Midori to perform "new music" on April 19

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: March 31, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- World-renowned violinist Midori will perform at the University at Buffalo on April 19 as part of her first U.S. tour completely devoted to a new music repertoire.

Midori will be accompanied by her long-time collaborator Robert McDonald on piano.

The performance by Midori, set to begin at 8 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus, will wrap up this season's Slee/Visiting Artist Series. Midori will give an informal talk from the stage at 7 p.m.

The all-contemporary program is described as a musical journey of discovery. It will feature the work of Alexander Goehr, Isang Yun and Judith Weir.

"I felt the time was right to create a program of new music for public performance," Midori said recently. "After a great deal of research and fascinating listening, I have chosen five compositions which I believe work particularly well together musically…I think audiences will be enthralled with the variety of sounds, textures and voices they will hear in this program."

Other highlights of the UB Department of Music's concert schedule for April are performances by the New Century Saxophone Quartet; the Tokyo String Quartet; the Slee Sinfonietta, UB's professional chamber orchestra; HEARD, the university's resident faculty chamber ensemble; and the Baird Trio.

The Visiting Artist Series also will feature an appearance by the New Century Saxophone Quartet at 8 p.m. April 7 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall. The quartet's performance of "The Art of the Fugue" will present Bach with a twist -- a classic work arranged for saxophone with projected visuals that interpret and complement the music.

The members of the award-winning New Century Saxophone Quartet are pioneers whose repertoire includes classical and contemporary works. The quartet has performed major concerts in the United States, Europe and Central America.

One of the world's leading quartets, the Tokyo String Quartet will present the final two concerts of the Slee Beethoven String Quartet Cycle at 8 p.m. April 21 and 7:30 p.m. April 23.

UB is the only concert presenter in the world that annually programs the complete string quartets of Beethoven. This season marks the golden anniversary of the landmark series. To celebrate, UB presented three distinguished string quartets performing the six concerts that comprise the cycle. Previous concerts were presented by the Guarneri String Quartet in October and the Muir String Quartet in September.

There will be a pre-concert lecture by James Currie, UB assistant professor of musicology, at 7:15 p.m. April 21. Following the performance, audience members are invited to a reception in the Slee Hall lobby to meet the artists. Members of the quartet also will present an informal pre-concert discussion at 6:45 p.m. April 23.

In addition, they will teach a master class to UB music students at 1 p.m. April 22 in Baird Recital Hall, 250 Baird Hall, North Campus. The class will be free of charge and open to the public.

The Slee Sinfonietta, led by music director Magnus Mårtensson, will present a concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday featuring the works of Arvo Pärt, Gustav Mahler and Gunther Schuller.

Schuller will be in attendance to hear his composition, "A Bouquet for Collage," and will take part in a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. with Marc McAneny, adjunct instructor in the Department of Music.

The Slee Sinfonietta also will present a Composers' Informal Performance Day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. April 18 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, during which works by UB graduate composition students will be performed in informal reading sessions that are free and open to the public.

Formed in 1997 by composer David Felder and Mårtensson, the Slee Sinfonietta features advanced students in performance, along with faculty artists, soloists and regional professionals, in the production of concerts designed to contribute new possibilities for concertgoers within the UB community and Western New York.

HEARD, UB's new resident faculty chamber ensemble, will continue its exploration of unusual concert themes with a presentation of "Of Love and Money: A Taxing Program" at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall.

The performance will feature three works by Mozart in honor of his 250th birthday, as well as others from composers including Beethoven, Bach and Hanns Eisler. The works are connected by themes of love and money and Mozart.

McAneny will give a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m.

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

Mozart again will be on the bill when the Baird Trio honors the composer with "Mozart and the Art of Transcription" at 8 p.m. April 28 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall.

The performance, which will feature guest flutist Cheryl Gobbetti-Hoffman, will offer a program of transcribed works originally composed by Mozart.

In residence at UB, the Baird Trio performs a wide range of repertoire, devoting particular attention to recent and rarely heard works for the medium, and actively seeks new music in an effort to extend the vitality of the genre for the future.

UB faculty members Jonathan Golove, cello; Stephen Manes, piano; and Movses Pogossian, violin, make up the Baird Trio.

All tickets can be obtained at the Slee Hall box office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, at the UB 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.