SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017

Concert Features CAS Debut of Remarkable Blind Pianist

Yoo Jin Noh

Cape Ann Symphony wraps up the orchestra’s 65th Anniversary Concert Season on Saturday, May 20 at 8 pm with a Scandinavian Spectacular featuring stirring music from Scandinavian composers Carl Nielsen, Jean Sibelius and Edvard Greig and the CAS debut of the extraordinary blind pianist Yoo Jin Noh at the CAS performance venue at Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium is handicapped accessible. The Scandinavian Spectacular concert program features Nielsen’s Symphony No. 1; Sibelius’ Finlandia and piano phenom Yoo Jin Noh performing Greig’s gorgeous Piano Concerto.

According to Cape Ann Symphony Music Director and Conductor Yoichi Udagawa, “When Rockport Music’s David Deveau introduced me to Yoo Jin Noh. I was highly impressed with her ability. She is an extraordinary pianist and musical talent, and we are thrilled to be able to present her to our audiences. The Grieg Piano Concerto is one of the most popular pieces in the repertoire, and Yoo Jin Noh’s singular talent is perfectly suited to the piece. Her performance will be unforgettable! We will also play Sibelius’ ever popular Finlandia.Nielsen’s Symphony No. 1 is not often performed, but is a gorgeous and highly emotional work which I am sure our audiences will love. We will definitely give an introduction of the piece with musical examples at the concert. We are ending our 65th Season on a high note, and are grateful to our ever growing audience for their enthusiastic support.”

Blind at birth, Yoo Jin Noh expressed an interest in music from early childhood, ultimately focusing on the piano at the age of 14. She received both her Bachelor and Master degrees and recently her Graduate Diploma from Boston’s New England Conservatory of Musicwhere she studied with Wha-kyung Byun and Gabriel Chodos. While a student she participated in various NEC events including the All Hands on Haydn Concert, Scriabin Through the Flame and the Orientation Concert for new students at Jordan Hall.

Yoo Jin Noh’s awards include top prizes in the Southwestern Music Festival and the Musical Arts Club Competition, a grand prize at the U.S. String and Piano Contest at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York and a VSA Young Soloist Award. She has played at the National Federation of the Blind convention and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as with the Boston Halfner Symphony, Quincy Symphony Orchestra, and a solo recital at Azusa Pacific University.

Yoo Jin Noh regularly reaches out to the community through her music performing at many local senior centers, church, and retirement home as well as participating in a schedule of benefit concerts. Since 2005, she has annually had a fundraising concert for the disabled at Orange County Braille Institute and Hope-Sight Mission of Los Angeles. In June 2014, she performed with El Camino College Orchestra in a benefit concert for the homeless mission. Her other community project includes a performance at Park Street Church (March 2016) and Susan Bailey Retirement Center (2014-2015).

Founded in Gloucester in 1951, the Cape Ann Symphony is a professional orchestra of over 70 players from throughout the New England area. They perform a subscription season of four concerts per year plus several Pops and youth concerts. The Symphony Board of Directors named Yoichi Udagawa the Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Ann Symphony in the summer of 2000 after a yearlong search. In addition to his leadership of Cape Ann Symphony, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and a cover conductor at the Boston Pops Orchestra. Maestro Udagawa is on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory where he teaches conducting. Frequently invited to guest conduct, Maestro Udagawa has worked with many different orchestras including the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Nobeoka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Indian Hill Symphony, the Garden State Philharmonic, the Brown University Orchestra, the Syracuse Society for New Music, the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Newton Symphony, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Mid-Texas Symphony. Maestro Udagawa is at home in popular and contemporary music as well as the standard symphonic repertoire. He is known for his relaxed manner and ability to speak from the podium which has helped new audiences as well as enthusiasts gain a greater appreciation for symphonic music. His programs often include premieres of new works – some specially commissioned for the orchestra — as well as great orchestral works across the symphonic repertoire and lively Pops programs. He is also an integral part of the Cape Ann Symphony Youth Initiative.

Yoichi Udagawa, the son of a nuclear physicist father and singer/artist mother, was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. His family immigrated to the United States soon thereafter. He began playing the violin at age four and made his conducting debut at age fifteen. After receiving a music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, he continued advanced studies in conducting with Gunther Schuller, Seiji Ozawa, Morihiro Okabe, and Henry Charles Smith. A fan of many different styles of music, Mr. Udagawa also enjoys performing gospel music in addition to his conducting activities. He is also an accomplished violinist and an avid fan of exercise and yoga.

The Cape Ann Symphony’s May concert, Scandinavian Spectcularis Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm at the Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium is handicapped accessible. Ticket prices are $40 for adults, $35 for senior citizens, $5 for Youth (18 years old and under). For information, call 978-281-0543 or visit

Pictured: Blind Piano Phenom Yoo Jin Noh

Pictured: Cape Ann Symphony Music Director and Conductor Yoichi Udagawa

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