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      Local orchestra joined by critically acclaimed pianist

      The Marquette Symphony Orchestra will be joined by a piano soloist this Saturday night at Kaufman Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

      "Brilliant and blazing" is how critics describe the playing of Daniel Lessner. He will perform Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the MSO.

      MSO conductor Dr. Jacob Chi recalled a concert in Colorado where he shared the stage with Lessner.

      "Of course after the concert, everybody asked him to play an encore," said Dr. Chi. "I don't know how many encores he played. He was just phenomenal."

      Lessner currently resides in Los Angeles, but performs all over the world.

      The Colorado Chieftan reviewed a performance and described it as, "Sheer excitement, personified. Lessner made the piano shout and sing."

      Orchestra members are excited to perform the Prokofiev concerto with Lessner, according to MSO violinist Victoria Gabrielsen.

      "The strings had a sectional last night, and we were all working really, really hard. Everyone was totally focused, and I think once we put Daniel and us together, I think it will sound really great," said Gabrielsen. "Daniel and Dr. Chi have worked together before, so there's good comradery there, there's some comfort there."

      The concert, entitled "Passion and Virtuosity," also includes the orchestra playing Tragic Overture by Johannes Brahms and his Variations on a Theme by Haydn.

      "Brahms is very German, and very conservative, and Prokofiev is very modern," Chi said. "Brahms' sound is very dark, but Prokofiev is very bright."

      For ticket information, visit and to learn more about Lessner, visit his web site