Ruiz Concertos Performed by the Winston-Salem Symphony

The music videos included here have been used in Humanities 324 The Modern World and PHYS 102 The Physics of Sound and Music. The latter course is interdisciplinary where musical periods are covered such as classicism, romanticism, and modernism. There is also treatment of the mathematical aesthetics of western harmony. Clips from these concertos and the traditional literature of music effectively illustrate these points. Examples from jazz and popular music have been integrated into the course.

Evan was the 1991 first-place winner of the junior division in the statewide soloist competition held by the Winston-Salem Symphony. He entered the competition with a concerto composed for him by his father. The concerto is called "Concerto for Evan." The renowned Maestro Peter Perret conducts the Winston-Salem Symphony with Evan at the piano as soloist. The clip is an excerpt of the last few minutes. M. J. Ruiz is a self-taught composer. At the time Evan's piano teacher was Suzan Fehr (then teaching in West Asheville).

Evan M. Ruiz (age 10) Playing 'Concerto for Evan' by His Dad
with Maestro Peter Perret and the Winston-Salem Symphony

Benton Hall, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, February 23, 1992
Courtesy Winston-Salem Symphony

Evan returned later to enter the upper-level division in the soloist competition with his own piano concerto composed at the ages of 13 and 14. As a top-prize winner, he got to perform his own work with the Winston-Salem Symphony. Like his dad, Evan is also self-taught in the art of orchestration. Below is an excerpt of the last few minutes of his concerto. At the time Evan's piano teacher was Eric Larsen at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).

Evan M. Ruiz (age 15) Playing His Own Piano Concerto with
Assistant Conductor Robert Franz & Winston-Salem Symphony

The Stevens Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, May 18, 1997
Courtesy Winston-Salem Symphony

Evan is a 2003 Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where he majored in Computer Science.

Our next example is Frances. She is playing at a children's concert; so expect some noises in the background. Below is an excerpt of the last four minutes of the concerto. At the time Frances was studying piano under Suzan Fehr (then teaching in West Asheville).

Frances (age 9) Playing 'Concerto for Francy' by Dad
Assistant Conductor David Hagy & Winston-Salem Symphony

The Stevens Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, May 23, 1993
Courtesy Winston-Salem Symphony

Frances graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in Creative Writing and an Additional Major in Spanish (May 2005).

Finally, we come to Christa. Christa has since graduated from the UNC School of the Arts both as a high school graduate (2003) and college graduate (2007) studying opera with Marion Pratnicki. Christa entered graduate school in opera at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in Fall 2008, receiving the degree of Master in Music from Indiana on May 6, 2011, and becoming Doctor of Music in Music Literature and Performance on May 8, 2015. Her voice teacher at Indiana was Patricia Stiles.

Christa appears in some of our physics demonstration videos in addition to her appearances in our humanities classes. Here she is soloist with the Winston-Salem Symphony. In this excerpt, she performs the last two minutes of "Concerto for Christa," her dad's third piano concerto. The conductor is assistant conductor Robert Franz. At the time Christa was studying piano with Barbara Lister-Sink at Salem College in Winston-Salem.

Christa (age 10) Playing 'Concerto for Christa' by Dad
Robert Franz Conducting the Winston-Salem Symphony

The Stevens Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, November 24, 1996
Courtesy Winston-Salem Symphony