Remembering Professor Ik-Hwan Bae

Bae_Ik-Hwan-2Ik-Hwan Bae, 57
Nov. 19, 1956 – July 24, 2014 

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music mourns the loss of Ik-Hwan Bae, 57, who died today, July 24, in Bloomington, Ind. He came to IU in August 1999 and was Professor of Music (Violin and Chamber Music) in the String Department. 

You are invited to leave your thoughts and remembrances about this extraordinary violin pedagogue. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to submit your comments.

“The passing of Ik-Hwan Bae marks a huge loss not only for the Jacobs School faculty and community but for the music world at large,” said Stephen Wyrczynski, chair of the Jacobs String Department. “He was an elegant and poetic violinist who made an indelible impact on all who heard him. He was a dear colleague and friend. Our condolences go to his beloved wife, Sung-Mi Im, and his son, Subin.”

Bae was born in Seoul, Korea, and made his professional debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of 12. He studied with Ivan Galamian at The Juilliard School. His performances in recitals and concerto concerts took him to most of the major cities in Europe, Asia and the United States. 

In 1985, he received the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and also was a prizewinner at the Munich International Competition in 1984. In 1986, he was the recipient of a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

As an enthusiastic participant in many of the world’s best chamber music festivals, Bae was seen everywhere from Seoul to Alaska. He was an artistic director of Bargemusic Ltd., one of the leading presenters of chamber music in New York City, for 13 years, until 1995. 

His most recent project was as concertmaster of the Hwaum Chamber Orchestra in Korea, which is a conductor-less string orchestra. He led them to Krakow, Poland, and Puerto Rico at the Casals Festival. 

Much sought after as a pedagogue, he also taught at the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University, the Manhattan School of Music and the Korean National Institute for the Arts. He gave master classes worldwide annually. 

Bae was a jury member of the Munich ARD competition in Germany, Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark, Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition in London and Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition in Helsinki, Finland. 

He recorded for the RCA, ECM, Delo and Hoch labels. 

He is survived by his wife, Sung-Mi Im, and son, Subin. Information on a memorial concert this fall will be announced at a later date.

Project Jumpstart is Planning to Hire a Few Great Music Students!

Are you looking for something exciting and beneficial to your career?

Project Jumpstart, the student-led entrepreneurship programming arm of the Jacobs School of Music’s newly founded Office of Entrepreneurship & Career Development, is planning to appoint three motivated Jacobs School students with great communication and organizational skills to its team for the academic year.

Members of Team Jumpstart will work closely with OECD director Alain Barker and Jumpstart Team Leader Curtis Smith to plan and produce workshop events, run a vibrant blog & website, survey student and faculty, and research within the music industry to provide career resources to JSoM students. Students will be expected to work approximately 10 hours per week from September 2014 to May 2015.

Applications are welcome from graduate degree and diploma students and from undergraduate students with junior standing or higher. Pay is $12/hour. Students with web, multimedia, and marketing experience are encouraged to apply.

Activities include

• Weekly Monday morning Team Jumpstart planning meeting.
• Producing workshop events and scheduling faculty and guest speakers
• Attending Project Jumpstart events and providing staff support
• Developing and managing campus awareness and promoting events
• Creating and promoting online resources for the program (Facebook, Website, etc.)
• Surveying fellow students for ideas and suggestions for the program

Qualifications

• Great interpersonal skills—we’re looking for student leaders who are great team players
• Excellent communication skills (written and oral presentations)
• Excellent computer skills
• Graphic design and/or web design experience (such as designing posters or managing web content)
• Administrative/office experience
• Interest in the field of career advancement and entrepreneurship

To apply

Submit the following materials via email at jumpstar@indiana.edu. Applications are due 5:00 pm, Friday, August 1. Interviews (via Skype if necessary) will begin early the following week.

