Tag: Piano

2017-18 Lawrence Performing Arts Series features renowned classical, jazz musicians

More than a dozen world-class artists will grace the stage of the Lawrence Memorial Chapel during Lawrence University’s 2017-18 Performing Arts Series.

Subscriptions for both the Artist and Jazz series are on sale now. Subscribers may choose from either series for a “Favorite 4” package, 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 or boxoffice@lawrence.edu.

The Artist Series     

• Jonathan Biss, piano, Friday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m.

A head shot of pianist Jonathan Biss
Pianist Jonathan Biss. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega.

Since making his New York City recital debut as a 20-year old in 2000, Biss has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and many other of the world’s leading orchestras.

He performs regularly as a guest soloist throughout Europe and in 2002 became first American to be named the BBC’s “New Generation Artist.”

Biss is currently in his second year of the “Beethoven/5” project, in which he will premiere five new piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s. He opened the project in 2016 with “The Blind Banister” by Timo Andre, which was a finalist for Pulitzer Prize in Music. Later this year he will debut Sally Beamish’s concerto with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

• Sasha Cooke, mezzo soprano, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, 8 p.m.

A head shot of singer Sasha Cooke
Mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke

A 2011 Grammy Award-winner for her electrifying performance as Kitty Oppenhemier in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of “Doctor Atomic,” Cooke has been racking up acclaim and honors since graduating from Rice University and the Juilliard School, where she made her professional debut.

Hailed by the New York Times as “a luminous standout,” Cooke specializes in contemporary opera and is renowned for her work with the music of Gustav Mahler, which she has performed to robust praise on four continents.

A much-in-demand singer, Cooke has performed with nearly 30 orchestras around the world from New York to New Zealand and from San Francisco to Shanghai.

She released her debut solo album “If you love for beauty” with the Colburn Orchestra in 2012, one of six albums in her discography. Her latest, “Liszt: The Complete Songs, Vol 4” was released in 20

• Colin Currie, percussion, Friday, March 30, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of percussionist Colin Currie.
Percussionist Colin Currie

A champion of new music at the highest level, Currie has been called “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” by British magazine The Spectator. A graduate of England’s Royal Academy of Music, Currie performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.

Known as an adventurous soloist with an unmatched commitment to creating new music, Currie was recognized by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2000 with its Young Artist Award and in 2015 with its prestigious Instrumentalist Award.

Professor of Music Dane Richeson, who teaches percussion in the Lawrence conservatory, said Currie “ranks right there with the top contemporary percussionists in the world.”

“Colin has inspired many new compositions that have led the way in breaking new ground for the percussive arts, bringing whole new audiences and appreciation to the art form,” said Richeson. “We’re all grateful for his musical mastery.”

Currie’s 13-album discography includes 2016’s “Dawn to Dust” with the Utah Symphony.

• Joshua Roman, cello, with JACK Quartet, Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of cellist Joshua Roman.
Cellist Joshua Roman

The 33-year old Roman has earned an international reputation for his wide-ranging repertoire, artistic leadership and versatility. Beyond being a celebrated performer, he is recognized as an accomplished composer and curator.

As artistic director of Seattle’s TownMusic, Roman has showcased his own eclectic musical influences and chamber music favorites while also promoting newly commissioned works. His cultural leadership utilizes digital platforms to harness new audiences, including YouTube for his “Everyday Bach” project, in which he performs Bach’s cello suites in gorgeous settings around the world.

A photo of the musical quartet JACK Quartet
JACK Quartet

He’ll be joined by the JACK Quartet — violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violinist John Pickford Richards and cellist Kevin McFarland. Founded in 2007 and based in New York City, the quartet was called “superheroes of the new music world” by the Boston Globe.

Their performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center were met with critical acclaim and their commitment to new music has earned them the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and New Music USA’s Trailblazer Award.

The Jazz Series

• Lizz Wright, vocalist, Friday, November 3, 7:30 p.m.

A headshot of singer LIzz Wright
Singer Lizz Wright. Photo by Jesse Kitt.

The charismatic, honey-voiced Wright opens Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend. A native of Georgia who makes her home now in North Carolina, Wright’s musical baptism began in church. Her early gospel roots have since been fused with jazz, blues, folk and R&B, earning comparisons to Norah Jones.

