Tag: Lawrence Artist Series

Renowned pianist Jonathan Biss opens 2017-18 Artist Series

Internationally acclaimed pianist Jonathan Biss shares his talent, passion and intellectual curiosity with classical music Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. in the opening concert of Lawrence University’s 2017-18 Artist Series.

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

Jonathan BissBorn into a family of musicians in Bloomington, Ind., Biss has nearly two decades on the concert stage. He has forged relationships with the New York Philharmonic; the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Philharmonia orchestras; the Boston, Chicago and Swedish Radio symphony orchestras; and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras, among others.

Piano teacher Catherine Kautsky, George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music, hailed Biss as “one of the most interesting leading pianists of the younger generation.”

“His programming is unfailingly original,” said Kautsky. “He grapples with the most challenging repertoire and his musical thinking, in both words and performance, is sophisticated, articulate and personal.

“Getting him to Appleton is a coup,” she added. “We’re in the company of the world’s leading musical capitals.”

Earlier this year, Biss performed the world premiere of “City Stanzas,” a concerto by British composer Sally Beamish, as the second installment in the “Beethoven/5” project. For the project, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra co-commissioned five composers to write new piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s.

Biss’ virtuosity has been recognized with numerous honors, including the 2005 Leonard Bernstein Award at Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, which honors young artists of exceptional accomplishment and the biannual Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, which rewards musical excellence.

His 11-album discography includes a Schumann recital album which received a Diapason d’Or de l’année award and a recital album of Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Op. 13, 28, 90 and 109 which won the Edison Award, an annual Dutch music prize presented in honor of outstanding achievements in the music industry.

Biss served as artist-in-residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and was the first American chosen to participate in the BBC’s New Generation Artist program.

In addition to his concert, Biss will conduct a free master class on Thursday Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in Harper Hall.

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 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.

Lawrence Artist Series welcomes Elias String Quartet

The internationally acclaimed London-based Elias String Quartet brings its reputation for performing with “exuberance and fire” to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, Feb. 3 in the second concert of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 Artist Series.

Tickets, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors, $18-20 for students, are available online through the Lawrence Box Office or by calling 920-832-6749.A photo of London-based Elias String Quartet sitting on the couch.

Hailed as one of the leading ensembles of their generation, Elias will feature Beethoven’s “String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95,” Kurtág’s “Moments musicaux for string quartet, Op. 44” and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13” in its Lawrence performance.

A product of Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music in England, the quartet has evolved from student group to professional ensemble, earning raves for its artistic excellence after bursting on the scene in 1998. Since then, they have performed around the world, collaborating with many of the best musicians in the world’s most revered venues.

In 2015, the quartet — violinists Sara Bitlloch and Donald Grant, violist Martin Saving and cellist Marie Bitlloch, Sara’s sister — finished its ground-breaking Beethoven Project, which saw it record and perform the composer’s complete set of works for string quartet.

In its review of a recent performance, The Sunday Times of London raved “The players are individually brilliant, but their interplay is profound” while the Philadelphia Inquiring called their playing “intoxicating.”

Passionate about playing new music, Elias has premiered works by contemporary composers Sally Beamish and Colin Matthews of the UK, Matthew Hindson from Australia and American Timo Andres. In addition to the Beethoven project, their discography includes Mendelssohn and Britten as well as an album of French harp music and Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Jonathan Biss.

Remaining performers on this year’s Artist Series line-up include Mnozil Brass, March 29,  and Roomful of Teeth, April 7.

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 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.

Broadway Superstar, 2012 Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald Performs March 10 in Artist Series Concert

Broadway superstar and award-winning actress Audra McDonald brings her luminous soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling to the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel Sunday, March 10 for an 8 p.m. performance. The concert is part of Lawrence’s 2012-13 Artist Series.

Tickets, at $30 for adults and seniors, and $15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., 920-832-6749.

McDonald is replacing previously announced Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, who had to cancel her appearance. Series orders for the Kelli O’Hara performance will be honored for the Audra McDonald concert. If ticket holders have any questions or would like to exchange their tickets for another event or receive a refund, contact the Lawrence University Box Office.

McDonald, who made her Broadway debut in 1992 while still a student at Julliard School, earned a record-tying fifth Tony Award last year for her portrayal of the beautiful-but-downtrodden Bess in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.” She is the only actress to win five Tonys within a 20-year period, as well as the youngest performer and first African-American to do so.

In a review of the production, which won the 2012 Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical,” 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, 42, the first person in Broadway history to win three Tony Awards before the age of 30, also has been honored with Tonys for her performance in “Carousel” (1994), “Master Class” (1996), “Ragtime” (1998) and “A Raisin in the Sun” (2004).

“Lawrence is absolutely thrilled to welcome Audra McDonald to our Artist Series,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music. “Rarely has there been a singer of such musical acclaim in so many genres. From opera to musical theater, from television to the concert stage, she wows audiences wherever she performs. The conservatory is buzzing with excitement for her performance. We can hardly wait.”

Away from Broadway, the versatile and multitalented McDonald has dazzled audiences with equal aplomb on the world’s great opera stages and in roles on film and television.

She has sung with virtually every major American orchestra, including Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and National symphonies, the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras.

McDonald is a two-time Grammy Award winner for her work on the Los Angeles Opera production “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”

As an actress, McDonald may be best known for her portrayal of Dr. Naomi Bennett on the ABC television series “Private Practice” for four seasons (2007-11). She was 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 earned her second Emmy Award nomination for her role as Ruth Younger.

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.

Born in Berlin and a 1993 Julliard School graduate, McDonald is 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.

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.