Tag: Artist Series

Acclaimed Setzer, Finckel, Han Piano Trio Opens Lawrence’s 2014-15 Artist Series

Violinist Philip Setzer, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han open Lawrence University’s 2014-15 Artist Series Friday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel with a program of favorite piano trios.

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Violinist Philip Setzer, pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel have been hailed collectively as the “standard bearer” of the piano trio repertoire.

Tickets, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors and $18-20 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Internationally acclaimed, the “Han-Setzer-Finckel triumvirate” has been described by Edward Reichel of Reichel Recommends as the “standard bearer” of the piano trio repertoire. Setzer and Finckel, founding members of the celebrated Emerson String Quartet, have performed together for nearly 40 years.

As a professional and personal duo — they are husband and wife — Han and Finckel have performed to unanimous critical praise throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico, the Far East and Europe. They were honored as Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, which cited the “boldness, imagination and collaborative intimacy of their work.”

Samantha George, associate professor of music at Lawrence and a former student of Finckel’s and Setzer’s, said she is looking forward to hearing “such accomplished instrumentalists and chamber musicians live in concert instead of on a recording.

“I am excited that my Lawrence students will have a chance to work with these great artists in a chamber music master class and attend the trio’s performance,” said George.

Prior to their Friday evening concert performance, the trio will conduct a master class at 4:30 p.m. in Harper Hall.

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David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer.

Setzer, Finckel and Han will perform three contrasting standards of the piano trio repertoire for their concert: Piano Trio in G major, Op. 1 No. 2 by Ludwig von Beethoven; Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 67 by Dmitri Shostakovich; and Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 66 by Felix Mendelssohn.

The trio records regularly on Han and Finckel’s innovated label, AristLed. All 16 ArtistLed productions, including the trio’s recording of Dvořák’s Piano Trios, have earned with critical acclaim.

Han and Finckel are currently serving their third term as artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. They are the founders and artist directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley.

Setzer is professor of violin and chamber music and SUNY Sony Brook and regularly gives master classes throughout the United States and abroad.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Seraphic Fire, Spektral Quartet Present Lenten Tribute in Lawrence University Artist Series Concert

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Seraphic Fire

Twice Grammy Award-nominated vocal group Seraphic Fire and the string ensemble Spektral Quartet collaborate in a Good Friday performance of Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ,” a Lenten work offering choral/instrumental treatments to each of the seven last utterances of Jesus on the cross, in a Lawrence University Artist Series concert April 18 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $22-24 for adults, $20-22 for seniors and $17-19 for students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

One of America’s leading vocal ensembles, Miami’s Seraphic Fire is best known for repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to newly commissioned works and has produced a discography that includes 10 recordings.

“Quigley has a strong background in Renaissance and Baroque music, but he’s not a ‘museum curator,’” said Stephen Sieck, Lawrence assistant professor of music and co-director of choral studies. “He creates singularly vibrant performances and often finds masterworks that had gone under the radar for centuries.”

In 2012, Seraphic Fire received Grammy Award nominations for Best Choral Performance for its rendition of Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem,” which debuted at no. 7 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Charts, and Best Small Ensemble Performance for “A Seraphic Fire Christmas,” which NPR hailed as “just fabulous” in a review. Seraphic Fire was the only choir in North or South America to be nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012. It also was also the sole classical ensemble to be nominated for two separate projects.

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Spektral Quartet

The Chicago-based Spektral Quartet has been praised for “leading the charge toward progressive, high-caliber contemporary classical music” by The Chicago Reader. The group’s performances focus on eliminating the divide between classical masterworks and present-day compositions, staging intimate concerts with carefully curated set lists emphasizing the “conversational” potential contemporary and classical pairings.

The quartet holds an artist-in-residency at the University of Chicago and often undertakes unique musical projects. For its “Mobile Miniatures” initiative, the quartet commissioned 40 composers to write ringtone-length pieces of music for use on mobile devices.