She has drawn critical raves since her debut album, “Salt,” zoomed to the top of the contemporary jazz charts in 2003.  Through her three following discs, Wright has demonstrated her innovative interpretation skills and established herself as popular song stylist.

• Storms/Nocturnes with the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, Saturday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.

A photo of the trio Storms/Nocturnes
Storms/Nocturnes

Combine British saxophone legend Tim Garland, world-class vibraphone virtuoso Joe Locke and recent Grammy nominee pianist Geoffrey Keezer and you have a chamber jazz trio with few peers. The extraordinary combination serves as the bookend to Lizz Wright for Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend.

As Storms/Nocturnes, the three artists combine their distinctive talents and diverse backgrounds to create captivating music that can be spacious or immensely complex one moment and delicate the next. No less an authority than jazz legend Chick Corea has said “This trio truly sizzles with virtuosity and creativity.”

After collaborating on a pair of successful releases, “Storms/Nocturnes” in 2002 and “Rising Tide” in 2003, the trio members spent seven years working on individual projects and with other bands before reuniting in 2010 to release the 10-track disc “VIA” the following year. The reunion revived one of the most timeless intercontinental jazz collaborations in the world today.

• Joe Lovano Classic Quartet, Friday, February 2, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of saxophonist Joe Lovano
Saxophonist Joe Lavano

For more than 20 years, Lovano has enjoyed an international reputation as one of the world’s premiere tenor saxophonists. Allmusic critic Chris Kelsey has described him as “”the tenor titan for our times.”

A 2000 Grammy Award winner, Lovano more recently was recognized by DownBeat magazine and the Jazz Journalists Association as 2014’s tenor saxophonist of the year.

José Encarnación, director of jazz studies at Lawrence who met Lovano at the Heineken Jazz Festival in the late 1990s, calls him “one of my favorite saxophone players ever.

“Joe’s unique voice on the saxophone, or any other instrument he plays, is so full of expression and freedom,” said Encarnación. “He possesses that innate ability in his playing to convey the sense of fresh spontaneity that has always characterized the music’s greatest improvisers.”

• Vijay Iyer Sextet, Friday, May 11, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of pianist Vijay Iyer
Pianist Vijay Iyer

A three-time recipient (2012, ’15, ’16) of DownBeat magazine’s “Artist of the Year” honor, Iyer unprecedentedly added Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year and Rising Star Composer honors in the 2012 Downbeat International Critics Poll.

It’s little wonder the The New York Times wrote “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.”

The recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2013, Iyer has expanded his acclaimed piano trio to a sextet by adding renowned horn players Graham Haynes, Steve Lehman and Mark Shim.

In 2014, Iyer began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in Harvard University’s music department.

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 student pianists finish 1-2 in Green Bay Civic Symphony concerto competition

A Head shot of Lawrence University student Derrick Hahn.
Derrick Hahn ’17

Lawrence University pianists Derrick Hahn and Evan Newman earned first- and second-place honors, respectively, Nov. 12 in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay’s Miroslav Pansky Memorial Concerto Competition.

Hahn, a senior from Milwaukee, is the fourth Lawrence student since 2009 to win the Pansky competition. He played the first movement of Béla Bartók’s “Second Concerto” for the competition and received $500 for his winning performance. He will reprise his performance with the Civic Symphony as guest artist on Feb. 18, 2017 in a concert at the Meyer Theater.

This was Hahn’s second competition triumph this fall. Last month he won the piano division of the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Wisconsin state competition.

Newman, a senior from Plymouth, Minn., received $250 for his second-place performance. He performed Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1 for the competition. Newman earned honorable mention honors at the MTNA Wisconsin state competition.

Both are students in the piano studio of Associate Professor of Music Anthony Padilla.

Emmy Hauer, an Appleton home-schooled freshman who studies violin with Lawrence Associate Professor Samantha George through the Lawrence Academy of Music, placed second in the Pansky competition’s high school division.

The competition is open to voice, brass, woodwind and piano students from Northeast Wisconsin through the age of 21. It is named in honor of the late Miroslav Pansky, the long-time conductor of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and founder of its youth orchestras.