1. Cover letter and résumé (a version that details your relevant work experience—not simply your performance résumé please!)
2. A two-page writing sample (from your work in a music history or liberal arts course, for instance)
3. Two references (those who can speak to your work experience; include phone number and email address)
4. Your class/work schedule for fall semester

Also (if you have these):

5. Example of your online skills—if you’ve created a website, fan page, etc., provide links.
6. Example of your graphic design skills (submit sample of a poster of an invitation you created)

Visit the Project Jumpstart website for info on the program! >

Percussion academy helps round out summer concert offerings

By Peter Jacobi

 

Summer Music, the annual series of concerts sponsored by Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, depends heavily on the presence during June and July of workshops, academies, clinics and camps that bring paying students and paid faculty together.

Sometimes, the students end up performing on programs that highlight the skills they’ve been honing while on campus. More often, the teachers, many of them eminent professionals, go beyond one-on-one teaching sessions and master classes by adding public performances to their responsibilities.

Indiana University | Courtesy photoJohn Tafoya will lead the Indiana University Percussion Academy and Workshop.

Indiana University | Courtesy photoJohn Tafoya will lead the Indiana University Percussion Academy and Workshop.

For examples, the Edward Auer Piano Workshop added four piano recitals to the concert schedule, including one by the distinguished veteran, Jerome Lowenthal; a Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert, with orchestra, also resulted from this annual workshop.

A Summer Saxophone Academy faculty recital featured local sax luminaries Otis Murphy and Tom Walsh. A Summer Music Clinic resulted in three events, highlighted by a finale concert featuring an orchestra, a Crimson Band, and a Cream Band, those three ensembles conducted by former Bloomington Symphony Orchestra artistic director Charles Latshaw and two Jacobs School wind conductors, Eric Smedley and Stephen Pratt.

The Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp ended with a program prominently displaying its illustrious faculty.

The two major contributors, as has been the case for countless summers earlier, were Mimi Zweig’s Summer String Academy and Karen Taylor’s Summer Piano Academy. The concert riches that materialized from those extended gatherings for pre-college talents amounted to a significant bounty: a host of pleasure-giving chamber events (most prominently featuring the Netherlands-based Rubens Quartet) marking the String Academy weeks and a series of fine piano recitals (including by star alum Jonathan Biss and an exciting but not-well-enough-known Italian, Roberto Plano) shadowing the Piano Academy.

With but a week to go for the current Summer Music schedule, the spotlight shifts to another sponsor/producer, the Summer Percussion Academy and Workshop, created and run by the Jacobs School’s Percussion Department Chairman John Tafoya. This is the seventh such event, designed primarily for 17- and 18-year-olds at a crossroads: Should they go on with their music seriously during the college years just ahead or accept music as a hobby, a sidelight in their future?

“Our week with these young musicians, and we’ll have 25 this year, immerses them in lessons, master classes, discussions, concerts, and performance,” says Tafoya, whose credits include service as principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. “The workshop experience often proves as a flash point, a lightning rod that awakens their interest in pursuing a music career. It happened to my own son last summer. He began to practice like a maniac. The workshop got him all revved up. This year, he attended a Summer Band Clinic, taking another step toward music.”

Tafoya raves about the faculty he’s signed for the week, including his Jacobs colleagues: Kevin Bobo, a marimba specialist; Steve Houghton, focused on drums and jazz, and Michael Spiro, with his Latin music enthusiasms. Guest artists are Jeremy Branson, associate principal percussionist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Casey Cangelosi, composer and marimba soloist; Mark Latimer, an IU alum and principal percussionist in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band; and Rich Redmond, an influential touring and recording drummer and percussionist. All will perform for us this coming week.

“They’re incredible musicians who want to share their talent and knowledge. We select them for their musicianship and for their teaching abilities,” says Tafoya. “Not all professionals can do both. These can. They can also contribute to another aspect of our curriculum, and that is to give the students some organizational skills, showing them how to be successful in the world of music, how to live as a pro. That’s terribly important.

“We cover a lot of territory,” Tafoya continues, “dealing with their individual percussion skills; adding instruction on accessory instruments such as a thunder sheet and chimes and tambourine; stressing listening and collaboration skills. And before the week ends, on Friday, each participant will perform as part of a group in a public concert, a great experience for them, an event that I think will provide them with memories.”

