The Century Orchestra Osaka is young–it was put together in 1989 by the Osaka prefecture, which generously subsidizes it–and so are most of its 56 members: their average age is 30. Their maestro, though, Jerusalem-born Uriel Segal, has a couple decades of experience under his belt. While the Century ranks a notch or two below East Asia’s finest–perhaps more on par with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago–its fresh and exuberant style has already won accolades. One of its roles is to serve as a cultural ambassador, drawing attention to Japan’s second most populous city and the center of its industrial heartland–a role that perhaps explains its seemingly premature debut U.S tour. Guest soloist Kyoko Takezawa is a young Japanese-born violinist whose star is rising rapidly. Reared on the Suzuki method and a student of the Juilliard’s legendary Dorothy DeLay, the 25-year-old Takezawa has shown an affinity for the Romantic style. Her sound, which can be heard on a number of RCA CDs, is velvety and songful–well suited to Samuel Barber’s sweet and nostalgic Violin Concerto, which she’ll play in this concert. Also on the standard-issue program are a pair of late symphonies by two inventive masters: Haydn’s no. 95 and Dvorak’s Seventh. Sunday, 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Richard Houghton.