OAKLAND -- Alameda pianist Michelle Zhang gave a beautifully articulated and rhythmically exciting performance of J.S. Bach's Italian Concerto in F Major, 1st Movement, as part of a benefit recital for the Young People's Symphony Orchestra at which nine other pianists performed on Sept. 22 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Oakland.
In addition to studying piano and violin privately since age 6, Zhang, now 16, is a member of YPSO's first violin section and a junior at Alameda High School.
The concert raised $2,000 for YPSO, the Berkeley-based orchestra, which was founded in 1936, and is the oldest independent youth orchestra in California, and the second oldest in the nation. The benefit recital was organized by Giving Concerts and YPSO Board member and pianist Valdez Hill, who also performed on the program. Giving Concerts' sponsor, the Piedmont Piano Company, will host benefit recitals for YPSO in April and September 2013.
-- Keith Gleason