“If ever there was a combination of ensembles that could provide the very highest of musical refinement and offer it in a new and impactful way, this is that,” said Sieck.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence Artist Series Welcomes Violinist Rachel Lee Priday Saturday, Feb. 8

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Violinist Rachel Lee Priday

Violinist Rachel Lee Priday, a protégé of Itzhak Perlman, brings her lyricism and compelling stage presence to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. in the second concert of Lawrence University’s 2013-14 Artist Series. She will be accompanied by pianist Julio Elizalde.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

Praised by the Chicago Tribune for her “dazzling dexterity” and the Baltimore Sun for her ability to “make the music sing,” Priday has achieved remarkable success throughout her still-evolving musical career. She made her orchestral debut at the Aspen Music Festival at the age of nine and has since performed throughout the United States as well as in France, Russia, South Korea and Singapore.

“Rachel plays with a beautiful sound, a very engaging stage personality and a fantastic technique,” said fellow violinist Wen-Lei Gu, associate professor of music at Lawrence.  “I’m personally very excited about Rachel’s recital since we both attended the Juilliard School and we have studied with some of the same teachers, including Miriam Fried and Dorothy Delay. This concert will be a wonderful opportunity for our students and local music lovers to hear some great violin playing.”

Recent career highlights for Priday include performances with the Chicago, St. Louis, Houston, Seattle and National symphony orchestras, the Boston Pops and the Berlin Staatskapelle.

Other notable appearances include the 2000 Grammy Awards ceremony, the 50th anniversary celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations and a PBS broadcast with her long-time teacher, world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman.

A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English literature and recently married, Priday has complemented her blossoming career as a virtuoso violinist by exploring how music interacts with language. Beyond her performance schedule, she has worked for The New Yorker magazine, the Paris Review and the Charlie Rose show.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Acclaimed St. Louis Brass Quintet Opens Lawrence’s 2013-14 Artist Series

The St. Louis Brass Quintet, one of the country’s oldest ensembles of its kind, opens Lawrence University’s 2013-14 Jazz Series Friday, October 11 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

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St. Louis Brass Quintet

Originally formed in 1964 by members of the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Louis Brass’ current lineup features Melvyn Jernigan, the only founding member still in the group, on trombone, Allan Dean and Ray Sasaki on trumpet, Thomas Bacon on horn and Daniel Perantoni on tuba.

While the quintet has performed more than 2,700 engagements in its 41-year history, this will be its first appearance at Lawrence.

Each artist boasts a distinguished resume outside the quintet. Dean, Sasaki and Perantoni are professors of music at Yale, the University of Texas and Indiana University, respectively. Bacon appears alongside Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong in the book “Twentieth Century Brass Soloists.” In addition to St. Louis Brass, Jernigan also was a founding member of the internationally renowned Summit Brass.

The quintet’s repertoire spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods to contemporary works as well as popular Western music and jazz arrangements of Ellington/Strayhorn, Gershwin and Cole Porter standards. More than 75 compositions have been written or arranged for the group, which has released two albums, six CDs and a DVD.

The SLBQ annually plays three, 10-day concert tours across the United States and also has performed throughout the world, including India, Japan, Mexico, Norway and Sweden.  Though the quintet has received international acclaim, its unique identity as a St. Louis mainstay is among its distinct characteristic. Hometown newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch deemed the quintet “a wonderful ensemble, both in the technical sense and as an atmosphere that emanates from the stage.”

James DeCorsey, horn professor at Lawrence, echoes that assessment.

“Saint Louis Brass is one of the most distinguished brass ensembles in the world,” said DeCorsey. “My colleagues and I have enormous respect for these elite musicians, each of whom is an outstanding teacher as well as virtuoso performer. These wonderful brass players always connect strongly with the audience, who can expect to hear a varied and sophisticated program delivered with charm, vibrancy and a touch of humor.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

2013-14 Lawrence University Performing Arts Series Filled with Music Legends, Rising Stars

Jazz guitar icon Pat Metheny and his Unity Group and the adventurous classical vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire are among the celebrated musicians slated to perform on Lawrence University’s 2013-14 Performing Arts Series.

