fully rounded performer “from the virtuosity to the great intellect” who has arranged large-scale works for string orchestra, Larionoff said.

Chase’s April 2020 concert was then postponed until the following spring. Then it was postponed again, since they didn’t want to fly her out only to play for an extremely limited audience.

The program, though, has held the same since it was originally mapped out. Larionoff said Chase has a working repertoire of about 50 concertos, so it was not an issue.

The concert is diverse, running from a light opening piece, Gershwin’s Lullaby, followed by Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Strings. Chase will be featured on that piece, and the following, Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) Opus 20. The closer is “String Circle,” by Oregon composer Kenji Bunch, which

View Source