ROCHESTER, NY — This summer, the Eastman School of Music’s concert halls will ring with the music of many countries and a host of outstanding artists for an exciting six weeks, beginning June 26 and continuing through August 5. The School will present 50 concerts and performances as part of its annual Summer Session.
A complete, up-to-date concert schedule is attached, and is available at www.rochester.edu/concerts. Most concerts are in Kilbourn Hall (unless otherwise noted) and begin at 7:30 p.m. All are open to the public, and the majority are free. Tickets for concerts that require paid admission are available at the RPO Box office, 108 East Avenue, (585-454-2100); online at www.rochester.edu/concerts, and at the Eastman Ticket Office in the School’s Main Hall on the day of the concert from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Any unsold seats go on sale one hour before concert time at the respective hall box office. For up-to-date program information, patrons should call the School’s 24-hour MusicLine at 274-1100.
This year’s featured performers include members of Eastman’s collegiate faculty, special guest artists, and summer program participants. Here are some of the summer’s many highlights:
Gene Bertoncini and special guest Frank Vignola , jazz guitars · Thursday, June 30 · 7:30 p.m
Jazz fans won’t want to miss the legendary jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini in his annual summer concert in Rochester. Hailed as the “best living exponent of jazz on the classical guitar” by Jazzletter, Bertoncini has recorded numerous CDs of his solo arrangements, and has played with jazz greats including Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter and many others. General admission tickets are $8; $5 for University of Rochester faculty and staff; and free for students with ID.
High School Jazz Studies Concerts · Thursday and Friday, July 7 and 8 · 3 p.m.
The culmination of a two-week intensive jazz studies program for serious music students in grades 9-12, these two concerts feature the Student Combo on July 7, and the Big Band on July 8. The talented students in these ensembles had the opportunity to sharpen their artistry under the tutelage of members of Eastman’s renowned Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media faculty. Many will go on to study at Eastman.
Hindustani Music Concert · Saturday, July 9 · 7:30 p.m.
The music of North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will come alive in this first-ever Rochester concert by Hindustani vocalist Asawari Maggirwar and her accompanists. General admission tickets are $8; $5 for University of Rochester faculty and staff; and free for students with ID.
Eastman Summer Sings · Tuesdays, July 5, 12, 19 and 26 · 7:30 p.m.
Singers of all ages and ability levels are invited to take part in four Eastman “Summer Sings” — a series of choral music reading sessions held on Tuesday evenings in Kilbourn Hall. Each program features one great choral work led by conductor William Weinert. This year’s concerts feature Mozart, Coronation Mass K. 317, (July 5); Handel, Judas Maccabeus, (July 12); Bach, St. John Passion (July 19); and Brahms, A German Requiem (July 26). Summer Sings are free and open to the public, although a $5 donation is suggested. Hundreds of singers from novice to pro have taken part in this relaxed and wonderful summer music-making tradition.
Canadian Brass · Saturday, July 9 · 7:30 p.m. · Eastman Theatre
For the fourth consecutive year, the Canadian Brass — long considered the world’s leading brass ensemble — stops by Eastman for an exciting weekend workshop (July 8-10). The highlight of the group’s visit is this concert, featuring the best in brass music that’s sure to appeal to all. Reserved ticket prices are $20, $15, and $12. As an added bonus, the brass quintets coached by the Canadian Brass during the residency will present a free performance in Kilbourn Hall at 11 a.m., Sunday, July 10.
Mitzie Collins and Friends: World Music · Wednesday, July 13 · 7:30 p.m.
Renowned musician Mitzie Collins and a host of popular folk musicians present their annual summer concert, a blockbuster favorite among Eastman audiences for more than a decade. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Collins is known nationally and internationally as a virtuoso player of the hammered dulcimer and the founder of her own recording label, Sampler Records Ltd.
Virtuoso American country fiddling, folk songs from Russia, and Morris dancing from England will all be part of this annual concert. Buffalo’s Phil Banaszak and his group, City Fiddle, offer a blend of acoustic bluegrass, Celtic, traditional and original music. Banaszak, one of Western New York’s best known fiddlers, is a former New York state fiddling champion, and a faculty member of the Community Music School in Buffalo. Joining Phil is his wife, Gretchen Banaszak, a violin graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music, and Chris Panfile, a versatile singer and instrumentalist who adds mandolin, fiddle, guitar, harmonica and Irish banjo to the mix.
For even more excitement, the jingling bells and waving handkerchiefs of Rochester’s Snowbelt Morris Team will bring the centuries-old European tradition of Morris dancing to Kilbourn audiences. The eight-member group will execute intricate figures at a breathless speed. Russian songs and tunes will be delightfully interpreted by singer Marina Voronina, a 2005 Eastman graduate, and accordion player Alexei Lipshitz, formerly a conservatory professor in Russia. Rounding out the evening’s entertainment will be dance tunes and songs from Western New York performed by Collins, with Jim Kimball of SUNY Geneseo’s music faculty on fiddle and banjo.
General admission tickets are $8; $5 for University of Rochester faculty and staff; and free for students with ID.
Music Horizons Program Concerts · Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29
These delightful concerts showcase the high school student musicians who are seriously considering a career in music, and who spent the month of July in intensive music study with members of the Eastman Community School faculty and musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The Chamber Ensembles perform on Thursday, July 28 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m., and the Vocal Ensemble takes the Kilbourn Hall stage on Friday, July 29 at 10 a.m. Solo recitals follow at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. on July 29.
Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition · Saturday, July 30 – Friday, Aug. 5
This ninth annual competition brings some of the world’s finest young players (age 14-18) to Rochester — each playing for the chance to win a scholarship to Eastman, $6000 in cash prizes, and performance and master class opportunities. As in previous years, the public is welcome to catch the spectacular performances of the young pianists in Kilbourn Hall. Preliminary rounds (July 30 and 31, and August 1-3) begin at 9 a.m. and are free; the final round of competition, featuring the top ten finalists, begins at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, August 4 in Kilbourn Hall . The winners, announced at the end of competition on August 4, will perform in a winners’ concert in Eastman Theatre at 7:30 p.m., Friday, August 5. In addition, rising stars from the Eastman piano department will present a recital at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 31. Admission to the final round of competition, the winner’s concert, and the guest performances, sold in advance, are $8 fo
r the general public, $5 for University of Rochester faculty and staff, and free for students with ID.
IMPROVfest: Organ Improvisation Concerts · Tuesday-Thursday, August 2-4
If you’ve never experienced the organ as an improvisational instrument, this is your opportunity to hear what the “king of instruments” can do at the hands of the finest musicians. Highlighting the workshop are three performances at area churches, featuring three acclaimed organ improvisers. Eastman’s William Porter presents a concert at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church (August 2, 8 p.m.); Richard Erickson will continue this fantastic event with a performance at the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word (August 3, 8 p.m.). and Gerre Hancock will present his concert at Asbury First United Methodist Church (August 4, 8 p.m.) to finish the three-day event. All IMPROVfest concerts are free and open to the public.
Geneva Concerts is presenting encore performances of a number of Eastman summer concerts. Look for “Eastman in Geneva” on the Geneva Summer Arts Festival calendar, www.genevarts.com.
Note to editors & reporters : Additional program information and photos of some of the artists performing this summer are available upon request. Interviews and feature story opportunities — both print and broadcast — are possible.