Pat Metheny

Season subscriptions for both the Artist and Jazz Series or a “Favorite 4″ package are now available, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 18. For more information, contact the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. All concerts are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

“A wonderfully diverse line-up of stellar musicians makes next year’s Artist and Jazz Series concerts the place to be for lovers of great music,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “I look forward to seeing lots of familiar as well as new faces there.”

The St. Louis Brass Quintet, one of America’s oldest such ensembles, kicks off the four-concert Artist Series Oct. 11. Praised by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for creating an “atmosphere that emanates from the stage,” the group has performed more than 2,500 engagements during its nearly 50-year history. The quintet includes founding member, St. Louis native and trombonist Melvyn Jernigan as well as top musicians from throughout the country.

Internationally acclaimed violinist Rachel Lee performs Feb. 8, 2014. Lee has showcased her prodigious skill worldwide since performing at the United Nations at age nine. A Harvard University graduate, Lee is noted for her compelling stage presence and commitment to a wide-ranging repertoire. She has enjoyed solo engagements with the National Symphony, the Aspen Sinfonia at the Aspen Music Festival and repeat performances with the Seoul Philharmonic. Most recently she has made orchestral debuts with the Chicago, St. Louis, Houston and Seattle Symphony orchestras.

Rachel Lee

One of the country’s most sought-after young pianists, Orion Weiss takes the stage April 11, 2014. Weiss has toured the United States, China, Israel and throughout Europe. Since graduating from Juilliard School in 2004, he has been named a “pianist to watch” by the Los Angeles Times and hailed as an “effortlessly brilliant performer” by the Arizona Republic. In 2010, the Classical Recording Foundation Named Weiss its “Young Artist of the Year.”

A week after Weiss, the vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire, along with Spektral Quartet visits April 18, 2014. Featuring some of the country’s most talented vocalists, Seraphic Fire performs a diverse repertoire of choral works, ranging from Gregorian chant to newly commissioned works. The 11-member ensemble received two Grammy nominations in 2012 for their recordings of Brahms’ “A German Requiem,” which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Classical charts and a Christmas album that entered the top 10 on iTunes’ Classical chart on the day of its release.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to welcome Seraphic Fire to Lawrence,” said Stephen Sieck, co-director of choral studies at Lawrence. “The fact they were nominated for Grammys for two different projects in 2012 speaks to the level of excellence they bring. They combine the clear brightness of the best Early Music groups with the warmth and precise phrasing of the best European radio choirs.”

The Chicago-based, all-male Spektral Quartet blurs the lines between old and new music, pairing Beethoven and Mozart with Phillip Glass and Elliott Carter. Their innovative programs have become favorites of both classical music enthusiasts and new music aficionados.

Seraphic Fire

Lawrence’s 33rd annual Jazz Celebration Weekend opens the four-concert Jazz Series Nov. 8-9 with concerts by the Kate McGarry Quartet and the Yellowjackets, respectively.

Named DownBeat Magazine’s “Rising Star Vocalist” five times (2007, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12), the “astute and sensitive” McGarry also earned a 2009 Grammy Award nomination for best jazz vocalist. Drawing upon everything from her cultural Irish tunes to musical theatre to pop favorites, her discography includes five critically acclaimed albums, including “Girl Talk,” a tribute to her favorite jazz women vocalists, which was named one of the top jazz CDs of 2012 by Downbeat.

The Yellowjackets, a smooth jazz and jazz fusion group, has been a jazz world mainstay since their formation in 1977. The four-member group, among the longest tenured groups in jazz history, has effortlessly evolved with the times, earning two Grammy Awards along the way. From their first self-titled album in 1981 through 2011’s 11-track CD “Timeline,” the Yellowjackets’ discography numbers 25 releases.

On March 15, 2014, Lawrence welcomes Pat Metheny and his Unity Group. Winner of an astonishing 20 Grammy Awards in 12 different categories, Metheny’s musicianship is legendary. A nonpareil guitarist as well as accomplished composer, his impressive body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras and even ballet pieces. Metheny previously performed at Lawrence in 1984.