A week of percussion. Give these instruments a listen.

 

© Herald Times 2014

 

MUSIC REVIEW: MOZART REQUIEM MASS

By Peter Jacobi

 

For the most part, the choices were wise for the weekend’s performances of the Mozart Requiem Mass in Auer Hall, whether based on necessity or otherwise.

Conductor Betsy Burleigh, given a readily available Summer Festival Chorus of 32 voices, decided that a small-scaled, chamber-sized version for the Requiem would do just fine. She added an orchestra of equal size, with the result a reading comfortable and comforting in scale, one that honored the revered masterwork.

Without many other student vocalists around to draft and expressing satisfaction with the quality of the singers signed up for her chorus, she also decided to assign solo work from within. Though not everyone chosen turned out to be ideal, on the whole, that again was not a bad resolution.

Burleigh stuck to Mozart, too. “Tonight we perform Mozart’s Requiem only,” she wrote in program notes, “that is, the portions of the work that survive in Mozart’s own hand,” along with orchestration completed by his friend and fellow composer, Franz Xaver Sussmayr. Her reasoning: “It is my hope that this performance of the incomplete Requiem will enable performer and audience member alike to recognize the loss of Mozart in a deeper and more vivid way.” Certainly, it strengthened thought about what might have been, even with the Requiem itself, if Mozart had lived longer.

Adding to that effort, the conductor placed the Requiem in a meaningful context, surrounding its performance with pertinent Biblical passages and additional pieces of music of a sacred nature that he wrote: the joyful “Exultate Jubilate,” composed as a 17-year-old (beautifully sung by soprano Martha Eason); the radiant “Laudate Dominum” (“Praise the Lord”), written in his mid-20s; the Masonic Funeral Music, composed a few years later, and the stunningly beautiful “Ave verum corpus,” like the Requiem a product of Mozart’s last year.

There also were letters from Mozart’s life that reflected what was happening to him or what he was thinking about when the various pieces of music were composed. All of the spoken material was read by Scott Hogsed, known to us for the roles he sang in Indiana University Opera Theater productions and choral events while he was a Jacobs School student. Hogsed read with verve and, thankfully, with microphone.

Burleigh had trained her 32 singers carefully, so to fashion critical balances within the chorus and those between chorus and orchestra. One heard exquisite and polished sounds, too, so appropriate, so needed, to express Mozart’s emotional frame of mind and belief in death as “key to our blessings,” to use words he penned in a letter written long before.

As one listened, it became clear that the conductor had inspired her musicians, the vocal and the instrumental, into somehow entering the world of Mozart, so to capture the sacred essences he sought to imprint personally on the traditional text and message of the Catholic Roman Catholic Requiem Mass. His genius shone through; no one on the Auer Hall stage got in the way. That’s the result of good conducting.

 

© Herald Times 2014

 

Idea for summer program becomes annual treat

By Peter Jacobi

 

If you look at the printed program for this afternoon’s Summer Music concert in Auer Hall, top billing and the largest type go to the Festival Chamber Players, and there’s quite a lineup of them that will perform. But right under “Festival Chamber Players” you’ll find “Summer String Academy 30th Anniversary Concert.” And therein resides the glory of the story.

Indiana University | Courtesy photoSummer String Academy Director Mimi Zweig proposed the idea of the program for young string players 31 years ago. Today, the 30th anniversary concert of the Summer String Academy will be performed at 4 p.m. in Auer Hall.

Indiana University | Courtesy photoSummer String Academy Director Mimi Zweig proposed the idea of the program for young string players 31 years ago. Today, the 30th anniversary concert of the Summer String Academy will be performed at 4 p.m. in Auer Hall.

Actually, it was 31 years ago that a young violin teacher went to the office of then IU School of Music Dean Charles Webb “with a plan in hand. I wanted to tell my boss about an idea,” recalls Mimi Zweig, “and that was to offer a summer program for young string players with lots of practice in chamber music. I was all set to argue my case for half an hour, even an hour. Five minutes in, Dean Webb cut me short. He asked, ‘How much would it cost the school?’ I said, ‘Nothing.’ He said, ‘OK. Go ahead.’ By the next summer, we were underway.”

