Philharmonic Orchestra concert to feature faculty soloist

December 01, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra will presents its final concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Eisenhower Auditorium, featuring music by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Highlighting the program is a performance of Samuel Barber's violin concerto with faculty violinist James Lyon. The Philharmonic is conducted by Gerardo Edelstein. He is assisted by conducting graduate student Fernanda Lastra.

Tickets are $12 for general admission $12 and $4 for students. Buy tickets in advance for School of Music concerts in Eisenhower Auditorium and save 40 percent. There is no limit on the number. Purchases made the the day of the concert are not eligible. Tickets are available at any Arts Ticket Center location, by phone at 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX, or online at Penn State Arts Ticket Center.

This concert is available on livestream at the Penn State School of Music.


Romeo and Juliet Overture - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Fernanda Lastra, conductor)

Violin Concerto, Op. 14 - Samuel Barber (with James Lyon, violin)

- Allegro

- Andante

- Presto in moto perpetuo

Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47 - Dmitri Shostakovich

- Moderato – Allegro non troppo

- Allegretto

- Largo

- Allegro non troppo

Praised as “a dramatic violin soloist,” James Lyon has been lauded by the press for his “virtually definitive performance” of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219.  His performances have taken him to places as varied as Amman, Jordan, where he performed for Queen Noor; to Venice, where he performed in a concert attended by Gian Carlo Menotti; to Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, where he performed to critical acclaim as a member of two Penn State ensembles, the Castalia Trio and Duo Concertant. 

Lyon has presented masterclasses at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, the Paris Conservatory, and at the Eastman School of Music. He has collaborated in performances with members of the Ying and Tokyo Quartets, as well as members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Players. Prior to his appointment at Penn State, Lyon was a member of the Harrington Quartet, 1987 Grand Prize Winners of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Artists-in Residence at West Texas State University.

Lyon’s students have been national prizewinners in both the Young Artists Division of the Music Teachers National Association Competition and the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition, as well as numerous local and regional competitions. They perform in the Spektral Quartet, the U.S. Army Strings, the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony (CM), the Erie Chamber Orchestra (CM), the Baton Rouge Symphony (Assoc. CM), and other fine orchestras.  His students are on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Louisiana State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rider University, Grove City College, and Lycoming College. Numerous students have become outstanding music educators, as well as private teachers of violin. 

He has been honored to receive teaching awards from the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teacher’s Association and the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State, where he was also a Schreyer Distinguished Honors Professor from 2011-2014. His recordings are available worldwide and include several works by prominent women composers of the 19th century. His recording with the Castalia Trio of trios by Brahms and Ravel was honored with the Sound Stage Award shortly after it was released on Skrvna Records in the Czech Republic.

James Lyon is a professor of music at Penn State, and is a member of the violin and chamber music faculty at the Wintergreen Academy in Virginia. He performs on an 1869 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin, as well a 1983 violin crafted by American luthier David Burgess.

The 90-member Philharmonic presents five to six full concerts per academic year. Off campus, the Philharmonic has performed throughout the northeastern United States, including concerts at New York City's Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and the MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore. In March 2006, the orchestra participated by invitation in the Sixth International Orchestra Festival in Zaragoza, Spain. The Philharmonic’s repertoire from recent years has included works by Brahms, Debussy, Dvorak, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Rachmaninoff, and Wagner. Enrollment, open to all University Park students, is by audition at the beginning of each semester.

  • James Lyon, violin

    Faculty member James Lyon

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated December 14, 2017