He’ll be joined on stage by his powerhouse Unity Group that features four all-star musicians in their own right: saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Ben Williams and pianist Giulio Carmassi.

“Pat is one of the most original guitarists and composers on the planet,” said Jose Encarnacion, an instructor in Lawrence’s Jazz Studies department. “His music, which combines elements of folk, contemporary, progressive jazz and fusion, is always fresh and powerful.”

Kenny Garrett

The Kenny Garrett Quintet closes the jazz series May 2, 2014. In a stellar career spanning more than three decades, Garrett has established himself as the pre-eminent alto saxophonists of his generation. After launching his career with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, he has gone on to perform with many of the giants of the genre, including Art Blakey, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, among others. The latest of his 19 albums as leader, 2012’s all-original “Seeds from the Underground,” earned two Grammy Award nominations. Garrett’s work often incorporates world music influences as reflected in his 2006, multi-award nominated disc “Beyond the Wall,” which interweaves his interests in Asian music with jazz.

This will be Garrett’s second appearance on the Lawrence Jazz Series, having previously performed in Feb. 2000.

“Kenny Garrett is one of my heroes and biggest inspiration,” said Encarnacion, a fellow saxophonist. “He is one of the most important alto saxophone players in the history of jazz. His voice is unique and in perfect alignment with the universe.”

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Jazz Series Welcomes The Bad Plus

The convention-breaking jazz trio The Bad Plus makes its Lawrence University debut Friday, February 1 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel as part of the college’s 2012-13 Jazz Series.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

The Bad Plus: Reid Anderson, bass; Ethan Iverson, piano; and David King, drums. Photo: Cameron Wittig.

The trio —Wisconsin native t Ethan Iverson on piano and Minnesotans Reid Anderson on bass and David King on drums — first performed together as teenagers once in 1990. They spent the next decade out exploring their own individual musical languages before reconnecting in 2000. A year later, they released their debut, self-titled album to critical acclaim, earning “best-of” honors from the New York Times, Chicago Reader and others.

As a band, The Bad Plus has continually attracted diverse audiences, combining ground-breaking original work with creative, genre-hopping covers of artists as diverse as Nirvana, Blondie and Pink Floyd as well as Neil Young, David Bowie and Black Sabbath.

The New York Times declared the band “better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post-60’s jazz and indie rock.”           

Bill Carrothers, who has played with many of the jazz world’s giants during a 31-year professional career, calls the Bad Plus “one of those groups that only comes along every once in a while in the timeline of our art form.”

“They are all consummate musicians, playing music in a way that is completely their own, doing so with one collective mind. They are taking the art form in new and unexpected directions” said Carrothers, who teaches jazz piano in Lawrence’s Conservatory of Music and collaborated on the Bad Plus drummer David King’s 2012 album “I’ve Been Ringing You.” “This is what we’re all trying to do, or would like to try to do. They’re actually doing it.”

The band’s discography of 10 albums includes 2010’s “Never Stop” and 2012’s “Made Possible,” both of which feature all original material. The trio, which has graced the covers of Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines, has toured steadily while collaborating with jazz legends Joshua Redman and Bill Frisell, among others.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Cellist Matt Haimovitz, Pianist Christopher O’Riley Open Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series

Combining individual virtuosity into a musical collaboration that blends classical and pop music genres, world-renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley open Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors, and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, or by calling 920-832-6749.

Based on their 2011 two-disc CD “Shuffle.Listen.Play,” the concert will showcase the award-winning talents of Haimovitz and O’Riley as collaborators and soloists in an eclectic program featuring works ranging from Bach to Astor Piazzolla and Igor Stravinsky to Radiohead.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz
Photo: Steph Mackinnon

Since making his musical debut at the age of 13 with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, Haimovitz has established himself as a musical pioneer and visionary, widely known for his trademark solo cello recitals, performed with many of the world’s most prestigious musical ensembles, among them the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in a string quintet alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich.

