Northern Michigan Events: First-ever Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist Ralph Votapek returns to perform with Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in the opening concerts of the season, 2 to Celebrate!, on Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, September 23 at 3:00 pm in Interlochen Center for the Arts' Corson Auditorium.

Fifty years to the day, Mr. Votapek will play the very two concerti with which he won the competition: Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3.  Mr. Votapek's compelling keyboard style embodies all that is best in 20th-century piano traditions, combining the fire, poetry and tonal warmth of the grand-manner prewar era with the modern-day virtues of fastidious clarity and electrifying rhythmic flair.

Maestro Rhodes, along with a panel of several musicians, will hold a pre-concert talk one hour prior to each performance.  Season sponsor is Northwestern Bank. Concert sponsor is High Tower Anderson Wealth Management. Mr. Votapek is sponsored by Bill and Helen Wells.