Split personality: Cape violinist enjoys classical, bluegrass

Friday, October 14, 2005
Liesl Schoenberger will perform in Belleville, Ill., Saturday, Oct. 15.

Liesl Schoenberger will be a featured soloist Saturday with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Belleville, Ill.

Violinist Liesl Schoenberger has a split personality when it comes to music -- one part classical, one part bluegrass.

As the Indiana University college senior prepares for her featured solo on Saturday with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Belleville, Ill., the Cape Girardeau native's third bluegrass CD, "Say Old Man," is on the shelves in local music stores.

In Saturday's performance, Schoenberger is the featured soloist on on Bela Bartok's First Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra.

"Classical and bluegrass actually complement each other more than most people realize," said Schoenberger. "The performance aspect is very similar, but bluegrass is more laid back where classical is structured."

Schoenberger is a senior at Indiana University, where she is studying performance under professor Mauricio Fuks. Since the age of 9, Schoenberger has been studying in Indiana, waiting for the time, coming soon, that she'll enter the world of professional music. As a senior, she's now a concertmistress -- the name for a first violinist and assistant cunductor in a sympony orchestra -- with one of the music school's five orchestras.

Dr. Sara Edgerton, conductor of the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, worked with Schoenberger in the past, and saw her talent even as an elementary school student.

The accolades the young violinist has received are well-deserved, said Edgerton.

"She's really an amazing, very gifted and mature violinist, and she can end up doing anything she wants to as a violinist," said Edgerton.

As she gears up for graduate school auditions, Schoenberger spends a lot of time perfecting her craft.

"I'm a violin performance major, which means I play violin all the time, basically," Schoenberger said.

She's accustomed to a busy lifestyle. Over the summer she was invited to perform at the Innsbrook Institute of Music in Innsbrook, Mo.; she studied and performed at the Orford Centre d'Arts in Orford, Quebec; and took advanced classes and performed at the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She also won the Belleville Philharmonic's Young Artist's Competition, which led to her performance on Saturday.

"It's a kind of opportunity that anyone in this field is looking for," said Schoenberger. "It's wonderful that Belleville is giving this opportunity to up-and-coming musicians."

Schoenberger has also been busy giving private lessons to children and adults in both classical violin and bluegrass fiddle. As for the future, Schoenberger's split musical personalities come into play again.

"I plan on playing with an orchestra, or maybe I'll move to Nashville."

For more information on Schoenberger's Belleville performance call (618) 235-5600.


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