A wide variety of renowned guest artists, ranging from musical theater and television stars Jason Alexander and Bernadette Peters to the classical music world’s Emerson and Dover String Quartets, will appear on Eastman School of Music stages during the 2014-2015 concert season.
Alexander and Peters are among the headliners for Eastman Presents, a new series of monthly concerts that premieres Oct. 17 and features international artists from a variety of musical genres. In addition to the two singer-actors, the series brings the Vienna Boys Choir, pianist Peter Serkin (as guest soloist with the Eastman Philharmonia under conductor Neil Varon), the Kodo Drummers, and Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval to Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
The new season of the Eastman-Ranlet Series kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 5, with the Dover String Quartet, Grand Prize winners of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. While the Dover Quartet is considered one of the most remarkably talented string quartets ever to emerge at such a young age, the Emerson String Quartet brings an unparalleled three-decade list of achievements and awards to its series performance next February. In addition, the Ying Quartet, Eastman’s lauded and Grammy Award-winning quartet-in-residence, will play their traditional fall and spring series concerts in November and February.
German violinist Christian Tetzlaff, whose technical prowess and compelling interpretation make him an in-demand soloist, opens the Kilbourn Concert Series on Sept. 16, after appearing with his quartet in the series last year. Rounding out the Kilbourn schedule are the dynamic Toronto-based Gryphon Trio, one of the world’s preeminent piano trios with a repertoire ranging from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, in November; the March 2015 appearance of Third Coast Percussion, a new music group that gained national attention for its blend of rock music energy and classical chamber precision; and award-winning mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, who has performed in opera and as a recitalist around the world. She’ll be joined in March 2015 by Warren Jones, Musical America’s 2010 “Collaborative Pianist of the Year.”
Season subscription sales for Eastman Presents, Eastman-Ranlet, and Kilbourn Concert series go on sale Friday, May 2. Subscription packages can be purchased at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main St., in the Eastman East Wing; by phone, 585-454-2100; fax, 585-454-7885; or online at eastmantheatre.org .
The subscription packages for the six Eastman Presents performances range from $106 to $408.
Subscription packages for the Eastman-Ranlet or the Kilbourn series range from $55 to $80. The cost of buying subscriptions for both the Eastman-Ranlet and Kilbourn series ranges from $94 to $140. Subscription packages for the Eastman-Ranlet and Kilbourn series carry a discount with UR ID and subscription renewals.
The dates and line-up of performances in each series is:
Kilbourn Concert Series, Tuesdays at 8 p.m., Kilbourn Hall
* Sept. 16: Christian Tetzlaff, solo violin
The New York Times describes Tetzlaff as “charismatic,” with a “burnished sound and soulful allure.” He performs some 100 concerts per year across Europe and has released numerous CDs, several of which have received such major awards as the Diapason D’Or.
* Nov. 18: Gryphon Trio
The group celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Strongly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of chamber music, the trio has commissioned and premiered more than 50 works and has collaborated on special projects with actors, choreographers, and jazz musicians.
* March 24, 2015: Third Coast Percussion
Formed in 2005, the ensemble champions new music and has collaborated across a wide range of disciplines with engineers, architects, astronomers, and more, enhancing performances with cutting edge new media.
* March 31, 2015: Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and pianist Warren Jones
The New York Times calls Blythe “the true successor to Marilyn Horne” for her versatility in performing works from Handel to Wagner. Jones performs with many of today’s best-known artists, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Anthony Dean Griffey.
Eastman-Ranlet Series, Sundays at 3 p.m., Kilbourn Hall
* Oct. 5: Dover String Quartet
The Grand Prize winners of the 2010 Fischoff Competition, the Dover Quartet formed at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, when its members were just 19 years old. The quartet has won numerous prizes and its members have appeared as soloists with some of the world’s finest orchestras.
* Nov. 16: The Ying Quartet
The Ying Quartet has appeared in many of the world’s most important concert venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. Through its ongoing LifeMusic project, the quartet has commissioned works from both established and emerging composers to expand the string quartet repertoire with works that reflect contemporary American life.
* Feb. 1, 2015: Emerson String Quartet
Formed in 1976 in New York City, the Emerson String Quartet has toured on five continents and produced more than 30 acclaimed recordings, earning nine Grammy and three Gramophone Awards.
* Feb. 22, 2015: The Ying Quartet
The quartet performs a wide variety of both traditional and contemporary string quartet music, having worked with such artists as pianist Leon Fleisher, folk musician Mike Seeger, jazz pianist Billy Childs, the Turtle Island Quartet, and others.
Eastman Presents, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre (individual times noted below)
* Friday, Oct. 17: An Evening with Jason Alexander, 8 p.m.
Beyond his portrayal of George Costanza on the hit NBC series Seinfeld, Alexander has performed on Broadway, done stand-up comedy, acted in film, and directed. His live appearances feature comedy, music, and improvisation. He has won six Emmys, an American Television Award, two American Comedy Awards, a Tony Award, and was honored by The Actors Fund with the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement. This concert is sponsored by Manning & Napier.
* Sunday, Nov. 2: An Afternoon with Arturo Sandoval, 3 p.m.
The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and of 10 Grammy Awards, Sandoval was born on the outskirts of Havana and started studying trumpet at age 12. A protégé of Dizzy Gillespie, he has performed or recorded with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Woody Herman to Josh Groban and Alicia Keys. He is also a renowned classical musician and performs regularly with leading symphony orchestras around the world.
* Thursday, Dec. 4: Christmas from Vienna with the Vienna Boys Choir, 7:30 p.m.
Dating back to the late 15th century, the ensemble today consists of four touring choirs who perform everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music, including arrangements of waltzes and polkas.
* Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015: Eastman Philharmonia with Peter Serkin, 8 p.m.
In 1958, at age 11, Serkin entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and made his New York City debut in 1959, soon earning invitations to perform with leading orchestras. He has performed with such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado, and James Levine. As a chamber musician, he has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma and the Budapest, Guarneri, and Orion String Quartets.
* Tuesday, March 3, 2015: Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery, 7:30 p.m.
Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese taiko drum, this performance uses the “mystery” created by ancient folk arts to present a world of darkness, light, and reverberations with theatrics and new forms of expression.
* Saturday, April 25, 2015: An Evening with Bernadette Peters, 8 p.m.
Peters has an illustrious career of performances on stage and television, in concert, in films, and on recordings. Her Broadway credits include Follies, A Little Night Music, Gypsy, George M!, Annie Get Your Gun, and many other shows. She is the recipient of Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Golden Globe, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Peters is the youngest person to be inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
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