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UK Music Talents in Spotlight in China, Italy

The sounds of the University of Kentucky School of Music are being featured on international stages this month in China and Italy as the UK Symphony Orchestra and UK Chorale tour miles away from their home stage.

UK Chorale wrapped up a six-day trip to northern Italy on May 11. During their European tour, the ensemble was able to perform for audiences in Milan, Lake Como, Padua, Bologna, Ferrara, Venice and Verona. In addition to performing in such celebrated venues as St. Mark's Basilica, UK Chorale also participated in a clinic with composer, jazz pianist and educator Ivo Antognini in Lugano, Switzerland.

The UK Chorale is the premier mixed choral ensemble at UK. It consists mostly of upperclassmen and graduate students. While a majority of the singers are music majors, there are a number of other academic disciplines represented. UK Chorale prides itself in performing a wide variety of choral literature from Renaissance to 21st century. The 44-voice ensemble, the recipient of regional and national awards, has toured extensively over the years with performances in France; Washington D.C.; the Bahamas; and New York City. UK Chorale has collaborated with numerous artists including The King's Singers, violinist Mark O’Connor, the Boston Pops Orchestra and tenor Ronan Tynan.

UK Chorale performs under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities.

To see photos and video of performances from the trip, visit the UK Chorale's Facebook page for the tour: www.facebook.com/UkChoraleGoesToItaly

Three days after UK Chorale departed, UK Symphony Orchestra boarded an airplane for its own 12-day tour of China. The trip includes performances at five of China's premiere concert halls, including a final concert at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. The last concert will be broadcast live throughout the country by China Central Television. UK Symphony Orchestra's concert program for the tour features American music by such popular composers as George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. It also includes New World Symphony by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, who wrote the work in 1890 when living in New York.

Since UK Director of Orchestras John Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, as well as Pink Martini and the Boston Pops. UK Symphony Orchestra has also received acclaim for recording projects, including the live recording of In Times Like These with folk icon Arlo Guthrie. UK Symphony Orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label.

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.