Ringing in the New Year: January Concerts to Warm the Heart

Friday, January 2 2009

Jan. 2, 2009 Written by Tania Thompson MOSCOW, Idaho – Faculty musicians from the University of Idaho ring in the new year with a series of performances in January. The musical offerings include works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninov, Toru Takemitsu, and Antonio Lauro. The performances include solo, duo and trio combinations, and are part of the Lionel Hampton School of Music Faculty Recital Series. Thursday, Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.: Kennard Trio:
    The university’s piano trio in residence is named in honor of the Kennard family, whose members have generously supported string and piano scholarships. The trio members are violinist and violist Ferenc Cseszko, cellist William Wharton, and pianist Jay Mauchley. The program includes Beethoven’s Piano Trio in C-Minor, Op. 1, No. 3, and Johannes Brahms’ Clarinet Trio, Op. 114. Beethoven wrote his Op. 1 in the mid-1790s and dedicated it to the Viennese music patron Prince Lichnowsky. Late in his life, Brahms wrote a number of works for clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, who was active as both a soloist and as a performer with the orchestra in Meiningen. Brahms composed two clarinet sonatas and a clarinet quintet for Mühlfeld, and the Clarinet Trio, Op. 114 in 1891. The Kennard Trio will perform the trio with the viola taking on the clarinet voice, a version sanctioned by Brahms
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.: Baritone Chris Thompson and pianist Jonathan Mann
    This recital marks the first collaboration between vocalist Thompson and pianist Mann. They include Ludwig van Beethoven’s only song cycle, “An die ferne Geliebte”; songs by Sergei Rachmaninov; a set of songs on Shakespearean texts by Gerald Finzi, “Let Us Garlands Bring”; and a collection of popular standards. "I am honored to work with Jonathan, a superlative performer, who delights audiences in a variety of genres,” said Thompson. “And, I'm convinced that the audience's enjoyment will only be surpassed by our enjoyment on stage. We plan on an infectious performance." Thompson joined the University of Idaho faculty in fall 2003 and served as musical director for “The Pirates of Penzance” in spring 2004. Before arriving in Moscow, he lived in New York and sang leading lyric baritone roles with opera companies and symphonies across the U.S. Thompson is advocate of new music for the theatre and has appeared in several readings and world premieres, most recently portraying Isaiah Berlin in “Guest from the Future” at New York’s Lincoln Center. He made his off-Broadway debut as Daniel Keane in “Fermat’s Last Tango” and is a featured soloist on the recently released CD of music by Joshua Rosenblum, “Impetuosities” (Albany Records). Mann earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from Indiana University at Bloomington, where he was an associate instructor as well as a faculty member in the Young Pianist's Program. He earned his doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. An active performer, he has appeared with the Brevard Orchestra, Indiana University Symphony Orchestra, and North Manchester Symphony. His 2007-08 bookings included performances in Seattle, San Francisco, Richland, Wash., Oswego, N.Y., Spokane, Boise and Caldwell, Richmond, Va., Bloomington, Ind., and New York City. He was nominated for the 2008 Classical Fellowship Awards of the American Pianists Association.
Thursday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m.: Guitarist James Reid
    Reid, professor and head of the university’s guitar program, has been active as a performer for the past 25 years. He joined the Idaho music faculty in 1978. He is the founder of the Northwest Guitar Festival and an active guest artist at numerous other festivals around the world. Active in the studio, he has recorded seven albums and also commissioned works from contemporary composers. While a champion of contemporary works, he also studies and performs classics of the guitar repertoire. For this recital, Reid will perform music of the Americas, including works by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro, and U.S. composer Andrew York. He also will include a set of variations on the Japanese folk song “Sakura.”
Thursday, Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.: Flutist Leonard Garrison and pianist Kay Zavislak, “East Meets West”
    The duo will explore what Garrison terms “the fascinating cross-cultural influences between music of the East and the West. European and American composers have imitated the sounds of Asian instruments and used Asian elements. Asian composers have studied in the West and commingled native and European elements.” The program includes “Lied” by Toshio Hosokawa; “Hanami” by Wil Offermans; “Trois Pieces” by Pierre-Octave Ferroud; “Air” by Toru Takemitsu; “Scenes from the Japanese Countryside” by David Loeb; and “Garak” by Isang Yun. Garrison, assistant professor of flute and aural skills, is also a flutist in the Northwest Wind Quintet and the Scott/Garrison Duo, principal flute of the Walla Walla Symphony, and chair of the National Flute Association. In summers, he teaches and performs at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan and the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana. He has been a flutist with the Chicago Symphony, including its 2003 tour of Japan, and the Tulsa Philharmonic; a soloist on National Public Radio's "Performance Today;" winner of the 2003 Byron Hester Competition; concerto soloist on both flute and piccolo; and a frequent performer at National Flute Association conventions. He earned a bachelor of music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a master of music and master of arts degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a doctorate in music from Northwestern University. Zavislak, assistant professor of piano at the University of Idaho, was born and raised in Japan. She attended the Toho Gakuen High School of Music, and earned bachelor's of music, master's of music and doctor of musical arts degrees from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Idaho faculty, she held applied and classroom piano instructor positions at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich.; Albion College, Albion, Mich.; and at the University of Michigan. She has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, and earned numerous honors and awards. Her current research interests include exploring piano repertoire by Japanese composers, particularly by female composers, as well as developing effectiveness in piano teaching.
The performances take places in the music school Recital Hall, 1010 Blake Ave. in Moscow. Tickets are $5 general admission and $3 students and senior citizens and available at the door. For more information, call (208) 885-6231. # # # About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu. Media Contact: Robin Ohlgren, Lionel Hampton School of Music, (208) 301-1011, rohlgren@uidaho.edu

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.