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 students win three divisions at state music competition

A photo of Music Teachers National Association seal.Lawrence University students captured three first-place honors at the recent 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Wisconsin state competition conducted at UW-Stevens Point.

Senior Derrick Hahn of Milwaukee extended Lawrence’s remarkable streak in the piano division with his winning performance, becoming the 16th Lawrence piano student in the past 17 years to win the annual Wisconsin MTNA competition.

A Head shot of Lawrence University student Derrick Hahn.
Derrick Hahn

Lawrence students swept the piano division. Senior Ming Hu of Changsha, China was named first alternate while sophomore Nick Suminski of Williamsburg, Mich., sophomore Mayan Essak of Shorewood, senior Evan Newman of Plymouth, Minn., and freshman Gabrielle Claus of Lancaster, Pa., all earned honorable mention recognition.

Flutist Bianca Pratte, a sophomore from Walnut Creek, Calif., won the woodwind competition, marking the second year in a row a Lawrence flutist won the MTNA woodwind division.

Trio Arcia — junior Ethan Valentin of Chicago, piano, junior Meghan Murphy of Wauwatosa, violin, and junior Mikaela Marget of Stillwater, Minn., cello, was named winner of the chamber music division.

Each of the three winners will advance to the East Central regional competition Jan. 14-15, 2017 at Central Michigan University. Regional winners advance to the MTNA national finals in March 2017 in Baltimore, Md.

Hahn, who studies in the studio of Anthony Padilla, played Rodion Shchedrin’s “Basso Ostinato” and Brahms’ first published work, the massive “First Sonata in C major” for his winning performance.

A photo of Lawrence University student Bianca Pratte playing flute.
Bianca Pratte

Pratte, a student in Erin Lesser’s flute studio and the 2015 winner of the Wisconsin Flute Festival’s Collegiate competition and the National Flute Association Collegiate Flute Choir competition, played Frank Martin’s “Ballade for flute and piano,” Robert Muczynski’s “Three Preludes for Solo Flute” and Jules Mouquet’s “La Flute de Pan” in the finals.

Arcia Trio’s winning program consisted of the second movement of Dvorak’s “Dumky” and the first movement of Beethoven “Ghost.”

The MTNA performance competitions recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.

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 pianist Jeremy Denk

With a thought-provoking repertoire and an enthusiastic interest in all things music, pianist Jeremy Denk brings his gifts for enlivening the musical experience for diverse audiences to Lawrence University’s Artist Series.

Jeremy-Denk_newsblog
Jeremy Denk

Denk performs Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. 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.

Through performances with many of the country’s leading orchestras, among them the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, Denk has built a reputation as one of America’s most compelling artists. The New York Times praised Denk as someone “you want to hear no matter what he performs.”

He has toured extensively with violinist Joshua Bell and collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis. His 2012 album with Bell, “French Impressions,” won the 2012 Echo Klassik Award.

“Jeremy Denk is one of the most fascinating young pianists out there,” said Catherine Kautsky, professor of music and chair of the keyboard department at Lawrence. “He not only plays a massive range of repertoire with total command— going from Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ to Ligeti’s immensely difficult and recent ‘Etudes’— but he also speaks and writes about music with a rare eloquence.”

Named a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s coveted $625,000 “Genius” Fellowship in 2013, he was honored the following year with Musical America’s 2014 “Instrumentalist of the Year” award. That same year, he was named winner of the Avery Fisher Prize, which is awarded by New York City’s Lincoln Center and recognizes solo instrumentalists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and excellence in music. It includes a $75,000 monetary prize.

Beyond his captivating performances, Denk contributes eloquent insights about music on his blog, “Think Denk,” which recently was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress’ web archives. An article he wrote for The New Yorker in 2013 entitled “Every Good Boy Does Fine” forms the basis for a memoir about his experiences as a music student.

In an interview he conducted with the UK’s Daily Mail, Denk said he likes to “tear the music apart and see how it works.”

“My way of communicating is to hopefully help people see the elements that I see, and [explore] why this music is so strange and beautiful.”

Currently living in New York City, Denk holds degrees from Oberlin College, Indiana University and the Julliard School.

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 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.

 

Michael Mizrahi and NOW Ensemble release third album, “Dreamfall”

NOW Ensemble, an eclectic chamber ensemble co-founded by Lawrence University Professor of Music and pianist Michael Mizrahi, released its latest album, “Dreamfall,” May 27 on New Amsterdam Records.