So 30 summers ago, a host of young string players arrived on the IU Bloomington campus for training, the first batch of all who were to follow, a hundred or so per year, 128 this year. Among them that first summer was violinist Erin Aldridge, currently on the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a member for the past six years of the Summer String Academy faculty.

Aldridge will be on the program this afternoon along with all faculty members to play Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, this as a concert closer. Earlier, she’ll offer the Sonata No. 2 of Charles Ives and Four Souvenirs of Paul Schoenfeld. “And we’ve commissioned three short pieces for the event from colleagues on the Jacobs School faculty,” says the always ebullient Zweig, “a String Trio by the Academy’s loyal friend Atar Arad, Don Freund’s ‘Rugged Reflections from Hearing in 3V for Three Violins,’ and Sven-David Sandstrom’s ‘Short Piece’ for Two Violins and Viola. Three premieres, it’s all quite exciting.”

Zweig has been at IU for 39 years. “I’m 64,” she says, “and some friends ask if I’m going to retire soon. The idea flits through my mind. But Atar tells me, ‘Are you out of your mind? After two days, you’ll wonder what to do with yourself.’ And that’s true. Unless something big, something national, something very special comes along to tempt me, I’m not likely to move. I love what I do. This work is not like work. We have all these wonderfully talented students coming here, not only in summer but throughout the year in our Pre-College program. During the Summer Academy, for 10 days, we run a Teachers Retreat. For it, we bring gifted professionals from private studios and universities, along with performers who want to teach. It’s like a second Academy. We offer them a rich program in tandem with that for our youngsters. Through them, the work we do here is applied elsewhere. And that, too, is a thrill that continues to motivate me.

“Hey, I’m not lacking in energy. By the luck of the draw, I’m healthy,” Zweig continues. “I’ve been on the east coast. I’ve been on the west coast. This is home. I’m with colleagues who are passionate about kids and music. We love being together. There’s a synergy at work. When I teach at the Salzburg Mozarteum and tell them how, here in Bloomington, we all work together, they’re taken aback and just don’t think it’s possible. But we give everyone space to do their thing and be creative, and the best continues to happen.”

Sarah Kapustin, first violinist of the Rubens Quartet, in residence here this summer, has experienced the results from two angles: first, from age nine to 16 as a student in the Academy, then, in recent years, as member of the faculty. “That first summer, as a kid, I was overwhelmed by all the concerts I heard and by the classes. They made me want to practice, not just play. I wanted to play all the cool pieces the older kids played. I became enamored with music. This was the turning point that made me want to go for it. I studied with Mimi for six years. She’s an all-around wonderful teacher, a pedagogue who taught me how to get the most out of my instrument. She also insisted I learn the viola and, of course, to play chamber music. I was member of the Violin Virtuosi. We toured, and that taught me much, just the opportunity, for instance, to repeat something like the Chausson ‘Poeme’ nine times at nine concerts. One really gets better artistically doing that.

“Now, I’m on the other side of things,” says Kapustin, “a colleague of those who were my former teachers. And we’re all here to serve children. I love to teach and do so at the conservatory back in Holland. But these kids, who come from all over the nation and the world, are so talented. The level is so high. It’s quite remarkable.”

Seventeen-year-old Zoie Hightower is a current attendee of the Academy; her mother, Christina, is the Academy’s longtime assistant director. “All my life, she’d have me tag along. For nine years, I’ve been an official student,” Zoie explains. “I’ve trained on the violin and viola. In chamber music, I tend to play the viola. During the school year, and she’s been home schooled, “I play with the Virtuosi. For five years I’ve done that. It’s through music I’ve met all my best friends. To be surrounded by such a rich environment, with all of us so focused on music, it’s wonderful. In the Academy, we listen together, practice together, go to master classes together. From all over the world, we come together to make music.

