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CSU's Schwartz finally performs in Bill Heard Theatre

It’s difficult to believe, but Sergiu Schwartz has never performed in the Bill Heard Theatre. He laughs when he says his students have, but he has not.

Because of that, he’s excited about his appearance with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Saturday night.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to the good acoustics in the hall,” he said.

In his tenure at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, Schwartz has built up the violin studio. When he arrived in Columbus, he had six students. Now he has almost 20, including one student who left the Juilliard School to study with him.

Besides teaching and recruiting students, Schwartz does a lot of performances around the world.

Last week, he was in Washington, D.C., where he performed and judged the Washington International Competition for Strings in the Kennedy Center.

He got back late Sunday night, so he could teach classes Monday, and rehearse with the orchestra.

When I asked if he were exhausted, he just laughed.

“Musicians don’t know what rest is,” he said. “Only if it’s printed in the music.”

Saturday’s concert is called “Sergiu Plays Mendelssohn.” He will play Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E-Minor, Opus 64.” The other pieces include “Symphony No. 22 in E-Flat Major (The Philosopher)” and Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 3 in A-Minor, Opus 56.”

“The Mendelssohn violin concerto brings to me fond memories from past performances in European cities, in the U.S. and Israel,” Schwartz said. “After so many years, I am still in love with this great masterpiece.”

When you watch him perform, take a look at his violin. Schwartz plays a violin made in Venice in 1740 by Santo Serafin, a disciple of Amati and Strativarius.

“I was able to get this instrument with the personal help of the late, famous violinist Isaac Stern,” he said. “Every time I play, I’m reminded of his generosity.”

Though he paid for the violin himself, Schwartz said when he needed help finding the violin, Stern was there.

“He actually suggested that I should have this instrument. He said to me, it is a perfect match for my style of playing. His words seem to be right. It has a beautiful sound.”

Even though he’s performed around the world, and feels at home in Columbus, Schwartz said he gets nervous.

“I do get jittery when performing for the Columbus public and the colleague musicians which I respect so much. They can be a tough audience.”

He has two CDs out right now, “The Heart of the Violin” and “Romantic Treasures.” Both will be available in the lobby during intermission Saturday night.

Can’t make it to the concert? You can go to “S’MORES,” the Saturday Mid-day Orchestra Rehearsal, 1-4 p.m. It’s $5 for seniors older than 60 and adults bringing children. It’s $3 for children 11 and younger. Call 706-256-3640.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22-$36. Student rush tickets are $10, available starting at 7 p.m. Children 11 and younger get in for $5. Call 706-323-5059.

Doo-Nanny

I can’t believe that it’s time again for the annual Outsiders Outside Doo-Nanny. And I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since the late Frank Turner began it.

This year, it’s 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. For the second year, it’s at the Museum of Wonder, 41 Poorhouse Road, in Seale.

Besides the folk art show and sale, there’s entertainment and food.

It’s free.

For more information, go to www.museumofwonder.com or e-mail organizer Butch Anthony at butchanthony63@yahoo.com

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