Music Department Sets February Concerts

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: January 27, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Feb. 17 performance by world-renowned Canadian flutist and composer Robert Aitken will be among the highlights of the concert schedule to be presented by the Department of Music during February.

Also performing in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the North Campus will be HEARD, UB's new resident faculty chamber ensemble, on Feb. 22 and advanced organ students who will be featured as part of Eastman Organist Day on Feb. 3. All concerts will be held at 8 p.m.

Aitken, considered for many years to be the leading flutist of Canada, will perform as part of the Slee/Visiting Artist Series. The concert also will feature James Avery on piano.

In addition, Aitken will present a master class at 4 p.m. on Feb. 16 in Baird Recital Hall, 250 Baird Hall, North Campus. The master class will be free of charge and open to the public.

Aitken is known the world over for his superb performance of traditional flute repertoire, as well as a conductor and performer of new music. He has produced more than 40 recordings that include repertoire from the Baroque era to contemporary genres. At least 65 works have been written for him by notable composers, including John Beckwith, Elliot Carter and George Crumb. He also has established a reputation as a composer with a wide scope of works that consist of flute concertos, orchestral pieces, choral works, chamber music for winds and strings, and solo works for flute.

Aitken's many honors as a flutist include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Flute Association in 2003 and the title Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French government.

The brainchild of David Fuller, professor emeritus of music, Eastman Organist Day showcases advanced students of the Eastman School of Music's prestigious organ studio and gives these musicians the opportunity to perform on the Fisk organ in Lippes Concert Hall.

This year, students of both Hans Davidsson and David Higgs -- Annie Kirk, Adam Peithmann, Michael Unger and Jonathan Young -- will perform works that span from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

In its third performance of the season, "Heard in the Wild," HEARD will explore the wildly diverse aspects of sound, with evocative soundscapes inspired by nature. The program will play with visions of spring, rain, wind, rivers and animals.

The ensemble includes faculty performers Tony Arnold, soprano; Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffman, flute; Jonathan Golove, cello; Jacob Greenberg, piano; Alexander Hurd, baritone; and Stephen Manes, piano.

There will be a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. by Mark McAneny.

Tickets for Robert Aitken are $12 for general admission; $9 for UB faculty/staff/alumni, senior citizens and WNED members with ID card; and $5 for students. All tickets for Eastman Organists Day are $5; tickets for HEARD are $5 for general admission and free for UB students with ID.

Tickets are available at the Slee Hall box office from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, at the Center for the Arts box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Ticketmaster.com.

For more information, contact the Slee Hall Concert Office at 645-2921.