Tag: Lawrence Conservatory of Music

Mnozil Brass brings its whimsical virtuosity to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel

The seven-member ensemble Mnozil Brass brings its unique blend of music virtuosity and theatrical wit to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Wednesday, March 29 in a Lawrence University Artist Series performance.

A group photo of members of Mnozil Brass sitting on stools
The seven-member Mnozil Brass combines musical brilliance with touches of humor. Photo by Carsten Bunnemann.

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.

Since their first performances in 1992 at open mic events in a Vienna, Austria, tavern, the seven graduates of the renowned Vienna College of Music have established themselves as one of the world’s premiere brass ensembles…with a twist.

Presented with a generous dollop of Austrian-style humor, their repertoire spans the musical spectrum from Bach to Zappa, from the classics to new movie music. A concert program may include everything from Austrian drinking and folk songs to jazz and pop, new arrangements of classical works and some 20th-century German schlager pieces thrown in for good measure. Coupled with choreographed theater, dance moves and some slapstick antics have led to descriptions as “the Monty Python of the musical world.”

In his review of a 2016 performance, Jonathan Blumhofer wrote “Whether they’re lampooning scenes from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ leading the house in the Macarena or providing a lengthy commentary on the night’s proceedi

Thomas Gansch is one of the founding members of Mnozil Brass.

ngs in Spanish, the Mnozil’s are about as zany as they come. But they’re also among the most stellar brass players you might hope to encounter.”

Marty Erickson, who teaches tuba at Lawrence, calls their visit to Appleton “a must-see event.”

“Not only is this group considered the finest brass ensemble of its kind in the world, they do it all seemingly effortlessly with great fun,” said Erickson. “Imagine hearing something by Debussy followed by Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ or an opera excerpt followed by Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition.’ They are truly a hoot.”

Featuring three trumpet players —Thomas Gansch, Robert Rother and Roman Rindberger — three trombonists —Gerhard Füssl, Zoltan Kiss and Leonhard Paul — and one tuba player —Wilfried Branstoetter — Mnozil Brass has recorded eight albums and six DVDs. They’ve collaborated on three operetta and opera productions and composed and recorded the music for the 2006 film “Freundschaft.”

The ensemble has been nominated for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award and was the recipient of the prestigious Salzburger Stier Cabaret Prize in 2006.

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 welcomes Gerald Clayton Trio with guest artist Dayna Stephens for Jazz Series concert

Virtuoso jazz pianist Gerald Clayton brings his hard-swinging, melodic style along with an impressive pedigree to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. for the third concert of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 Jazz Series.

Tickets for the Gerald Clayton Trio and special guest Dayna Stephens, 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.

One of the leaders of the new generation of young jazz musicians, Gerald Clayton learned his craft playing with his legendary father, composer, arranger, conductor bassist extraordinaire John Clayton, and his uncle Jeff Clayton, noted alto saxophonist and multi-reed instrumentalist, in the Clayton Brothers combo.

Beyond the family influences, Gerald has been a much in-demand sideman, playing and recording with the likes of Diana Krall, Ambrose Akinmusire, Roy Hargrove and Terry Lyne Carrington. National Public Radio called Clayton “a warm and graceful player, with plenty of personal nuance” while DownBeat magazine has hailed him for his “nuanced touch, precise articulation and the way he constructs a narrative for his solos.”

A four-time Grammy Award nominee, Gerald formed his own trio in 2008 with drummer Justin Brown and bassist Joe Sanders.

The trio will be joined for the Lawrence concert by tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens, a former student of trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Herbie Hancock at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Jose Encarnación, director of the jazz studies program at Lawrence, calls Gerald Clayton “one of my favorite voices in improvised music.”

“Gerald’s musical stories are always honest, fresh and natural. He is the kind of artist that is always exploring and innovating,” said Encarnación. “It will be an honor to have him perform as part of our Jazz Series.”

