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Electric violin at the symphony

The Wichita Symphony returns this weekend for the second half of its season. Guest soloist will be electric violinist Tracy Silverman. Here's what to look for:

1) Silverman will perform new works of his own, including " Between the Kiss and the Chaos," written especially for these concerts and heard here for the first time. The piece is in five movements; the first three will debut here. Each movement is inspired by a famous artwork — Michelangelo's "David," Matisse's "Dance," Van Gogh's "Starry Night" — and each showcases the unique qualities of the electric violin.

2) Silverman and the orchestra also will play " Anthem 25," a work commissioned by conductor Andrew Sewell to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the summertime concerts played by Sewell's other orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, in Madison.

3) The electric violin, which Silverman helped develop, has six strings (as opposed to the acoustic violin's four); the instrument is amplified. Silverman sometimes runs its bowed and plucked sounds through effect boxes like an electric guitar, creating delay, distortion, instantly recorded loops and other manipulations.

4) Besides performing with Silverman, the symphony also will perform No. 5 by Mahler, a monumental work that stretched the dimensions of symphonic music when it was first played in 1904.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in Century II Concert Hall, 225 W. Douglas. Tickets range from $20 to $42, with discounts available. For more information, visit www.wso.org or call 316-267-7658.

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