PENDLETON — The Oregon East Symphony kicks off its 2019-2020 concert season with Symphonic Shenanigans at 2 p.m. Nov.  10 in  Vert Auditorium, 480 S.W. Dorion Ave.

Under the baton of conductor and artistic director Beau Benson, the Symphony will present Rachmaninoff’s "Piano Concerto No. 2," featuring guest soloist Simon Karakulidi. Composed in 1900, the virtuosic concerto is Rachmaninoff’s most widely known composition.

Born in 1997 in Novorossiysk, Russia, Karakulidi began his studies with professor Mira Marchenko at Central Musical School in Moscow in 2013. Simon is a prize-winner of the First Vladimir Krainev Piano Competition in Moscow and "Astana Piano Passion" piano competition. 

Karakulidi participated in the master-classes with world-acclaimed musicians such as Leon Fleisher, Arie Vardi, William Grant Nabore, and Pavel Nercessian. In June 2018 Simon was awarded Enlight Prize at the Art of Piano Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 2019 Karakulidi was awarded the 1st Prize from Ann & Charles Eisemann International Young Artists Competition and the Grand Prize of Naftzger Competition. Since August 2016 he has studied with Stanislav Ioudenitch at Park University under the full scholarship.

Karakulidi is brought to the Oregon East Symphony by Portland Piano International through their Rising Stars program.

Rising Stars is a performance series featuring up-and-coming pianists who are selected from around the world. They have the potential to become the concert pianists of the future.

These young artists perform multiple recitals across Oregon. Launched in January 2015, this program expands the reach of Portland Piano International to communities outside of the Portland Metro area including Pendleton.

While in Eastern Oregon Karakulidi will also present a recital at the Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 N. Main St.,  at 7 p.m. Friday, November 8 where he will perform works by Liszt, Schubert, and Franck. The recital is free for the public.

Also to be performed by the Oregon East Symphony is Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 and Shenanigan by American-Canadian-Hungarian composer Kati Agócs. Shenanigan is a short overture based on the Reels brought to French-speaking Canada by waves of English and Irish immigrants. It is part of a two season initiative to include works by contemporary composers into the Symphony’s concert programing.

Advance tickets for Symphonic Shenanigans $25/adult, $20/senior, $15/student, $65/family may be purchased at Pendleton Art & Frame, 25 S.W. Court Ave. or the OES Office, 345 S.W. Fourth St. For more information contact OES at info@oregonEastSymphony.org or 541-276-0320.