Oktoberfest kicks off with German pianist, composers

The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will be a joined by a German-born pianist and a program filled with German composers for an Oktoberfest concert.

Caroline Oltmanns will perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Oltmanns, a professor of piano at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, is a world-recognized solo pianist and recording artist. She has toured Switzerland, Germany, South Africa and throughout the United States.

She has released six albums on the Filia Mundi label. Her concept album “Ghosts” includes new works by James Wilding along with Schumann’s Ghost Variations, Brahms’ Paganini Variations and Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu.

Oltmanns started her piano training in her native Germany, earning her diploma at Staatliche Musikhochschule Freiburg and her master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Other selections on the program, conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer, include Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and his Hungarian Fifth and Sixth Dances as well as Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkries.”

The concert starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown. Tickets range from $20 to $55 and are available at the DeYor box office, online at www.youngstownsymphony.com and by calling 330-744-0264.

In keeping with the Oktoberfest theme, a beer tasting and food sampling is planned in the Grand Lobby starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, and each patron will be provided a beer stein for the tasting as part of the entry fee. Entertainment will be provided by A Time to Dance.

The orchestra’s Stained Glass Concert Series also will continue at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Rose Catholic Church, 8 Main St., Girard. Fleischer and the Youngstown Symphony Chamber Orchestra will be joined by vocalist Tania Grubbs, the St. Rose Elementary School Choir and Stephen Garchar, the church’s music director, for the free concert.