NOW-Ensemble-newsblog
NOW Ensemble features electric guitarist Mark Dancigers, flutist Alexandra Sopp, bassist Logan Coale, clarinetist Sara Budde and pianist Michael Mizrahi.

The ensemble’s third full-length album in the past 10 years, “Dreamfall” explores vibrant new sonic possibilities while featuring several new commissioned works by some of today’s leading young composers, including Andrea Mazzariello, Scott Smallwood and John Supko.

Mizrahi launched NOW Ensemble in 2004 with a vision of creating new chamber music for the 21st century. With its unique instrumentation — flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass and piano — the ensemble provides a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, reflecting the musical influences and diverse backgrounds of its members.

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.

Pianist Robert Glasper brings his brand of acoustic jazz roots to Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Versatile pianist and composer Robert Glasper and his band, the Robert Glasper Trio, showcases his forthcoming album “Covered” Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m. in the final concert of the 2014-15 Lawrence University Jazz Series.

Robert-Glasper_newsblog
Robert Glasper previews his forthcoming album “Covered” May 1 in the final 2014-15 Jazz Series concert.

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

In “Covered,” Glasper returns to his acoustic jazz roots while continuing to explore the hip-hop and R&B sound that earned him two Grammy Awards for his albums “Black Radio” and “Black Radio 2.

The album, which is scheduled for official release June 16, was recorded live in front of an intimate gathering of invited guests in Capitol Records’ historic Studio A. The first single from the album, “Reckoner,” a cover of the Radiohead song, was made available to all streaming services and digital retailers on April 22.

“Robert Glasper is unmistakable for his gospel-infused sound,” said Lawrence associate professor of music Mark Urness, bassist with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Quartet. “He has amazingly collaborated with the top artists in jazz and R&B and is one of the busiest pianists and composers today.

“His two Grammy Awards are testament to the universal appeal of his lyrical, soulful style,” Urness added. “Whether it is complex original jazz compositions, or covers of Radiohead, the Glasper Trio always delivers lyrical melodies, compelling harmonies and a joyous groove.”

The New York Times locates Glasper’s signature eclectic, referential style at the “junction of coolheaded logic and digressive caprice.” The new album features songs by hip-hop and R&B stars like Kendrick Lamar, Musiq Soulchild, John Legend and Bilal alongside jazz standards like “Stella by Starlight” and works by Radiohead and Joni Mitchell.

Joining Glasper onstage will be bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid, with whom Glasper recorded his first two Blue Notes releases, “Canvas” (2005) and “In My Element” (2007). He cites Archer and Reid as two of his favorite musicians and the perfect collaborators for an album blending old and new sounds. NPR lauded the trio as “a shape-shifting, communicative unit” able to showcase Glasper’s “supple, flowing lines…sostenuto melodies…moody harmonies.”

In addition to working on “Covered,” Glasper composed and recorded the score for “Miles Ahead,” Don Cheadle’s upcoming film about Miles Davis. He also has been combing through Davis’ Columbia Records vaults and will create a remix album based on the legendary trumpeter’s recordings, rehearsals and outtakes.

He was recently named a Steinway Artist, joining the roster of world-class musicians who perform exclusively on Steinway pianos.

Glasper’s concert is a rescheduled appearance from an originally schedule performance for January 30 that had to be cancelled due to a film project conflict.

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.

 

Pianist Michael Mizrahi Selected for National Arts Award

Lawrence University pianist Michael Mizrahi has been named one of five international recipients of the S&R Foundations 2014 Washington Award.

Michael-Mizrahi_newblog2015
Assistant Professor of Music Michael Mizrahi was among five national recipients of the Washington Award presented by the S&R Foundation.

Presented annually by the Washington, D.C.-based foundation, the Washington Award recognizes individuals who display outstanding ability and artistic excellence. It supports those who contribute to an international cultural dialogue.

Mizrahi, assistant professor of music at Lawrence, will be formally honored May 30 at the S&R Washington Awards Gala at the Halcyon House in the Georgetown district of the nation’s capital. He will receive a $5,000 cash prize in support of his career.

