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Huntington Symphony kicks off year with 'A Mozart Birthday Celebration'

Jan. 08, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- He barely made it out of childhood.

He was one of seven children, five of which died as infants.

And he only lived to age 35, but in his relatively short life, few people made an impact on music like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The musical life of Mozart, who wrote more than 600 pieces of music before he passed away on Dec. 5, 1791, is celebrated on Thursday, Jan. 10, as the Huntington Symphony Orchestra kicks off the year with "A Mozart Birthday Celebration" fundraiser set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Touma Museum, 314 9th St., Huntington.

Cost is $25 per person.

Attendees will be able to enjoy wine, cheese and appetizers as well as a selection of Mozart pieces played by concert master, Elizabeth Reed Smith on viola, Kristen Alves, on violin and Wendell Dobbs on flute. Call 304-781-8343 or go online at www.huntingtonsymphony.org for more info.

Hogan Haas, the executive director of the symphony, said the fun night of music is a way to celebrate a composer whose concertos, symphonies and operas are still widely performed today.

"Mozart's birthday is in the next couple weeks (Jan. 27) and so it's a 222-year celebration of his birthday," Haas said. "We're hoping to do a series of specialty fundraisers to emphasize different composers."

Haas said the event will be a like a classy happy hour with tuxedo-wearing waiters whisking light hor d'ouevres and drinks to diners as they revel in the chamber trio's romp through Mozart compositions such as "Country Dances, K. 606," as well as compositions by Franz Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven as well as Mozart's father, Leopold.

Haas said the event is a nice way to showcase some of the 55-member orchestra's players who come to Huntington from cities around the region for every concert.

"We do some smaller ensembles for the schools but this is one of the first times we've done this for the public," Haas said. "It's a great way to showcase the professional musicians that we do have. When you put them with the whole orchestra they don't shine as much, as here you will be able to see their playing up close."

Celebrating Mozart:

WHAT: The Huntington Symphony Orchestra is putting on a Mozart Birthday Celebration featuring: Elizabeth Reed Smith on viola, Kristen Alves, on violin and Wendell Dobbs on flute.

WHEN: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10.

WHERE: The Touma Museum, 314 9th St., Huntington.

HOW MUCH: $25 per person

GET TIX: Call 304-781-8343 or go online at www.huntingtonsymphony.org

WINTER SEASON: To close out the 2012-2013 Winter Season, the HSO will feature "A Celtic Celebration" with veteran HSO and Huntington flutist Wendell Dobbs, who's known around the region for his Celtic band Blackbirds and Thrushes.

PICNIC WITH THE POPS: Dates for Picnic with the Pops are: June 22, July 20 and Aug. 17.

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