Monday, February 4, 2013

February on Campus

Violinist Anileys Bermudez has won the UT Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition! A graduate student of former Associate Concertmaster of the KSO, Miro Hristov, she will be performing the finale from Prokofiev’s Concerto #1 for Violin on the concerto concert under the direction of Maestro James Fellenbaum, on March 17th at 4:00 at the Alumni Memorial Building (A.M.B.) on campus.

And now, for something completely different, a bevy of bassoonists will descend on the UT campus on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The date is Charles Darwin’s birthday, and the event is a performance of a work entitled Music for Earthworms by Dan Welcher. Mr. Welcher is professor of composition at the Univ. of Texas at Austin (the OTHER UT!!) and was formerly principal bassoonist with the Louisville Orchestra. KSO bassoonist Darrel Hale, former principal bassoonist Keith MacClelland, and blast from the KSO past Jim Lotz will be joined by several more bassoonists for this unusual program celebrating survival of the fittest, at 7:15 pm in the University Center Auditorium.

The third weekend in February brings the 15th annual Tennessee Cello Workshop, at UT, thanks to the hard work and perseverance of UT’s cello professor, Wesley Baldwin. Several guest faculty will be on hand, as well as representatives from different luthiers in the region. A capstone of the workshop will be a performance on Friday the 15th at 8:00 in the Cox Auditorium by the UT Symphony of David Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos and Orchestra. This beautiful work was last heard in this town on Feb. 24, 1996, with the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Sande MacMorran. I remember these details so well because I was one of the soloists, along with former principal cellist Phil Hansen. (Phil is now principal cellist with the Calgary Philharmonic). This workshop is a perennial hit celebrating the fairest of all of the orchestral instruments. (No, I’m not biased...)

The last day of the TCW coincides with the 70th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninov’s final live performance, which took place in the SAME BUILDING as Ms Bermudez’ Prokofiev concerto and the Ott 2-Cello Concerto will occur. To commemorate this somewhat tragic yet uniquely Knoxvillian milestone, an all-Rachmaninov piano recital by Evgheny Brakhman will take place at 8 p.m. “Rachmaninov Remembered” is a joint production of the UT Music Dept. and the Evelyn Miller Young Pianist Series.

Yes, February is the shortest month, but it is long on performances at UT. On Friday Feb. 22 at 6:00, violist Hillary Herndon will give a recital at the Performance Hall 32 in the A.M.B. Hot on the heels of that (and in the same room) will be soprano Natalee McReynolds’ graduate recital. Since the 4th of July, Natalee has performed umpteen times with the KSO, including her fine portrayal of Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and spotlight appearances at the Clayton Holiday concerts. As this is a Friday KSO Masterworks night, consider attending the Thursday night KSO concert which will featured music of Dvorak, Tchaikovski and Sarasate. Then you will have our permission to attend the recital doubleheader.

I would be remiss if I did not point out that all of the events mentioned in this post are FREE.

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