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NHSO concert marks orchestral debut of two Las Cruces musicians

Leora Zeitlin

Violist Julio Campos and violinist Amalia Zeitlin grew up making music in Las Cruces, played in the Las Cruces High School Chamber Orchestra, and decided to make music their careers. This Sunday, they will make their orchestral debut together when they perform Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra (NHSO). The work is a double-concerto for violin, viola and orchestra, and NMSU viola professor and NHSO conductor, Jorge Martinez, will be conducting.

“This is a pearl in the repertoire for violin and viola,” said Martinez in this interview with the two soloists and Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin [full disclosure: Leora plays in the orchestra, and is Amalia's mom!]. Campos and Amalia Zeitlin had performed the work in Campos’ master’s degree recital in November, but the recital was with a pianist playing the orchestra’s part. It was Martinez who encouraged them to play with a full orchestra. “It will never be the same playing with a piano as playing with an orchestra.”

Both soloists said they were excited to make their debut with an orchestra in their home town, and that it has been a learning process. “Whenever you first start working with an orchestra you have to make some compromises, make sure you don’t destroy the ensemble by being adamant about the tempos,” Campos noted. “You have to be flexible and adapt.”

The work was written after a young Mozart returned from a tour during which his mother had suddenly died. “You can really hear that grief that he was going through,” Amalia Zeitlin said, adding that the work – particularly the second movement – “is very meaningful and soulful.”

The concert will also feature NMSU violin professor Simon Gollo playing works by Jules Massenet and Pable de Sarasate, and orchestral works by Rossini and Holst.

Listen here to hear much more about the music in the concert, how Campos and Zeitlin came to make this concert their debut, and more.

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