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Concerto competition winner will solo with MITSO

Elisabeth Hon
Elisabeth Hon

Graduate student Elisabeth Hon, one of two winners of the 2007 MIT Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) Concerto Competition, will be the soprano soloist for Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate" in the orchestra's concert on Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. Also on the program, conducted by Paul Biss, is Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. Tickets are $5 at the door and at

Hon, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the speech communication group of the Research Laboratory of Electronics, has a long-standing love for Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate": She has wanted to perform it since she first heard the "Alleluia" section while in high school.

Modestly noting that the piece was "too hard for me then," Hon pursued her academic career first, earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a certificate in music performance from Princeton University. She continued her vocal training through MIT's Advanced Music Performance (AMP) program, finally realizing her dream when she performed the "Exsultate" with piano accompaniment at her AMP recital last spring.

Her voice teacher, Kerry Deal, affiliated artist in the music and theater section, said that Hon has been "one of my star students at MIT for the past three years. She has the natural dramatic temperament and high level of musicianship that have made her wonderful to hear in both vocal repertoire recitals and as a soloist with the MIT choral groups."

Now Hon is excited about performing the "Exsultate" again. MITSO's full orchestral arrangement will add a "huge dimension to the sound and the scoring," she said.

"It's great to see how a year's growth can bring new life to (the) music," she added.

Hon's busy spring season will continue with her AMP recital on April 20 and an appearance as featured soloist in a performance of Giacomo Carissimi's "Japhte" with the Oriana Consort on April 29 (at the Swedenborg Chapel, Quincy and Kirkland streets, Cambridge).

Senior Matthew Roitstein, also a winner in MITSO's Concerto Competition, will perform C.P.E. Bach's concerto for flute in D minor at the symphony's May 20 concert.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 14, 2007 (download PDF).

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