With performances by the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble and the Ying Quartet, a celebration of one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, the first concerts on a breathtaking new organ, exciting guest artists, and world-class music making by faculty and students, the Eastman School of Music’s upcoming concert season offers events for every musical taste.
Highlights includes series such as the World Music Series, which premieres Friday, Sept. 19, with a performance by Cosmas Magay and Beauler Dyoko, masters of the mbira – instruments of metal keys mounted on a hardwood soundboard – and the Eastman-based ensemble African Alchemies. On Monday, Nov. 10, the series will feature Indian virtuoso musicians Kartik Seshadri on sitar; Rajeev Taranath on the sarod, and Arup Chattopadhyay on the tabla. More World Music will be presented in the spring.
Eastman’s resident Ying Quartet opens the Eastman-Ranlet Series of string quartet concerts on Sunday, Sept. 28, and also closes the series on Sunday, April 5, with the ensemble’s annual LifeMusic concert of commissioned contemporary American works. In between, the Miró Quartet, one of America’s bright young string quartets, performs on Sunday, Feb. 1; and the Takács Quartet, one of the world’s great quartets, appears in Kilbourn Hall on Sunday, March 22.
The famed Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble will appear in Rochester for the first time to open this year’s Kilbourn Concert Series on Tuesday, Oct. 14. The series also features baritone Christian Gerhaher with pianist Gerold Huber on Tuesday, Nov. 11, and pianist Stephen Hough, a winner of the Naumburg and a MacArthur Fellowship, on Tuesday, Dec. 2. The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, who is performing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Feb. 12 and 14, will give a recital of works from their latest CD, LAGQ: Brazil, in Kilbourn Hall on Sunday, Feb. 15.
Rochester residents will be able to hear the breathtaking sounds of the new Craighead-Saunders Organ at Christ Church during this year’s EROI (Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative Festival) Oct. 16 to 20. The 15-ton, 2,000-pipe organ is a scientific reconstruction of a historic 1776 organ in Vilnius Lithuania and will be the centerpiece of an inaugural concert on Thursday, Oct. 16, that will feature Eastman organ faculty, Christ Church Schola Cantorum, and Rochester City Ballet. In addition to its appearance on the Kilbourn Series earlier in the week, the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble will appear again at Christ Church on Friday evening, Oct. 17, for two performances of music by J.S. Bach (6:30 and 9:30 p.m.).
In addition, The Organ Spectacular: An International Organ Celebration on Sunday, Oct. 19, will feature hourly recitals between noon and 5 p.m. on the Italian Baroque organ in the Memorial Art Gallery. The Italian Baroque Organ Showcase series features once-a-month concerts by faculty and guest musicians on Sundays after the gallery closes. Highlights this fall include a lute and organ recital on Sept. 21, a presentation by Italian organist Edoardo Bellotti on Nov. 16; and a Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 21.
A three-day centenary celebration of David Oistrakh (1908-1974) is planned Friday, Oct. 10, through Sunday, Oct. 12. Eastman Professor Oleh Krysa, a student of Oistrakh’s, and other Eastman faculty will perform three concerts in tribute to the 20th century master.
Eastman School faculty members are world-renowned soloists and chamber musicians, and recitals in Kilbourn Hall are an important part of their performing schedules. The Faculty Artist Series kicks off with a spotlight on jazz on Tuesday, Sept. 23, and features four other recitals this fall and more in the spring.
Eastman Opera Theatre will present Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw Thursday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov. 9. Based on Henry James’s story of supernatural evil and loss of innocence, the opera is considered by many as the composer’s finest work. The 2008-2009 opera season also features Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” in the spring.
A multitude of concerts by student ensembles and orchestras give local audiences ample opportunities to enjoy diverse musical genres. Eastman’s renowned Philharmonia, the School’s senior orchestra, will present Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”on Saturday, Oct. 18, and Richard Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) on Wednesday, Nov. 19 (many know the opening bars of this piece from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey).
A full listing of concerts and events can be found on the web by visiting Eastman’s homepage at www.esm.rochester.edu. The 24-hour MusicLine at (585) 274-1100 offers recorded information on concerts in the coming four-to-seven days. Information is also available by calling the Concert Office at (585) 274-1110 during business hours.
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