Home | A&E | ESO Audience Favorites Rich Ridenour, piano and Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, to present I Love A Piano October 6-8

ESO Audience Favorites Rich Ridenour, piano and Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, to present I Love A Piano October 6-8

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ESO Audience Favorites Rich Ridenour, piano and Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, to present I Love A Piano October 6-8

All served up with a hefty dose of humor: “An act that’s as masterfully musical as it is wickedly funny…” says the Grand Rapids Press.

Rich Ridenour, piano and Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, known to Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) audiences for the their high-energy, fun concerts, will perform with the award-winning ESO Friday, October 6, 7:30 pm, Schaumburg Prairie Center, and Saturday, October 7, 7:30 pm & Sunday, October 8, 2:30 pm at Hemmens Cultural Center. The eclectic program, led by Resident Conductor Stephen Squires, includes Cuban composer Lecuona’s Malagueña, Piazzola’s Tango Adios Nonino, Beethoven’s Pathetique, Bernstein’s America, Mancini’s Pink Panther, Billy Joel’s Root Beer Rag and much more!  Tickets start at just $30. Students $12. Valet service or free parking. Visit ElginSymphony.Org or call 847-888-4000. 

Critics hail pianist Rich Ridenour as amazingly versatile, masterfully musical and wickedly funny.  Mr. Ridenour established his career performing his own musical arrangements of classical masterworks and today’s popular piano favorites. With hundreds of engagements to his credit, Mr. Ridenour has recently performed with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Atlanta, Kansas City, Topeka, Harrisburg, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Charleston, West Virginia, Elgin, Owensboro, Mazatlán, Mexico and the Bravissimo Festival Orchestra of Guatemala City.  Each season Mr. Ridenour serves as pops director for the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Ridenour has collaborated with renowned performers such as Martin Short, Carol Lawrence, Robert Guillaume, Smokey Robinson, Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo), Larry Gatlin, David Ogden Stiers, Jim Nabors, Richard Hayman and Jennifer Holliday.  He is frequently heard with his son Brandon Ridenour who played trumpet for 8 years with Canadian Brass.

A lifelong passion has been music education.  As Education Director for the International Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Mr. Ridenour conceived and developed Camp Gilmore at Sherman Lake YMCA, Keys Fest and educational piano labs in the public schools and juvenile center (working with day treatment and lock up youth).  Mr. Ridenour taught in all these programs that today are a part of the Festival’s year-long programs offered to young musicians to explore and grow in music.   Mr. Ridenour also created two student shows for the Gilmore Festival:  Invention Mania and the Piano Student of Mrs. McCalfrey.

Mr. Ridenour also founded the non-profit organization Grand Rapids Musicians League serving over 400 young musicians in after-school programs. Affiliated with the National Federation of Music Clubs, GRML provides student scholarships to music camps and musical programs to enrich young musicians in the greater Grand Rapids area. As a component of GRML the Keller Cooler Music Series was launched at the Meijer Botanical Gardens. This series inspired Fred and Lena Meijer to build an amphitheatre which led to the Fifth Third Bank Summer Music Series. Many of Mr. Ridenour’s students have succeeded in musical careers while others have instilled a lifelong pleasure in music.   Working with Education for the Arts in Kalamazoo, Mr. Ridenour developed Music for Life giving high school musicians an after-school opportunity to explore disciplines in all styles of music.  This included work in music theory, history, composition, performance, computer music arranging programs and video capture/editing.   Mr. Ridenour has also instructed piano at Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Calvin College and Western Michigan University.

Since 2013, Sarasota has been home for Rich and his wife Stacy, who serves as development director for the Sarasota Opera.  Rich and Stacy have two children.  Brandon is a professional trumpet performer, arranger, composer and Ross is a First Officer pilot and teacher for American Airlines. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mr. Ridenour received a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Mr. Ridenour is an international Steinway Artist.

Brandon Ridenour is a winner of the 2014 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition. His wide-ranging activities as a soloist and chamber musician, paired with his passion for composing and arranging, are evident in his versatile performances and unique repertoire. At the age of twenty, Brandon became the youngest member ever to join the iconic Canadian Brass, a position he held for seven years. While with the group, he played in distinguished venues around the world, performed on television, recorded ten albums, and received three Juno Award nominations.

Brandon has appeared as a concerto soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. He has played with leading ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Knights, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Other solo performances include the Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall, and Carnegie Hall, where he most recently appeared in a performance of Penny Lane alongside Sting and James Taylor.

Brandon is the winner of the 2006 International Trumpet Guild solo competition and a recipient of the Morton Gould ASCAP Young Composer Award. He is a 2016 National Composition Contest winner for the American Composers Forum, resulting in a commissioned piece for the cross-genre string quintet, Sybarite 5. He has recorded three solo albums; his latest release is Fantasies and Fairy Tales which features his own virtuosic arrangements of classical masterworks for trumpet and piano.

A graduate of The Juilliard School and an alumnus of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, Brandon began playing piano at the age of 5 under the tutelage of his father, Rich Ridenour, with whom he still performs frequently in recital and with Pops Orchestras. Brandon is also a part of chamber groups DecodaFounders, and USEFULchamber. Brandon is also a Wedge Mouthpiece Artist.

Stephen Squires is a musician with a career that blends his passions for conducting, teaching, and performing. Mr. Squires has had the honor to conduct for many exceptional artists, including Frederica von Stade, Samuel Ramey, Janos Starker, Pinchas Zuckerman, Shmuel Ashkenasi, John Browning, Leon Bates, Stewart Goodyear, Richard Stoltzman, Ani Kavafian, Wendy Warner, James Tocco, Kevin Cole, Vadim Gluzman and most of the principal players of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestras. Fully committed to conducting the music of living composers, he has premiered over eighty new works.

Mr. Squires received his musical training at the Preparatory School of the Eastman School of Music and the Crane School of Music, in his home state of New York. He earned his Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting/Trumpet Performance at California State University, Northridge. Further conducting studies were with Helmuth Rilling, Maurice Abravanel, Daniel Lewis, Tsung Yeh, and at the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Squires has conducted recordings for the Delos, Spring Hill (a division of EMI), MEDR, Editions de la Rue Margot, Albany, MSR Classics, and Centaur labels. Stephen Squires is Professor of Conducting in the Music Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. Prior to this appointment he served on the artist faculty of the Northern Illinois School of Music for nineteen years, where he received the prestigious “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.”

Mr. Squires’ current professional appointments include Resident Conductor of the Elgin (IL) Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor, Fox Valley Orchestra, Music Director of the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Rockford, IL), Music Director of the Millar Brass (Evanston, IL), and Music Director of the Illinois Brass Band (Arlington Heights, IL). He is the former Music Director of the Illinois Chamber Symphony. Mr. Squires has guest conducted the Chicago Symphony, the Syracuse Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, the Columbus (OH) Symphony and the Chicago Composers Orchestra. In addition, he is an accomplished recital accompanist, freelance trumpeter, and frequent guest conductor at educational festivals throughout the country.

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