“And the teachers are here for me, for all of us, of course, but for me. They want the best for me. Those four weeks of summer,” says Zoie, “make my favorite month. I count down to its start. It’s like my Christmas.”

Who knows about the future of the cherubs who will be at this afternoon’s 30th Anniversary Concert? Not all who’ve come in the past decided on a musical profession, says Mimi Zweig. But those from past summers now perform in major symphony orchestras (New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, National Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Milwaukee, Rochester, St. Louis, Omaha, Dallas, Calgary, the Danish Ballet, and numerous others). They hold important positions as teachers (Oberlin, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina–Greensboro, San Juan and elsewhere). They have private studios. They perform as soloists and in chamber groups.

“It couldn’t have been done without colleagues,” says Mimi Zweig. “It couldn’t have been done without the support of Indiana University and the Jacobs School. But we’ve done it, and I am happy.”

Contact Peter Jacobi at pjacobi@heraldt.com.

If you go

WHAT and WHO: The 30th anniversary concert of the Summer String Academy features the Festival Chamber Players and other members of the Academy faculty in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, works of Charles Ives and Paul Schoenfeld, and three premieres of works commissioned by the Academy from Jacobs School composers Atar Arad, Don Freund and Sven-David Sandstrom.

WHEN: This afternoon at 4.

WHERE: Auer Hall on the IU Bloomington campus.

ADMISSION: Free.

Show times

• This evening at 6:30 in Bryan Park, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra offers its annual Summer Concert, which includes Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” a movement from Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” “Mars” from Holst’s “The Planets,” a Sousa waltz, an Armed Forces Salute, the “Game of Thrones” Theme, an arrangement by conductor Nicholas Hersh of tunes from Earth, Wind and Fire, a polka of Strauss, the Tchaikovsky “1812 Overture,” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” during which Hersh will hand the baton to the new artistic director of the orchestra, Adam Bodony. Free.

• This evening at 8 in Auer Hall, the Summer Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Betsy Burleigh, gives a repeat performance of Mozart’s Requiem, in a surround of Gregorian Chants, readings and other works of Mozart. Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for students.

• Monday evening at 8 in Auer, the resident Pacifica Quartet performs string quartets of Shostakovich (No. 2 in A Major and No. 9 in E-flat Major) and Schnittke (No. 3). Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for students.

• Tuesday evening at 8 in Auer, the young and already honored Wasmuth Quartet performs music of Mendelssohn (Quartet No. 6 in F Minor), Visconti (“Ramshackle Songs”) and Ravel (Quartet in F Major). Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for students.

• Wednesday evening at 7 on the Musical Arts Center Lawn, the IU Summer Concert Band plays under David Woodley. Susan Rider is trumpet soloist. Free.

• Thursday afternoon at 5 in Musical Arts Center 301, Patricia Stiles directs a Summer Opera workshop consisting of operatic scenes. Free.

• Thursday afternoon at 5:30 in Bear’s Place, the Summer Jazz Ensemble, directed by Brent Wallarab, offers a program of favorites. A cash-only cover charge will be collected at the door: $6 for adults; $5 for students.

• Friday evening at 6 in Auer, the Summer String Academy presents its Final Concert, with repertoire to be announced. Free.

• Friday evening at 7 in the John Whikehart Auditorium of the John Waldron Arts Center. 122 South Walnut, come to an “Furioso: An Evening of Handel Opera,” presented by Gamma Ut, an IU Early Music student organization, and operamission, a New York City based opera organization founded by Jacobs School alum Jennifer Peterson. The vocal program, to be supported by an orchestra performing on historical instruments, will include arias and ensembles. Free.

 

© Herald Times 2014

Summer Chorus to perform this weekend

By Liliane Ho

 

Showcasing sacred pieces in combination with Mozart’s writings and excerpts, the summer chorus from the Jacobs School of Music will perform this weekend. Betsy Burleigh, the conductor and chair of the choral department, will join them.

Their performance will feature Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor and other works.

The performances will be 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Auer Hall.

A concert drama, the Summer Chorus performance will be centered on the Requiem by Mozart, the Sü   ßmayr completion.

