Sofya Gulyak

Sofya Gulyak

The Rome Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 97th season with performances celebrating “Rome” as well as our nation’s military.

The opening concert takes place Saturday and will feature the Respighi suite, “Pines of Rome,” and “Fountains of Rome,” and includes master pianist Sofya Gulyak performing the dramatic “Piano Concerto in A Minor” by Respighi.

Gulyak, a native of Russia, holds piano performance degrees from conservatories in Russia, Italy, and England where she is now the piano professor at the prestigious London Royal Conservatory of Music.

In 2009, Gulyak was the first woman in the 50-year history of the Leeds International Piano competition, to win first place. She has an active recording and touring career all over the globe and will be making her Georgia State debut with the Rome Symphony Orchestra.

On Nov. 10, RSO will celebrate the nation’s military with the regional premiere of the “Symphony for the Sons of Nam,” by Army veteran and composer Capt. “Kimo” Williams.

Aside from being one of America’s top African-American composers, Williams also formed the Lt. Dan Band with actor Gary Sinise. Williams will be present for a pre-concert lecture with the conductor to discuss this musical salute to the brave soldiers of the Vietnam experience.

Other music that evening will include a salute to sports music and will feature Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as well as the theme to “Remember the Titans” filmed at Berry College. Also featured will be a performance by the regional and state award-winning Berry Drum Line.

For more information about the RSO concert season, visit the website, www.romesympghony.org or call 706-291-7967. Tickets are available for all season packages and concerts online, or individually at Living and Giving on Broad Street, Kroger, and the Rome Visitor’s Center.