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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will bring its second Carnegie Hall program to Lafayette this season as heralded Russian violinist Vadim Repin joins it in performing Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor 8 p.m. tonight at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Also on the program for the center’s annual J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Concert are Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, Ravel’s “Tombeau de Couperin,” and the world premiere of a new work by Marc Mellits.

Tickets are free for students, $4 for faculty and staff, and $27 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the box office at (610) 330-5009.

Prior to the concert, the public is invited to two free events: an open rehearsal at 6 p.m. and a talk at 7 p.m. in Williams Center room 108 by Mellits and Orpheus clarinetist Alan Kay, who was actively involved in commissioning Orpheus’ new work.

Repin’s artistry combines fiery passion with impeccable technique, poetry, and sensitivity, prompting critics to praise him as “the foremost young violinist to have emerged from Russia since the days of Heifetz, Milstein, and David Oistrakh.”

Born in Siberia, Repin began his international career at 17 after winning the most prestigious and demanding violin competition in the world, the Queen Elizabeth Competition. Since then he has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras, including Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, La Scala Milan, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

A strong advocate of new music, Repin has received accolades for his performances of John Adams’ Violin Concerto with Chicago Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, conducted by the composer. He performed Gubaidulina’s Offertorium in his Boston Symphony debut and shortly thereafter with the City of Birmingham Symphony. He is a recipient of the Echo Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year award.

Repin has been a frequent guest at festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Gstaad, Rheingau, Verbier, and BBC Proms. His invitation to the Louvre in Paris resulted in a prize-winning live recording of chamber music. He also was invited to perform at the eve-of-wedding concert of Crown Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands. Held for wedding guests that included royalty and heads of state from around the world, the event took place in Amsterdam’s historic Concertgebouw. Repin played a tango written by composer John Williams in honor of the bride.

Recognized internationally as one of the world’s great chamber orchestras, Orpheus is celebrating its 33rd season. Williams Center audiences enjoy Orpheus’ final polishing of its award-winning recording projects, major international tours, and numerous Carnegie Hall programs. Its Lafayette series has included many guest appearances by musicians later showcased by Orpheus at Carnegie Hall, from countertenor Andreas Scholl and bassist Edgar Meyer to saxophonist Branford Marsalis and violinist Gil Shaham. Local audiences have been treated to musicians unlikely to be heard in other roles: pianists Jeffrey Kahane, Andre Watts, Cecile Licad, and Olli Mustonen; violinists Shaham and Elmar Oliveira; vocalists Scholl, Nathalie Stutzman, Milagro Vargas, and Carmen Pelton; and bassist Meyer.

Orpheus also has received numerous distinctions and awards, including a 2001 Grammy Award for Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, three 1999 Grammy Awards for its jazz-inspired Ravel and Gershwin collaboration with Herbie Hancock, the 1998 Grammy nomination for its recording of Mozart piano concertos with Goode, and the 1998 “Ensemble of the Year” award by Musical America.

Orpheus was founded in 1972 by cellist Julian Fifer and a group of fellow musicians who aspired to perform chamber orchestral repertory as chamber music through their own close collaborative efforts, and without a conductor. Orpheus developed its approach to the study and performance of this repertory by bringing to the orchestral setting the chamber music principles of personal involvement and mutual respect. Orpheus is a self-governing organization, making the repertory and interpretive decisions ordinarily assumed by a conductor. Holt/NY Times Books published a book about Orpheus and its management model, Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World’s Only Conductorless Orchestra, written by former Orpheus executive director Harvey Seifter and business writer Peter Economy.

Members of Orpheus have received recognition for solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances. Of the 18 string and 10 wind players who comprise the basic membership of Orpheus, many also hold teaching positions at prominent conservatories and universities in the New York and New England areas, including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Montclair State University, Mannes College of Music, and Columbia and Yale Universities.

The Orpheus recording legacy consists of nearly 70 albums. Included in the catalogue of over 50 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon are Baroque masterworks of Handel, Corelli, and Vivaldi, Haydn symphonies, Mozart symphonies and serenades, the complete Mozart wind concerti with Orpheus members as soloists, Romantic works by Dvorák, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky, and a number of 20th-century classics by Bartók, Prokofiev, Fauré, Ravel, Schoenberg, Ives, Copland and Stravinsky. Recent collaborations include a recording of English and American folk songs with countertenor Andreas Scholl (Decca); Creation, a jazz-inspired CD of classics from 1920s Paris with saxophonist Branford Marsalis (SONY Classical); and a critically acclaimed series of recordings of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode (Nonesuch).

The nationally recognized Performance Series at Lafayette attracts more than 10,000 people each season. It has been cited for performing excellence by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, Chamber Music America, Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, and Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

The 2005–2006 Performance Series is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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