“I’ve listened to Mozart quite often,” master’s     student Chris Rice said. “And I would definitely want to go because it sounds good with a very special concept.”

The Requiem was a mystery at the end of Mozart’s career. The young composer, for the first time in his musical career, was asked anonymously through intermediaries to write a piece for Count Franz von Walsegg.

Mozart died at the age of 35 after he finished eight bars of the Requiem’s “Lacrimosa.” After Mozart’s death, the piece was completed by Franz Xaver   Süßmayr   .

The concert will also combine biblical and poetic readings chanting     along with the works of Mozart and excerpts from his letters.

“We will present some of the most beloved and enchanting sacred works,” Conductor Betsy Burleigh said in a press release. “Mozart’s Requiem is the center, the torso of the performance, and other pieces will be portions sketched by himself.”

Conductor Burleigh has experience leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Akron Symphony, the Canton Symphony and the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

The Summer Chorus performance juxtaposes sacred readings from Biblical contexts, poetic writings and excerpts from Mozart’s letters and manuscripts.

“I’m excited to learn about very unique concerts like this,” IU Junior Kendall Chanley said. “But I find country music and acoustical performances more appealing in the summertime.”

“I think the combination of poetic readings, chant and alike would enhance the experience for people who are going for Mozart or classical music,” IU junior Taylor Sigler said. “However, it wouldn’t appeal too much for someone who is relatively new to classical.”

 

© Indiana Daily Student

FURIOSO: An Evening of Handel Opera at the John Waldron Arts Center, July 18

Gamma Ut, the early music student organization at the Jacobs School of Music team up with New York-based opera company operamission in an evening of opera arias by George Frideric Handel.

Furioso

  • WHERE: John Whikehart Auditorium, John Waldron Arts Center, 122 South Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN
  • WHEN: Friday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m.
  • TICKETS: A FREE offering to the Bloomington Community
  • A project supported by Early Music Associates, Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, The IU Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute and Project Jumpstart.

——————————————————————————————————–

18th century composer George Frideric Handel, perhaps known best by modern day audiences for his famed oratorio Messiah, was also one of the most prolific and significant composers of Italian opera. Many of Handel’s operas, a total of 42 and almost all of which survive to this day, have recently enjoyed an increased interest from several mainstream opera companies and audiences nationwide.

On July 18, Bloomington audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy selections from several of Handel’s operas in a concert titled Furioso: An Evening of Handel Opera. Indiana University early music student organization Gamma Ut, and operamission, a New York City based opera organization founded by harpsichordist, conductor, and Jacobs School alumna Jennifer Peterson, will join forces to present this ‘medley’ of Handel operatic arias and ensembles.

Backed by an orchestra performing on historical instruments, Peterson will lead a cast of seven talented singers. Hailed by the New York Times as performing with “spirit and polish”, Peterson is quickly establishing herself as a specialist in baroque opera.

This unique performance will be free and open to the public and is supported by Ivy Tech Community College and the Bloomington early music service organization Early Music Associates, as well as the IU Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute and Project Jumpstart.

The performance will be presented on July, 18th at 7pm at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

Historical Performance students perform before Indiana Festival Theatre’s performances of “Twelfth Night”

Sarah Huebsch

Sarah Huebsch

Let us whet your appetite for the “Bard of Avon.” In the tradition of Shakespeare’s productions, musicians from the Jacobs School of Music’s newly renamed Historical Performance Institute (established as the Early Music Institute) bring instrumental music of Elizabethan England to the Wells-Metz Theatre mezzanine.

Jacobs students will provide pre-show music at each performance of Indiana Festival Theatre’s (IFT) Twelfth Night, July 5-26, and will offer special lectures on the role of music in Shakespeare’s plays on July 17 and 23.

Music starts at 6:45pm for 7:30pm performances and 1:15pm for 2pm matinees. The group’s leaders—Keith Collins, Sarah Huebsch, and Kelsey Schilling—will present a free lecture on the role of music in Shakespeare’s plays, “Fie, that you’ll say so! He plays o’ the viol-de-gamboys” (Twelfth Night I:ii),” on July 17 and 23 at 6:30pm.

