Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Berlioz’s Harold in Italy – in Princeton!

Pictured Above: Roberto Diaz. Photo Credit: Charles Grove. 



Princeton, NJ – At concerts on Saturday, May 13 at 8pm and Sunday, May 14 at 4pm, the Princeton
Symphony Orchestra (PSO) takes audience members to Paris and on a tour of Italy through George Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, featuring internationally renowned violist Roberto Díaz as soloist. Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the program, including Westminster Choir College alumna Julia Perry’s Study for Orchestra. The concert takes place at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, on the campus Princeton University.

Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloists/directors, such as Rudolf Serkin, Efrem Zimbalist, and Josef Hofmann. Former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he collaborates regularly with leading conductors of our time on stages around the world. He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, Edison Denisov, and Ricardo Lorenz, and has had concertos written for
him by Bright Sheng, Jennifer Higdon, and Roberto Sierra. His recording of Higdon’s Viola Concerto won
the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2018.

Pictured Above: Roberto Diaz. Photo Credit: Charles Grove. 

Prior to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Roberto Díaz served as principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, was a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Among his numerous recordings are the complete works for viola and piano by Henri Vieuxtemps, a
Grammy-nominated disc of viola transcriptions by William Primrose, and the Brahms sonatas with
Jeremy Denk, all on the Naxos label. Roberto Díaz plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.

George Gershwin’s symphonic masterpiece An American in Paris is centered on an American tourist’s impressions of Paris in the Jazz Age; it is a treasured classic precisely because of its uniquely American
character. French composer Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy was inspired by Lord Byron’s narrative poem
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and depicts the contemplative travels of a young man through Italy. Julia
Perry studied voice, piano, and composition at Westminster Choir College from 1943 to 1948 before
going on to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and composer Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence, Italy. She wrote Study for Orchestra in 1952.

Tickets for the May 13 and May 14 performances at Richardson Auditorium start at $30; Youths 5-17
receive a 50% discount with an adult purchase. Visit the Princeton Symphony Orchestra website at or call 609-497-0020.

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