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Alumnus returns for USO spring concert April 29

RELEASED: April 11, 2011

Scott Pingel
Scott Pingel

EAU CLAIRE — Scott Pingel, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus and principal bassist with the San Francisco Symphony, will perform with the University Symphony Orchestra at its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. April 29 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

The orchestra will open the concert with "Grand Duo Concertante for Violin and Double Bass" by Giovani Bottesini, featuring Pingel on double bass and a rare performance by Nobuyoshi Yasuda, University Symphony Orchestra conductor, on violin. This special piece will be conducted by Dr. Peter Haberman, assistant professor of music at UW-Eau Claire. Other highlights will be Richard Wagner's "Excerpts from 'Der Ring des Nibelungen'" and Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 by Antonin Dvořák.

Pingel will perform on the bass formerly owned by Serge Koussevitsky, a Russian-born conductor, composer and double-bassist, who served as the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924-49. The famous instrument, on loan from the International Society of Bassists, is known for its tonal quality and level of difficulty.

Pingel graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1996 with a degree in music. He earned his master's degree on a full scholarship from the Manhattan School of Music and spent two years as a fellow at the New World Symphony, a program for graduate students interested in furthering their musical leadership abilities. Pingel served as principal bassist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra prior to his selection, from a field of 100 musicians, as principal bassist of the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 29. He has collaborated with famous musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, Wu Han, Joseph Silverstein, Yefim Bronfman and members of the Emerson, St. Lawrence, Miro and Pacifica quartets. Pingel received the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association in 2007.

Pingel is returning to Eau Claire to raise awareness and funds for a scholarship established through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in his father's name. The scholarship honors Jack Pingel, a former music educator and associate director of the Wisconsin School Music Association. Information about the scholarship and how to contribute will be available at the concert and can be found on the Foundation website.

Tickets for the University Symphony Orchestra concert, available online through the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, are $6 for adults; $4 for seniors, youth and faculty/staff with a university ID; and $1.50 for students with a university ID.

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MC/RD/DW

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