‘Mark Sparks and Friends’ Performing Oct. 28 in Chamber Music Sundays at Three


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 15, 2007 — A Cape Girardeau favorite, Mark Sparks, principal flutist of the Saint Louis Symphony, will return to perform as a part of Chamber Music Sundays at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Recital Hall in the Seminary Building at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

Other guests on the program will be two outstanding young Bulgarian talents: pianist Ina Selvelieva and cellist Valentina Takova.  Along with the Christensen-Judd duo, these musical guests offer a varied program including a Beethoven piano trio, a Villa Lobos duo for flute and cello, and a Weber trio for flute, cello and piano.

Valentina Takova, cello, was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, and began cello studies there at age six. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras in her native Bulgaria and in the United States. In addition, Takova has recorded extensively for National Bulgarian Radio and has appeared on this country’s National Public Radio. A member of Boston’s Kalistos Chamber Orchestra (which recently presented its debut performance in Merkin Hall, New York), she has also performed with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra. Takova has toured Canada as a chamber musician and, from 1999 to 2002, toured the United States with the V.A.V. Piano Trio. Her primary teachers include Dennis Parker, Rhonda Rider, and Alan Harris and she has performed in master classes for Aldo Parisot, Gary Hoffman, and David Finkel. Currently enrolled in the graduate program at the Yale School of Music, Takova studies there with Aldo Parisot.

Pianist Ina Selvelieva has performed as a soloist with many Bulgarian orchestras and has appeared in numerous solo and chamber performances not only in her native Bulgaria but also in Romania and across the United States. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a bachelor of arts degree in piano performance from the State Academy of Music Sofia, Bulgaria, and a master of music degree from Southern Illinois UniversityᾰCarbondale. Her recent competition prizes include the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Solo Competition, the Beethoven Competition at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra Solo Competition, and the Artist Presentation Society Award in St. Louis.  In addition, Selvelieva received numerous performance scholarships for international festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Ppianissimo (Sofia, Bulgaria), and March Musical Days (Russe, Bulgaria).

General admission tickets are $7 for seniors and students, and $10 for the general public, and will be available at the door.