A Grand Celebration

Marc-André Hamelin, Piano Austin Symphony Chorus,Sonia Larson, Director

calendar-icon May 1st, 2022 | 2:00 pm

Event Details

Ticket price: Advance tickets are available for $20 from Coffee House on Main and Hy-Vee in Austin. Tickets at the door the day of the performance are $25. Children and students through college age attend free of charge, no ticket required.

Duration: Approx. 2 hours with a 20-minute intermission

Our season concludes in magnificent style with a world-renowned pianist, our orchestra, chorus and many returning friends all gathered around the new Fazzioli Grand Piano. One of less than a dozen examples available for public performance in the USA, the Fazzioli is a rare and special instrument which we believe will help us recruit performing artists from all over the world.

These performances will be a for sure sell-out so don’t wait too long!


Ludwig Beethoven | Piano Concerto, No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Dedicatory performance of our new Fazioli F-308 Grand Piano in honor of Richard Larson
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel | Overture
Mozart | Requiem

Guest Vocal Soloists, Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, Robert Wills, and Rick and Sandy Penning

Artist Bios

Marc-André Hamelin

“A performer of near-superhuman technical prowess” (The New York Times), pianist Marc André Hamelin is known worldwide for his unrivaled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc – earning him legendary status as a true icon of the piano.

Mr. Hamelin makes his home in the Boston area with his wife, Cathy Fuller. Born in Montreal, Marc-André Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics’ Association and has received seven Juno Awards and eleven GRAMMY nominations. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Elizabeth Hunter Ashley

Amassing over thirty-five years of experience in her role as musical performer, Elizabeth Hunter Ashley is an International Vocalist and Music Instructor.  She is a professional Lyric Coloratura Soprano, and specializes as a soloist in Oratorio, Opera, Concert, Sacred Music and Cabaret, and has performed as a featured soloist with over 16 orchestras in the United States and internationally. Throughout the course of her education and training, Elizabeth Hunter Ashley attained her Bachelor's degree in Music Performance – Vocal Performance from the University of Kansas. She went on to study for a Master's degree in Music from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and then completed the Master's degree in Classical and Vocal Performance from the University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Elizabeth Hunter Ashley was crowned Miss Minnesota in 1985 where she also won the talent award for her singing. She then competed in the Miss America Scholarship Pageant in Atlantic City New Jersey.  As a recording artist, she has finished a sacred work "Cure' of Ars" by composer Dr. John Vitzat Studio 880, CA., as well as co-produced her "A Season of Serenity-Christmas" CD at Fantasy Studio, CA. 

Robert Wills

With over 48 years conducting experience, he is the Founder and Music Director Emeritus of the Maui Chamber Orchestra, the Maui Masterworks Chorale, and the Maui Masterworks Festival. In 2013, Bob was music director and conductor for the MAPA production of Les Misérables. His performance credits as a baritone singer are as a soloist with the Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Duluth Symphony, Austin Symphony and the Rochester Symphony Orchestra for several well-known works – Elijah (Mendelssohn), Requiems of Verdi, Mozart, Fauré and Brahms, Beethoven 9th Symphony, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and Dona Nobis Pacem and singing both the tenor and bass solo roles in Handel’s Messiah.

His baritone solo and conducting career has given him the opportunity to give five concert tours of Europe including conducting twice at the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican and concerts in Dublin, Rome, Assisi, Venice, Vienna, Munich, Lucerne, and Jerusalem. Mr. Wills has appeared as Soloist for the opening concert of the Sixth World Choral Symposium with Minnesota Orchestra, Chanticleer and Harlem Boy’s Choir. Bob was the winner of the 2009 Hawaii Public Radio Art Song Festival where he sang the Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of the Wayfarer). Bob has had the pleasure of working with conductors Edo de Waart, Eiji Oue, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Layton James, Stephen Ramsey, Sir David Willcocks and John Rutter. Bob studied voice with Leroy Lehr and conducting with Maurice Jones. Bob has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Sandy Penning

I am a dynamic marketing director and sales effectiveness leader who thrives on creating marketing and sales alignment to achieve client engagement and drive new revenue. I enjoy solving business problems and creating delighted clients through creation of integrated marketing and sales programs.

Rick Penning

Rick has performed roles with opera companies and appeared on concert stages across the United States, as well as singing with many local organizations. He maintains busy voice studios at Augsburg and Carleton Colleges as well as a home studio. His students have won competitions and sung with orchestra and opera companies across the United States and Europe.


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