From a 50th anniversary tour performance by the American Brass Quintet to concerts and recitals by its impressive student ensembles and world-renowned faculty, the Eastman School of Music continues its current concert season with a packed line-up in the spring.
The American Brass Quintet has been internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our times. Its rich history includes performances throughout the world, a discography of more than 50 recordings, and the premieres of more than 100 brass works. Their varied program on Tuesday, Jan. 26, as part of the Kilbourn Concert Series ranges from 17th-century Italian songs to a work by award-winning composer and Eastman School alumnus Shafer Mahoney. The Kilbourn Concert Series continues on Tuesday, Feb. 9, with the rising stars of the Amernet String Quartet, who will be joined by Arnold Steinhardt, first violinist of the legendary Guarneri Quartet, and Eastman School faculty pianist Barry Snyder.
Eastman’s World Music Series also picks up again next month, with Wu Man, an acclaimed artist on the lute-like Chinese pipa, performing on the Kilbourn Hall stage on Friday, Jan. 22. She will be joined by Ugandan James Makubuya on the stringed endongo and Lee Knight on the banjo and dulcimer. Eastman’s own Gamelan Lila Muni ensemble will present its annual concert of Balinese percussion music on Monday, April 26.
On Sunday, Feb. 21, the Eastman-Ranlet Series features the first Rochester performance of Richard Danielpour’s String Quartet No. 6 “Addio” by the Ying Quartet as part of the ensemble’s LifeMusic project commissioning new American works. The Ying Quartet will also present its third of six concerts devoted to the complete cycle of Beethoven quartets on Sunday, March 28. The Ranlet Series wraps up on Sunday, April 11, with the Orion String Quartet, each of whose members is a soloist in his own right, and pianist Peter Serkin performing the Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor and other works.
For Eastman faculty, recitals in Kilbourn Hall are an important part of their touring schedules. Thirteen individual faculty recitals are scheduled throughout the winter and spring. In addition, Eastman Virtuosi, an ensemble featuring members of the School’s faculty, will present concerts on Saturday, Jan. 16, and Saturday, March 20. The March program includes “Pulse” by Sebastian Currier, the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award, and offers local audiences a preview of the ensemble’s appearance at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City on March 27.
Local audiences also have many opportunities to enjoy free concerts by talented Eastman School student musicians, with guest conductors for several ensemble performances. Jeff Tyzik, principal pops conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, will lead the Eastman Philharmonia on Monday, Feb. 1, and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra on Monday, Feb. 8. The Eastman School Symphony Orchestra will also host Eastman School Dean Douglas Lowry as its guest conductor on Monday, March 1. In addition, two Eastman faculty members, lutenist Paul O’Dette and trombonist Mark Kellogg, will conduct the Eastman School Symphony on Sunday, March 21. Later in the month, O’Dette will conduct the Eastman Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday, March 31.
Eastman jazz ensembles have scheduled half a dozen performances during the winter and spring. The first jazz concert of the season, with Eastman Chamber Jazz on Monday, Jan. 25, will feature pianist Michael Weiss, grand prize winner of the 2000 BM Thelonius Monk Institute Composers Competition, as guest artist.
Chamber music and studio ensembles, including percussion, bass, and horn, will present concerts in both Kodak and Kilbourn Halls, while Eastman’s choral ensembles will be performing in several community locations. The Eastman at St. Michael’s Series of concerts at the historic Rochester church continues at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of the month through May.
The annual spring opera production offers opera lovers a special treat: a gala program of fully staged and costumed scenes from favorite operas of the standard repertoire. The presentations in Kodak Hall on Friday, March 26, and Sunday, March 28, include scenes from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Don Giovanni and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Eastman School will again host the finals of the popular Lotte Lenya Competition, an internationally recognized theater singing competition, on Saturday, April 17. The winners of Eastman School’s annual Jesse Kneisel Lieder Competition will perform in concert on Saturday, May 15.
Signal, a New York City-based new music ensemble under the direction of Eastman faculty member Brad Lubman, will present a guest concert with iconoclastic German composer Helmut Lachenmann on Friday, March 26. Local audiences will have the rare chance to hear Lachenmann perform two of his own solo piano works. The members of Signal, many of whom are Eastman alumni, will return Sunday, May 2, to join Eastman’s Musica Nova in a concert in Kodak Hall.
The sixth annual Women in Music Festival at Eastman, which celebrates women’s contributions to all aspects of music, welcomes Eastman alumna Emma Lou Diemer as the event’s composer-in-residence March 22 through 26. Daily concerts spotlight the full spectrum of music by women, from medieval to contemporary, and will include the first performance of Diemer’s “Quartet on Themes by Howard Hanson.” The festival will also feature the music of Shulamit Ran, an Israeli-born Pulitzer Prize winner who will spend three separate weeks at Eastman this spring as the Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of Composition. Ran’s works will also be performed by Musica Nova, Ossia, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
Organ enthusiasts can enjoy concerts and recitals in several locations this spring. At the Memorial Art Gallery, monthly Sunday showcase performances on the Italian Baroque Organ feature Kola Owolabi, an Eastman graduate and faculty member at Syracuse University, on Jan. 17; Eastman faculty members Hans Davidsson and Ulrika Davidsson on Feb. 21; and Winfried Dahlke of Germany on March 21. The Rochester Celebrity Organ Recital Series will feature Joan Lippincott on Friday, Feb. 12, in Christ Church and Michel Bouvard on Friday, April 30,in Sacred Heart Cathedral.
A full listing of concerts and events can be found on the web by visiting Eastman’s homepage at www.esm.rochester.edu. All are open to the public, and many are free. Tickets for concerts that require paid admission, with the exception of tickets for the Faculty Artist Series and Memorial Art Gallery concerts, are available at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office, 108 East Ave., (585) 454-2100, and online at www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts. 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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