Clayton’s discography includes his 2010 debut, “Two Shades,” for which he earned a Grammy Award nomination for best improvised jazz solo for his arrangement of Cole Porter’s “All of You.” His most recent releases 2012’s “Bond: The Paris Sessions” and 2013’s “Life Forum” both earned Clayton Grammy Award nominations for best jazz instrumental album.

The Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet closes Lawrence’s Jazz Series on May 13.

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.

Social activism explored in Lawrence opera production of “Hydrogen Jukebox”

With the help of the combined talents of vanguard composer Philip Glass and iconic beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence University’s opera studies program explores four decades of social activism in four performances of “Hydrogen Jukebox.”

The production will be staged Feb. 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. Tickets for the general public, at $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office. The opera is free to members of the Lawrence community with an ID.

A talk back with members of the cast, production team and Lawrence faculty will follow the Friday (2/17) and Saturday (2/18) performances.

The opera grew out of a 1988 chance meeting between Glass and Ginsberg at a New York City bookstore. A piano piece composed by Glass to accompany a Ginsberg reading of the anti-war poem “Wichita Vortex Sutra” at Broadway’s Schubert Theater evolved into a full-length piece that became “Hydrogen Jukebox.” The name came from a verse in Ginsberg’s 1955 poem “Howl.”

The opera’s first public performance was on May 26, 1990 at the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, S.C.

According to Glass, the idea behind “Hydrogen Jukebox” was to create a portrait of America covering the 1950s through the late 1980s by incorporating the personal poems of Ginsberg that examined a variety of social issues, from the anti-war movement and the sexual revolution to Eastern philosophy and environmental issues.

Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies at Lawrence, who is directing the production, said he selected the work in part to expose students to social activism in the country during the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

“The primary impetus of choosing an opera at an academic institution, especially an undergraduate one, is to serve the population of students you currently have,” said Woodruff, whose 2016 production of “The Beggar’s Opera” earned first-place honors in the National Opera Association’s Division 6 best opera production competition. “With the prevalent social unrest at universities and colleges last year, it seemed a responsible thing to do. I did not, however, anticipate falling so completely in love with Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg.”

The production features a cast of six singers and an actor. It incorporates a considerable among amount of video projection content, which is used in a variety of roles throughout the performance, including environmental and expressive of characters and thoughts.

“The cast, designers and I looked at the poetry and Glass’ and Ginsberg’s fascination and dedication to Eastern thought,” said Woodruff, “and we crafted an evening that is a journey from loss and back on the path of regaining oneself and one’s purpose.

“Highlights along the road include experimentation with consciousness to reconnect; opening oneself to help others, but having only harsh words and doubt to convey; looking into the past and finding the growth potential instead of being marred in past wrongs and shortcomings; and seeing things clearly and dispassionately, so that we may be most helpful to others and ourselves.”

Andrew Mast, Kimberly Clark Professor of Music and director of bands, conductors the music ensemble for the production. Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music, is the production’s music director and Reed Woodhouse, a senior vocal coach at Juilliard, is visiting guest artist and a vocal coach for the production.

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 pianist Michael Mizrahi’s second album coming out March 25

The second album by Lawrence University piano professor Michael Mizrahi — “Currents” — will be released Friday, March 25 on New Amsterdam records.

Michael Mizrahi
Michael Mizrahi

He’ll celebrate with a release party performance March 26 at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, N.Y.  Acclaimed violinist Michi Wiancko will join Mizrahi as a special guest.

The follow-up to 2012’s “The Bright Motion,” his critically acclaimed debut album, “Currents” features six new American piano works, almost all of which were commissioned by Mizrahi and written specifically with his singular sound and approach in mind. Among the composers who contributed to the album is his Lawrence conservatory faculty colleague Asha Srinivasan, whose track, “Mercurial Reveries,” is a probing five-movement work that draws on her Indian American heritage. It is in one moment domineering and terrifying and in the next, delicate, docile and nostalgic.

Sarah Kirkland Snider wrote the title track, “The Currents,” which flows from start to finish, with currents of sound pulling the listener through eddies and whirlpools along the way.