This will be Haimovitz’ second appearance at Lawrence. He performed as a 19-year-old Princeton University freshman in April 1990 with pianist Robert McDonald, a 1973 Lawrence graduate.

“We are thrilled to have Matt Haimovitz back on campus after a 22-year absence,” said cellist Janet Anthony, George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music. “A passionate, intellectually curious and adventurous cellist, he has made a name for himself by bringing Bach to an entirely new audience in coffeehouses and nightclubs while also stretching the boundaries of the traditional concert hall. By blending styles and genres and making connections between classical repertoire and up-to-the-minute pop music, this will be a very special and exciting musical experience.”

Performing on a Venetian cello made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller, Haimovitz drew raves for his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour in which he took Bach’s beloved cello suites out of the concert hall and into clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Boston Globe called Haimovitz a musician who “plays with great concentration, nobility of expression and technical panache.”

Pianist Christopher O’Riley
Photo: Wendy Lynch

O’Riley, who subscribes to the Duke Ellington adage “there are only two kinds of music, good music and bad,” is one of the leading interpreters of popular contemporary music. His discography includes two CDs of his own versions of Radiohead songs, a tribute to the works of singer/songwriter Nick Drake and 2009’s “Out of My Hands,” which was inspired by the works of various artists, among them Nirvana, REM, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos and Portishead.

A native of Evanston, Ill., O’Riley began classical piano studies at the age of four. He interests shifted to pop music and in the sixth grade started his own band. In addition to his touring schedule, O’Riley hosts the National Public Radio program “From the Top,” which spotlights rising young classical musicians.

“Chris has gained a lot of respect within the musical community for his wide-ranging repertoire, inventive programming and support of young talent through his radio program” said pianist Michael Mizrahi, assistant professor of music at Lawrence. “I’m very much looking forward to both his performance and his master class.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Broadway Superstar, 2012 Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald Added to 2012-13 Lawrence University Artist Series

Fresh off her 2012 Tony Award-winning run of 322 Broadway performances of  “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” soprano Audra McDonald has been added to Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series.

McDonald performs Sunday, March 10, 2013 as a replacement for previously announced soprano Kelli O’Hara, who had to cancel her March 9 scheduled performance.

Five-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald

In June, McDonald was honored with a record-tying fifth Tony Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical” for her portrayal of the beautiful-but-downtrodden Bess in the Gershwin classic. In a review of the production, the New York Times gushed “For devastating theatrical impact, it is hard to imagine any hurricane matching the tempest that is the extraordinary Audra McDonald. She is, in a word, great.”

McDonald previously collected Tony statutes for her performances in “Carousel” (1994), “Master Class” (1996), “Ragtime” (1998) and “A Raisin in the Sun” (2004).

Tickets for McDonald’s concert, at $30 for adults and seniors, and $15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, or by calling 920-832-6749. The box office will be closed for winter break Nov. 21-Jan. 2.

“When I heard Audra McDonald would be joining the Lawrence Artist Series, the first word out of my mouth was ‘Wow!,'”” said Joanne Bozeman, a voice teacher in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “I can’t think of anyone from the singing world — and that is a big world — who has performed brilliantly in so many genres: Broadway, musical theater, opera, straight theater, television, cabaret and concert appearances. She has a beautiful, versatile voice and technique. While I’m not sure which styles we will hear in her concert, I do know that it will be phenomenal singing and performing.”

Audra McDonald won the 2012 Tony Award for her portrayal of Bess in “Porgy and Bess.”

The versatile and multi-talented McDonald has dazzled audiences with equal aplomb on Broadway, the world’s great opera stages and in roles on film and television. Beyond her five Tony Awards (she’s been nominated two other times), she also has won two Grammy Awards for best opera recording and best classical album for her work on the Los Angeles Opera production “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”

Born in Berlin and a graduate of The Julliard School, McDonald holds the distinction of being one of only two Americans in more than 100 years invited to appear as a guest soloist at the Last Night of the Proms, London’s famous international classical musical festival.

