Jacksonville Symphony concertmaster to be featured performer


The Jacksonville Symphony will present two performances of Edward Elgar’s “In the South,” Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending” and William Walton’s “First Symphony” at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts, Jacoby Symphony Hall. The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. 

Elgar’s “In the South,” described as bright, sunny and brimming with Mediterranean-inspired themes, opens the program. In a powerful conclusion, the innovative use of orchestral color in Walton’s “First Symphony” draws this dynamic program to a thrilling close.

The centerpiece of the performances, Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” features dynamic Jacksonville Symphony Concertmaster Adelya Nartadjieva. The masterpiece is famous for its vivid musical soundscapes and expressive playing from the soloist. 

“‘The Lark Ascending’ is extremely beautiful and transcends you to a place of your choosing,” said Nartadjieva. “I have this picture in my head where you wake up early in the morning when the sun is about to rise, and it’s dead quiet. But, when you step outside and listen very carefully, there are so many sounds in nature, and the birds are singing. The other picture I have in my head is when you go on a flight early in the morning, and you see the Earth from a bird’s-eye view. You realize that life is so expansive, and you’re a part of it, and it’s just so beautiful.”

A native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Nartadjieva started playing the violin at the age of 6. She performed her first solo concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Uzbekistan just nine months after she started playing. She went on to graduate from the Yale School of Music with a master’s degree. Upon graduation, Nartadjieva was awarded a First-Class Honors Degree and a Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal as the best graduate throughout the course of study.

Nartadjieva is also the winner of several international competitions in Greece, Singapore, United States, Russia and Uzbekistan. She recently won first prize at the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition at Yale and Gershwin International Competition, an education grant from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation and the Broadus Erle prize from the Yale School of Music.

In 2021, she was a guest associate concertmaster for Experiential Orchestra’s recording of Dame Ethel Smyth’s “The Prison,” winning a Grammy Award. In 2022, following the Jacksonville Symphony’s five-year search for a concertmaster, Nartadjieva joined the organization. 

“Adelya is one of the finest concertmasters I’ve worked with,” said Courtney Lewis, music director of the Jacksonville Symphony. “Not only is she a world-class violinist, she’s also a brilliant leader. Her colleagues respect and trust her, and she is a terrific advocate for the symphony off the stage, too. The sound of the first violins in the Jacksonville Symphony has been transformed since she arrived, as has the strength of rhythmical ensemble in the whole orchestra.” 

For more information and to reserve seats, tickets are on sale now only at JaxSymphony.org.