Currents-album_newsblogTroy Herion’s “Harpsichords” evokes a transparent Baroque texture, replete with trills and shakes while Mark Dancigers’ “The Bright Motion Ascending” — the third installment in his Bright Motion trilogy written for Mizrahi — explores the vibrant upper reaches of the instrument before plummeting back to Earth with a cataclysmic final chord.

“Heartbreaker,” written by Missy Mazzoli, begins with focused precision then  evolves into a trance-like state that eventually breaks down in a schizophrenic collapse. Patrick Burke‘s “Missing Piece” features piquant dissonances and slow-moving triadic harmonies that plumb the lowest ranges of the piano.

As the title suggests, the album embodies forward movement, building on great piano works of the past while propelling the solo piano repertoire ahead in a new and energized direction. In a review of the album, National Public Radio called Mizahi “a gifted pianist” who “plays with both tenderness and fierce beauty.”

“Currents” is available at bandcamp.com.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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 takes “The Beggar’s Opera” to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Lawrence University Opera makes its Fox Cities Performing Arts Center debut Feb. 25-28 with four performances of John Gay’s revolutionary “The Beggar’s Opera” in the Kimberly-Clark Theater.

Performances Thursday, Feb. 25- Saturday Feb. 27 begin at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 28 begins at 3 p.m. Tickets, at $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or the PAC Box Office, 920-730-3760.

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Elena Stabile as Polly Peachum and Mitchell Kasprzyk as Captain Macheath perform in Lawrence’s production of “The Beggar’s Opera.”

Written by Gay as an English counter-response to 18th-century Italian opera, “The Beggar’s Opera” challenges conventional ideas of criminal and governing factions, of love and necessity. The revolutionary opera changed theatre for the next two centuries, introducing the use of popular songs and ballads of the time in a biting satire on English government and society.

At the time, men called thief-takers received stolen goods from thieves and returned them to their rightful owners for a fee. Knowing the names and crimes of each thief they dealt with, the thief-takers could, if not provided enough bounty, turn him over to the authorities for a 40 £ reward. The authorities profitably cooperated with thief-takers in this corrupt system.

“John Gay and his fellow satirists observed and railed against the corruption in the magistrates and elected officials,” said Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies and stage director of the production. “‘The Beggar’s Opera’ is rife with these antitheses, pointing out that Lords are no more upstanding that the Highwaymen.”

The opera follows the tale of Peachum, thief-taker and informer, who conspires to send dashing and promiscuous highwayman Macheath to the gallows after Macheath has secretly married Peachum’s daughter, Polly. The result is a tale of chase and escape, of thieves and prostitutes, of love and loss, all told by the Beggar, who insists that the performance be viewed like all other fashionable operas of the time. In reality, of course, “The Beggar’s Opera” deliberately breaks away from the form of any opera before it.

Woodruff credited his experience working with the PAC last fall on his special “Expressions of Acceptance” micro-operas event for the location change from Lawrence’s Stansbury Theatre to the downtown venue.Beggar's-Opera_newsblog-4

“After planning the micro-operas there and meeting and working with the wonderful, generous team at the PAC, it seemed a perfect fit for this opera,” said Woodruff. “The Kimberly-Clark Theater has a very intimate feeling and the audience will be feet away from performers in a piece that is of the people and by the people.”

Guest conductor Hal France directs the orchestra, while Bonnie Koestner serves as music director and vocal coach. Choreography was designed by Margaret Paek and fight choreography by J. Christopher Carter. Michael J. Barnes served as the production’s accent coach.

In the double-cast production, sophomores Ian Grimshaw and John Perkins share the role of Mr. Peachum. Senior Elena Stabile and junior Lizzie Burmeister portray Polly Peachum, while seniors Mitchell Kasprzyk and David Pecsi portray Captain Macheath. seniors Kelsey Wang and Katie Mueller share the role of Lucy Lockit.

In addition to live music played my members of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra during the opera, Holy Sheboygan!, a local band of Lawrence alumni, will play a pre-opera concert beginning 30 minutes before the start of each day’s performance as well as during two 10-minute intermissions.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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 students earn five firsts at state singing competition

Lawrence University students claimed five first-place finishes at the annual Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition held Nov. 6-7 at UW-Eau Claire.