“In Shakespeare’s plays, musicians often attend the guests, play between scenes, and are summoned directly into the drama as it unfolds,” Huebsch said. “Ariel (The Tempest) dances and provides soft and strange music on the island. Desdemona sings “willow, willow, willow” (Othello IV: iii), which becomes an essential aria nearly 300 years later in Verdi’s Otello. Music on the Elizabethan stage played a crucial role within the drama.”

Tickets for the show are $25 Regular, $20 Seniors, and $15 Students at theatre.indiana.edu and 812-855-1103 (Ticket not required to enjoy the music!)

For details about the music and lectures, contact Sarah Huebsch at huebschs@indiana.edu. For more information about Indiana Festival Theatre, contact Amy Osajima at aosajima@indiana.edu or 812-855-0514.

Music Review: Festival Chamber Players

Festival Chamber Players’ opener is mesmerizing

By Peter Jacobi

 

Sonatas of Prokofiev and Brahms and a Smetana piano trio introduced summer 2014’s first contingent of Festival Chamber Players in Auer Hall on Friday evening. What one heard suggested a promising few weeks ahead.

The 1949 Prokofiev Sonata in C Major, Opus 119, featured a new-to-us cellist, a fine one, Amir Eldan, who later in the evening added his musicianship to a sizzling performance of Bedrich Smetana’s Trio in G Minor.  In the Prokofiev, with its doleful opening Andante grave, its cheerful follow-up movements, and its abundant lyricism, Eldan drew soulful resonance from his instrument; the sounds produced were a pleasure to come upon.  His collaborator at the piano was the always excellent Chih-Yi Chen, a Jacobs School specialist in accompaniment who appears never to falter as musical partner.

Chen returned to the stage with violinist Erin Aldridge for a lush and often fevered reading of Brahms’ Sonata Number 3 in D Minor, a work that breathes Romanticism and featured that on Friday, thanks to the full commitment of both artists.

Cellist Eldan was joined by two excellent musicians from South Korea, violinist Wonji Kim and pianist Wonmin Kim, for a heated performance of Smetana’s only Piano Trio, written when he was a young man of 31 and just after his 4-year-old daughter died from scarlet fever. The score expresses devotion and despair, troubled memory and a frantic search for emotional equilibrium, the last hinted at by a calmed flourish at the trio’s end. One could not have asked for more involvement than Eldan and the Kims poured into their reading; it was intense and yet honest, never overdone but mesmerizing.

 

© Herald Times 2014

 

Music Review: Read Gainsford

Pianist gives full measure

By Peter Jacobi

 

“Too many notes.” That’s what a friend whispered to me as pianist Read Gainsford wound up his Thursday evening recital in Auer Hall with the nine Etudes-tableaux, Opus 39, of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

That surely didn’t mean there were too many notes for the remarkably deft Gainsford to handle but perhaps too many for a listener’s ears and mind to take in with comfort. One says that because the music stuns for what it technically requires but, unlike the etudes of Rachmaninoff’s predecessors, Chopin and Liszt, doesn’t seem to stick to the ribs of memory. The etudes may be likened to tonal gymnastics, amazing to hear unfold because of their level of difficulty. Gainsford proved himself without question as a major keyboard manipulator, through his feat telling the composer that he not only dared match the legendary virtuoso chord for chord and rhythmic surge for rhythmic surge but most probably managed to do so.

For the youngsters in the IU Piano Academy to hear such prodigious pianism from one of their teachers is undoubtedly a memorable experience.  Gainsford gave them an exhibition.  What’s more, prior to the etudes, he gave them, and the rest of us in the audience some delightful Haydn, the playful and also technically challenging Fantasia in C, and some profound Schubert, his final piano sonata, the B-Flat Major, D. 960, laden in the early movements with tender beauties and in the later with sparkle and joy.   To these, also, Gainsford gave full measure, easily mastering the mechanics and then generously imbuing the music with his interpretive refinements.

 

© Herald Times 2014