“We are thrilled that Michael has won the Washington Award,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “Since the award is specifically for talented individuals with high aspirations in the arts, I can’t imagine a better recipient. Michael is always pushing musical boundaries, working closely with composers to create new works, redefining the relationship between audience and performer and bringing live performance to underserved audiences. This award will help him take his musical aspirations to the next level.”

According to Sachiko Kuno, CEO and president of the S&R Foundation, the 2014 Washington Award winners “are dynamic artists who are engaged with their communities and with audiences worldwide.

“We applaud their drive and aspirations and are proud to support them towards the next steps in their creative development,” said Kuno in announcing the award winners.

Mizrahi joined the conservatory of music faculty in 2009. His debut album, “The Bright Motion” on New Amsterdam Records, was included on both Time Out New York’s and Time Out Chicago’s list of best classical albums for 2012. The video of the album’s title track was featured on National Public Radio’s “Deceptive Cadence,” which hailed it as “a meditation on quietude amidst unceasing movement, a thick-walled cell of solitary contentment in the churn of daily life.”

His recording portfolio also includes the world premiere of three works for violin and piano by Aaron Copland.

He is a founding member of both NOW Ensemble, a chamber group devoted to commissioning and performing new music by emerging composers, and the Moët Trio. He also is a member of the New York City-based chamber ensemble Decoda, which creates innovative performances and engaging projects with partners around the world.

Mizrahi is currently co-directing the project “Music for All: Connecting Musicians and Community.” The project is supported by a $16,700 Arts and Culture grant from unrestricted funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and is designed to bring classical chamber music to settings where such music is not normally performed.

Joining Mizrahi as 2014 Washington Award winners were:

The S&R Washington Award recipients for 2014 are:

Nabil Shehata, double bassist and conductor

Tamás Krizsa, dancer, choreographer

Erzhan Kulibaev, violinist

Huanhuan Ma, soprano

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.

Two Lawrence University Pianists Earn First-Place Honors in State Music Competition

Two Lawrence University students earned first-place honors at the Wisconsin Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Piano Competition held Saturday, Oct. 24 at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown.

Michael Smith, a senior piano-performance major from Davis, Calif., won the Young Artists division (19-26 years of age), while Jonathan Gmeinder, a freshman from Hartland, won the Senior Performance division (16-18 years of age). Both are students in the piano studio of Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky.

With their winning performances, Smith and Gmeinder both advance to the MTNA’s five-state East Central Division regional competition January 15-17 at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Winners of the regional competitions advance to the WTNA’s national competition in Albuquerque, N.M., next March.

Smith performed works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schulhoff and Schumann, while Gmeinder played works by Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. This is the second state music competition title for Smith, who shared first-place honors in the 2008 state Neale Silva competition sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.

Lawrence sophomore Marshall Cuffe also participated in the MTNA state competition, earning honorable mention recognition.

Smith became the 10th Lawrence piano student in the past 12 years to win the Wisconsin MTNA competition’s Young Artist division.

Lawrence University Freshman Invited to Dedicate New Piano at Clinton Library

Krystle Maczka has a first-time visit to the new William J. Clinton Presidential Center in her home state of Arkansas on her spring break itinerary. The Lawrence University freshman’s visit won’t be merely as a curious tourist or interested history buff, though, but rather as an invited guest of honor.

Maczka will be one of two featured performers for a by-invitation-only event Wednesday, March 22 in the Great Hall of the Clinton Center in downtown Little Rock. The piano performance major from El Dorado, Ark., will have the honor of officially dedicating a new seven-foot Steinway Grand Piano, a gift to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton’s presidential library opened in November, 2004.

A student in the studio of Associate Professor of Music Michael Kim, Maczka will entertain an audience of Arkansas A-List guests with a recital featuring Brahms “Intermezzo in A Major, op. 118, no. 2” and Beethoven’s “Variations on ‘God Save the Queen.’” Lawrence Hamilton, a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, will also perform at the dedication event.

The honor came unexpectedly to Maczka. A friend of her father who works for the presidential library, knew she played the piano and extended an invitation to her to be the first to publicly perform on the new Steinway. The Clinton Foundation is covering all expenses for Maczka’s trip to Little Rock and is providing rooms for her and her parents at the Peabody Hotel for the occasion.