Alexander Quackenbush, Sun Prairie, and Clover Austin-Mueleck, San Francisco, Calif., won the men’s and women’s first-year division, respectively.

Yonah Barany, Portland, Ore., and Annie Mercado, Des Plaines, Ill., took top honors in the second-year men’s and women’s division, respectively.

Ian Grimshaw, Nellysford, Va., earned first-place honors in the men’s third-year division, while Elisabeth Burmeister, Chicago, Ill., received second-place honors in the third-year women’s division. Burmeister finished second in the second-year women’s division in 2014.

Austin-Mueleck and Grimshaw are students in the voice studio of Ken Bozeman, Frank C. Shattuck Professor of Music. Quackenbush and Barany study with Associate Professor Karen Leigh-Post. Mercado is a student of voice teacher John Gates. Burmeister studies in the voice studio of Joanne Bozeman.

Twelve of Lawrence’s 19 entries advanced to the finals in the competition, which drew nearly 400 singers from around the state. First-place finishers receive $150, while second-place finishers received $125.

The NATS competition features 22 separate divisions grouped by gender and level. Depending upon the category, competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language.

Alex-Quackenbush_newsblogClover-Austin-Meuleck_newsblogYonah-Barany_newsblogAnn-Mercado_newsblogIan-Grimshaw_newblogPictured (from left): Alex Quackenbush, Clover Austin-Mueleck, Yonah Barany,  Annie Mercado and Ian Grimshaw.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Kronos Quartet, Percussionists Terri Lyne Carrington, Peter Erskine, Headline Lawrence University’s 2014-15 Performing Arts Series

Kronos Quartet flashes its revolutionary approach to string repertoire while a pair of drummers share their Grammy Award-winning rhythms as headliners on Lawrence University’s 2014-15 Performing Arts Series.

Kronos web
The acclaimed Kronos Quartet — John Sherba, Sunny Yang, Hank Dutt and David Harrington — closes the Artist Series May 15, 2015.

Subscriptions for both the Artist and Jazz series are now on sale. Subscribers may choose from either series or a “Favorite 4” package, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 17, 2014. For more information, contact the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or boxoffice@lawrence.edu. All concerts are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

“I couldn’t be more excited about next year’s Artist and Jazz Series,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “Once again the very best in the world of classical and jazz musicians will be gracing the Memorial Chapel stage.  I invite everyone to come hear what promise to be thrilling performances.”

Founded in 1973 by violinist David Harrington, Kronos Quartet closes the four-concert Artist Series on a high note Friday, May 15, 2015, performing new works by some of the country’s most celebrated contemporary composers.

Kronos has led and continues to lead what surely must be the longest unending revolution by any ensemble ever in music history.”  — The Los Angeles Times

During a celebrated career spanning four decades, the Kronos Quartet—Harrington, John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello) — firmly has established itself as one the most influential groups of this generation.

With a discography totaling more than 50 recordings and 2.5 million in recording sales, Kronos has combined fearless exploration with an unwavering commitment to expand the range and context of the string quartet. Among the San Francisco-based quartet’s many honors are a 2004 Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance and 2003 Musicians of the Year honors from Musical America.

The chamber music trio of cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han and violinist Phillip Setzer opens the Artist Series Friday, Oct. 17. Individually, each has enjoyed stellar musical careers. Finckel and Han, Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, have served as artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004. Setzer, founding and current member of the acclaimed Emerson String Quartet, has appeared with leading symphony orchestras around the country, including the National Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Aspen Chamber Symphony, among others.

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Soprano Heidi Stober ’00 performs on the Artist Series March 13, 2015.

Soprano Heidi Stober returns to her alma mater for a Friday, March 13, 2015 Artist Series performance with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra. A 2000 Lawrence graduate, Stober is currently principal artist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin after making her house debut in 2008 as Pamina in “The Magic Flute.”

