WMU Grad Takes on “Youthful Prodigies” with West Michigan Symphony

Paul Clifton, principal horn, joins West Michigan Symphony for
Paul Clifton, principal horn, joins West Michigan Symphony for "youthful prodigies" concert

Paul Clifton, principal horn and a graduate of Western Michigan University, will join the West Michigan Symphony next weekend for a performance of Germanic classics by Youthful Prodigies.

Clifton joins music director Scott Speck on Friday, Jan. 12 for the performance, which includes the Horn Concerto no. 1 by Richard Strauss, who wrote the piece at the age of 18.

The program also includes Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 1, completed at the age of 15, and the Overture in C Major by his sister Fanny Mendelssohn.

Clifton began playing horn in sixth grade at Highlander Way Middle School in Howell, commenced formal private lessons in 10th grade, and graduated from Western Michigan University in 2013 with a degree in horn performance.

He is an aspiring musician with the goal of “using orchestral horn playing to expand the public perception and relevance of classical music.”

He has been freelancing in the Midwest, holding other positions in the Illinois and Southwest Michigan symphonies while playing as a substitute with the Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, South Bend, Lansing, Battle Creek and Ann Arbor symphonies. He was recently married and moved to Arizona to be with his wife.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Frauenthal Theater in downtown Muskegon. Tickets, starting at $22, are available by calling the WMS ticket office at 231.726.3231, in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, or online at www.westmichigansymphony.org. Student tickets are priced at $10.

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