Wednesday, July 20, 2005

NRO Violinist Will Head to Germany

Once her first summer with the National Repertory Orchestra closes in August, violinist Erica Dicker will go from being surrounded by the Rocky Mountains to huge steel factories and coal mines in the most industrial area in Germany.

Dicker, the co-principal second violin for the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) and soloist for tonight's NRO chamber concert, will soon begin an apprenticeship with the orchestra, Bergischen Symphoniker, in Ruhrgebiet, Germany.

She said she only speaks a little German.

"When my parents were still young and crazy, they just decided to move to Europe and get jobs," Dicker said.

Both of Dicker's parents are musicians. Her mother plays oboe and her father bassoon.

"Growing up in a household that was filled with music was really inspiring," she said. "I remember when I was a kid climbing into my dad's lap and saying, 'I'm going to play in an orchestra when I grow up.'"

Although prophesied at an early age, Dicker, who has been playing violin for 20 years, still considers it fate that the opportunity in Germany presented itself when she went there with her father on spring break. Through the apprenticeship, she will get both professional experience and training, playing in the orchestra and sitting next to her assigned mentor. She will be living there with family friends until she secures her own apartment.

Dicker is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and spent two years in Minneapolis as a student of Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis. Before coming to the NRO, she resided in Chicago where she was a freelance musician. She also performed with the Peoria Symphony as associate concertmaster and in the South Bend Symphony as associate principal second violin.

The NRO's chamber concert is set for 7:30 p.m. today at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. The program includes Mozart's Symphony No. 35, Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe featuring Dicker and oboist, Kristina Goettler. Daniel and Matthew Lano will be featured in Mendelssohn's Concert Piece No. 2.

For tickets to this, or any, NRO performance, call the Riverwalk Center box office at (970) 547-3100.

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