The one bright spot to this production was the luminous Oscar of Heidi Stober. Vocally scintillating, brilliant but rich in color, Stober was simply magnificent.”
— Opera News

She also has sung Pamina for the Metropolitan Opera, Nannetta in “Falstaff” for the San Francisco Opera, Ada in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison’s “Oscar” for the Santa Fe Opera and Musetta in a new production of Puccini’s “La bohème” at the Houston Grand Opera.

Melding the energy of rock music with the precision and nuance of classical chamber works, Third Coast Percussion visits the Memorial Chapel on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Employing an impressive array of instruments, Third Coast Percussion explores and expands the extraordinary sonic possibilities of the percussion repertoire, delivering a unique audience experience. Founded in 2005, the quartet champions the music of John Cage, Steve Reich, George Crumb and others.

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Terri Lyne Carrington opens Jazz Celebration Weekend Nov. 7 with a tribute to her Grammy-winning album “The Mosaic Project.”

A pair of Grammy Award-winning drummers — Terri Lyne Carrington and Peter Erskine — kick off the Jazz Series, sharing the spotlight Nov. 7-8, respectively, for Lawrence’s 34th annual Jazz Celebration Weekend.

Carrington opens Jazz Celebration Weekend with a big-band tribute to her 2011 Grammy-Award winning album “The Mosaic Project.” She’ll be joined on stage by pianist Geri Allen, singer Lizz Wright and trumpeter Ingrid Jenson, who previously performed at Jazz Celebration Weekend in 2008.

Carrington honed her jazz chops during 20-plus years of touring with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, David Sanborn, Clark Terry, among others.

Erskine, who began playing drums at the age of four, has been at the forefront of world-class jazz ensembles for more than 40 years, starting with Stan Kenton’s band in 1972. He’s also played and recorded with Maynard Ferguson, Weather Report, the Brecker Brothers, the Yellowjackets, Chick Corea and a host of others.

His recording credits include an astonishing 500 albums with artists ranging from Diana Krall and Pat Metheny to Steely Dan and Joe Henderson as well as 10 solo albums. He’s been recognized 10 times in the jazz drummer category by Modern Drummer magazine’s annual Readers’ Poll.

Robert Glaspe-newsblog
Robert Glasper performs on the Jazz Series Jan. 30, 2015.

Pianist Robert Glasper shares his unique brand of jazz/hip-hop/R&B in a Jazz Series concert Friday, January 30, 2015.

A native of Houston, his accessible melodies, tumultuous beats and bright lyricism has been compared to jazz icons Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. He will be joined by his electric band — Chris Dave (drums), Derrick Hodge (electric bass) and Casey Benjamin (saxophone, vocoder).

Glasper’s 2012 disc, “Black Radio,” which blurred the lines of jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock & roll, entered the Billboard jazz charts at number one.

Accomplished keyboardist/composer/arranger Jon Cowherd closes the Jazz Series Thursday, April 17, 2015 with a presentation of his “Mercy Project,” which he describes as “a personal milestone.”

While Cowherd’s instrumental work has been featured on albums spanning artists as diverse as Iggy Pop, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn and Victoria Williams, 2012’s “Mercy” is his first album under his name. “Mercy” is compelling evidence of Cowherd’s remarkable sensitivity, inventiveness and versatility as both composer and musician.

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.

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.

 

Jazz Legend Pat Metheny Plays Lawrence Memorial Chapel March 15

Nearly 30 years after his first appearance at Lawrence University, legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny returns to campus — with his touring band Unity Group — Saturday, March 15 for an 8 p.m. Lawrence Jazz Series concert in the Memorial Chapel.

Tickets for Pat Metheny Unity Group, at $30 adults, $15 students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or online.

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Chris Potter, saxophone; Giulio Carmassi, multi-instrumentalist; Ben Williams, bassist; Antonio Sanchez, percussion; Pat Metheny, guitar.

