On Saturday, February 16, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra presents Roses and Thorns under the direction of Yaniv Dinur, and is welcoming a very special guest artist to the stage at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center.

Korean cellist Christine J. Lee is a laureate of the first Queen Elisabeth International Cello Competition and artist-in-residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium. She will perform Andrea Tarrodi’s "Highlands Cello Concerto," inspired by the landscape of the Scottish Highlands.

Swedish composer Tarrodi is the third of four female composers featured in this season’s programming. The concert also includes two warhorses: the dazzling suite from Strauss’s opera The Knight of the Rose and Tchaikovsky’s beloved Fifth Symphony.

Lee and Sang Eun Lee were awarded joint first prize at Korea’s 2018 IsangYun International Cello Competition this past November.

“My greatest and longest love so far, is the relationship I have with music and cello,” Lee said. “I have gone through moments where I feel as if I cannot continue, but I also absolutely need it for my wellbeing and happiness. It has brought me many moments of heartbreak and frustration, but I maintain an everlasting passion.”

The NBSO is also experimenting with a stage extension at this concert that seeks to improve the acoustics of the concert hall and allows for a larger orchestra. The first three, and in some places four, rows of seats will be covered by the extension. Concertgoers are encouraged to provide feedback on the performance.

Roses and Thorns will take place on February 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in downtown New Bedford. Tickets are $30‒$65, with $10 student tickets (not available online). Purchase tickets through the Z box office by calling (508) 994-2900 or online at www.nbsymphony.org. Convenient concert parking is available in the Z garage. Yaniv Dinur will also give a pre-concert talk in the Z’s Penler Room at 6:30 p.m. that is free and open to the public.

You can find out more about this performance on Friday, February 15 when Yaniv joins me on WBSM at 9:30 a.m. He will also host a Q&A session on Thursday, February 14 from 7:15-7:30 at the Z as part of AHA! Night in New Bedford. There will then be a rare open rehearsal from 7:30 until 8 p.m.