Other honors include four Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, an Ovation Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Drama League’s 2000 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and 2012 Distinguished Performance Award.

As an actress, McDonald recently ended four seasons as Dr. Naomi Bennett on the ABC television series “Private Practice.”  She portrayed Bessie in the Peabody Award-winning CBS program “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years,” had a recurring role on NBC’s hit series “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and played Jackie Brock on the political drama “Mister Sterling.” In a 2008 made-for-TV adaption of “A Raisin in the Sun,” McDonald reprized her Tony-winning role of Ruth Younger, earning her second of two Emmy Award nominations.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

 

Renowned Performers, Rising Stars Featured in 2012-13 Artist and Jazz Series

Three-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara and a dynamic doubleheader weekend of award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling and the renowned Maria Schneider Orchestra are among the celebrated performers on the 2012-13 Lawrence University Performing Artist and Jazz Series.

Subscriptions for both series are on sale now and subscribers may choose from the Artist, Jazz, or “Favorite 4″ concert packages, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 17, 2012. Contact the Lawrence University Box Office at 920-832-6749 or visit the Lawrence Performing Arts page for more information.

Kelli O'Hara

After starring runs in the Tony Award-winning revival of “South Pacific,” “The Pajama Game” and “The Light in the Piazza,” O’Hara has established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies.

Hailed as Broadway’s “golden girl” by the New York Times, O’Hara brings her soulful soprano voice to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel March 9, 2013 as part of the four-concert Lawrence Artist Series.

Artist Series Opens Oct. 27

Cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley open the Artist Series Oct. 27 in an eclectic collaboration that crisscrosses classical and pop music genres, showcasing their talents as collaborators and soloists.  Their program will feature works by Bach and Gabrielli, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Piazzolla and Stravinsky.

A pair of April 2013 concerts rounds out the Artist Series schedule. The Jupiter String Quartet, winners of both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, performs April 12, 2013 while the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, hailed as “arguably the best ensemble of its kind in the world” by the Manchester Evening News, takes the Memorial Chapel stage April 26, 2013.

Formed in 2001, Boston-based Jupiter added winners of the Young Concert Artists International auditions to its resume in 2005. One of America’ most dynamic young string quartets, Jupiter performed the entire cycle of Beethoven string quartets — all 16 — last summer for the Aspen Music Festival.

Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet — the first permanently established wind quintet in the Berlin Philharmonic’s long history of chamber music — has been dazzling audiences around the world since 1988 with an uncanny ability to unite five disparate sounds into a collective smoothness.

Redefining the sound of the classic wind quintet, the ensemble’s repertoire includes the full spectrum of the wind quintet literature as well as works for enlarged ensemble, among them the sextets of Janácek and Reinicke or the septets of Hindemith and Koechlin.

“The 100-year-old tradition of excellence continues with next year’s exceptional Artist Series line-up,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music. “It is amazing to think that we can experience, right in our own Memorial Chapel, the same performers who are playing to sold-out houses in New York, Los Angeles or Berlin just the week before. These are musical opportunities not to be missed.”

Jazz Celebration Weekend Kicks off Jazz Series

The Kurt Elling Quartet and the Maria Schneider Orchestra headline the Lawrence’s 32nd annual Jazz Celebration Weekend Nov. 2-3, respectively.

Kurt Elling

Elling, described as “the standout male vocalist of our time”‘ by the New York Times, performs with the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble. A nine-time Grammy Award nominee and 2009 Grammy winner for “Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman,” Elling has won the DownBeat Critics Poll Male Vocalist of the Year Award an astonishing 12 years (2000-2011) in a row. This will be Elling’s second appearance at Jazz Weekend, having previously performed in 2003.

An internationally renowned jazz composer and conductor, Schneider formed her 17-member orchestra in 1993. A weekly performer at Visiones in Greenwich Village early on, the orchestra has since become a staple at concert venues around the world, earning 2005’s “Large Jazz Ensemble of the Year”‘ award from the Jazz Journalists Association. Her orchestra’s albums “Concert in the Garden” and 2007’s “Sky Blue” earned Grammy Awards and were named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and the Downbeat Critics Poll.