Metheny first performed at Lawrence in the fall of 1984, two years after he won the first of his 20 Grammy Awards. His most recent Grammy was awarded in 2013 for best jazz instrumental album with Unity Band. During a four-decade career, Metheny has enjoyed near unparalleled success. His impressive resume includes:

35 Grammy award nominations in 12 different categories.

• 20 Grammy Awards, with wins in an amazing 10 different categories, the only musician ever to earn a Grammy in that many categories. He also won an unprecedented seven Grammys in a row for seven consecutive Pat Metheny Group recordings. Founded in 1977, the Pat Metheny Group has won a total of 10 Grammy Awards.

3 Gold Records — “Secret Story,” 1992;  “Letter From Home,” 1989; and “Still Life (Talking)” 1987.

42 recordings totaling with 20 million records sold worldwide.

Three-time “Guitarist of the Year” Award winner (2009, ’10 and ’11) in DownBeat Magazine’s Readers Poll.

Inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in November, 2013.

2014 Goya Award — Spain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards — for Best Soundtrack for the film “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”

“One of the greatest musicians on the planet”

“I have always loved the music of Pat Metheny, which has always simultaneously surprised me and left me with a feeling of familiarity,” said Steve Peplin, adjunct professor of jazz guitar in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “Pat has taught us that the true medium of the musician/composer isn’t just sound, but the human spirit. Aside from being the heavyweight champ of jazz guitar, he has changed the sound of the guitar several times as a sound innovator.

“Pat is a great composer who always manages to create the thing we really want: the feeling. I have never once heard Pat without being moved,” Peplin added. “To hear Pat with the masters in the Unity band is…should be…illegal.”

The Unity Band, which will join Metheny on the Chapel stage, features its own line-up of stellar musicians:  saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams; percussionist Antonio Sanchez, and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, who plays everything from piano and keyboards to woodwinds and brass, guitar, bass and drums.

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Pat Metheny

Metheny has called his collaborations with Unity Band “life changing.”

“With Guilio added to the core four of us,” said Metheny, “with Chris Potter, in addition to being one of the most exciting soloists in jazz on any instrument and one of the most versatile woodwind players in history, he also happens to be a killer piano player and very good guitarist, with Ben Williams being equally great on both acoustic and electric basses, and with Antonio Sanchez, one of the greatest drummers in the world right now, just about anything will be possible.”

Internationally renowned musician and composer John Zorn calls Metheny “a living legend—one of those rare lights in the universe. His incredible facility and dedication, indefatigable energy and focus, imagination, and never-ending curiosity have distinguished him as truly one of the greatest musicians on the planet.”

In 2013, Metheny collaborated with Zorn on “Tap: The Book of Angels, Volume 20,” for Zorn’s ambitious project “Masada Book Two.” The album, a tour de force showcase of Metheny’s versatility, features him playing guitars, bass, bandoneón, electronics, flugelhorn, keyboards, orchestrionics, percussion, sitar, tiples and 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 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.

Cellist Miles Link Wins State Competition

Lawrence University cellist Miles Link earned first-place honors at the recent (Jan. 26) Wisconsin Cello Society Solo Competition conducted at UW-Stevens Point.

Miles-Link_newsblog
Miles Link ’16

A sophomore cello performance and economics major from Wilmette, Ill., Link competed in the competition’s Young Artist division (age 18-25). He received a $500 prize for his winning performance, which featured Bach’s “Prelude from the Suite in D major” and Tchhaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33.”  Students in the competition perform 10-15 minutes of music of their own choosing.

Link’s winning performance was played on the college’s Cox cello, an instrument built by master luthier Douglas Cox of West Brattleboro, Vt. Allen Greenberg, a music lover from Chevy Chase, Md., commissioned the instrument, along with two violins and a viola, after visiting Lawrence in 2006 with his son, a prospective student and string musician.

Link was one of three Lawrence students selected as finalists for the competition, joining senior Claire Bachman, Minneapolis, Minn., and sophomore Alex Lessenger, Golden, Colo. All three study in the cello studio of Janet Anthony.

Founded in 2000, the Wisconsin Cello Society is a state-wide organization that promotes the art and appreciation of cello playing, furthers the musical development of its members and provides performance opportunities for professional, amateur and student cellists.

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.