Maria Schneider

“I consider Maria Schneider the premier composer of music for the large jazz ensemble in the 21st century, and her Jazz Orchestra is among the finest big bands in the world today,” said Fred Sturm, director of jazz studies and improvisation music at Lawrence. “Her original works contain the most artistic renderings of melody, harmony, orchestration, and structure created by composers in all jazz-related genres over the past decade. Her scores and recordings have dramatically impacted the evolution of the jazz composition art form worldwide.”

The Bad Plus, a jazz trio born in 2000 that includes Wisconsin native Ethan Iverson on piano, brings its eclectic combination of avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences to the Memorial Chapel Feb. 1, 2013. The band has recorded versions of songs by diverse artists ranging from Nirvana, Blondie and Pink Floyd to Neil Young, David Bowie and Black Sabbath. According to a Rolling Stone review of a Bad Plus performance, the band is “about as badass as highbrow gets.”

Vocalist Gretchen Parlato closes the four-concert Jazz Series May 10, 2013. A Los Angeles native, Parlato won the 2003 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and two years later released her debut self-titled album to critical acclaim. Following the release of her second CD, 2011’s “The Lost and Found,” Parlato was named No. 1 Rising Star Female Vocalist in DownBeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll.

“Gretchen is one of the most unique, provocative, and hip singers on the scene today,” said Dane Richeson, professor of music in Lawrence’s jazz studies department. “She pulls together great musicians to work with her in her band and I promise hers will be a great concert.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.

Chanticleer — “The Orchestra of Voices” — Performs April 13 at Lawrence Memorial Chapel

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Mike Axtell when the 12-member, all-male vocal ensemble Chanticleer takes the Lawrence Memorial Chapel stage Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. for its 2011-12 Lawrence University Artist Series concert.

Tickets, at $30 for adults and seniors and $15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

Mike Axtell '09

A 2009 Lawrence graduate, Axtell is in his second season with Chanticleer. The ensemble is widely known as “The Orchestra of Voices,” in part for a repertoire that spans 10 centuries, from Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony and Romantic art song to contemporary music, jazz, spirituals and world music.

Now in its 34th season, San Francisco-based Chanticleer has long earned critics’ praises. The New Yorker magazine has hailed the ensemble as “the world’s reigning male chorus.” Winners of four Grammy Awards, including two for their world-premiere recording of Sir John Tavener’s “Lamentations and Praises,” Chanticleer was named the “Ensemble of the Year” in 2008 by Musical America and became the first vocal ensemble ever inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame that same year.  

“We’re incredibly excited to have Chanticleer on campus,” said Stephen Sieck, co-director of choral studies at Lawrence. “They combine the tight-knit blend of a four- or five-voice ensemble like the Hilliard Ensemble or The King’s Singers with the vocal prowess and flexibility of a much larger ensemble. Their ability to switch from Renaissance to Broadway and everything in between is exceptional.

“As professional men’s vocal ensembles go, this is like having the Berlin Philharmonic come to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel,” Sieck added.

A bass-baritone, Axtell studied in the voice studio of Associate Professor Karen Leigh-Post while at Lawrence, where he earned a degree in B.M. degree in vocal performance and a B.A. degree in theatre. As a student, he sang in the concert choir and performed in numerous theater productions, including the role of the prince in Lawrence’s production of “Cinderella.”

Axtell is the second Lawrence graduate to perform with Chanticleer, joining former member Gabriel Lewis-O’Connor ’04.

Beyond an exhausting performance schedule, which includes more than 100 performances around the world during the 2011-12 season, Chanticleer is dedicated to music education and outreach. For more than 20 years, the ensemble has offered master classes, lecture recitals and residencies to high school and college students. During their visit to Lawrence, members of the ensemble will hold a master class and work with the concert choir.

Since Chanticleer made its debut in June, 1978, more than 100 men have sung in the ensemble.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.