University announces 2010-11 concert season

Lydian String Quartet will celebrate 30th anniversary

Lamine Touré

For three decades, the Lydian String Quartet has received international acclaim for bridging the rich European and American quartet tradition with contemporary world music. In 2011, the quartet — consisting of Brandeis faculty members Daniel Stepner and Judith Eissenberg, violins; Mary Ruth Ray, viola; and Joshua Gordon, violincello — will perform together and in individual concerts celebrating the ensemble’s 30th anniversary and culminating with a gala performance on March 26.

The Lydian’s Joshua Gordon will also be featured during the opening weekend for the 2010-11 Brandeis concert season with a performance of post-World War II music for cello and piano. On Sunday, Oct. 3, he will collaborate with pianist Randall Hodgkinson for Benjamin Britten’s Sonata in C major, Op. 65 (1961), Gunther Schuller’s Duo Concertante (1946), and Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in C major, Op. 119 (1949). The New York Times has dubbed the duo “Admirable chamber musicians who play with passion and sensitivity.”

Award-winning composer and faculty member Yu-Hui Chang was recently named co-artistic director of the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, Boston’s premier contemporary music ensemble dedicated to living composers.  On Saturday, Oct. 2, they will present "New Friends, New Sounds: An All Boston-Premieres Concert."  “The concert marks the first collaboration between Dinosaur Annex and five prominent composers who I think deserve more attention from the Boston audience,” said Chang.  The program includes "Wick" by Pulitzer Prize-winner Melinda Wagner, who is Visiting Professor of Composition at Brandeis this year, and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez's "Trio-Variations", a piece inspired by Swiss artist Paul Klee's "twittering machines" concept.  Also on the program are "Little Bits" by Stacy Garrop, Keeril Makan's explosive "2", and Andrew Waggoner's Katrina-related "Soon, the Rosy-Fingered Dawn."

On Nov. 13, the acclaimed British viol consort Fretwork will perform music by Jewish composers of the Renaissance as well as a new commission, “Birds on Fire,” by the innovative contemporary composer Orlando Gough, known for his work for ballet and theater. Fretwork’s repertoire draws from the Jewish composers expelled from Spain in 1492, who flourished in their new court and theatrical venues and created vigorous English dances, Dutch fantasies, and Baroque Italian flourishes. Gough’s “Birds on Fire” draws on Klezmer and Viennese themes to evoke the interplay of Jews and Gentiles in Austria at a time of impending tragedy. This concert is made possible by a grant from the Brandeis Arts Council.

Also this season, Brandeis’ MusicUnitesUS program, which brings world-renowned musicians to campus to promote peaceful coexistence, will feature the Afro-pop music of Senegal and Arabic music from the Middle East. Both of the residencies are made possible in part by a grant from the Brandeis Arts Council and the CDQ Charitable Trust.

Lamine Touré and Group Saloum, whose music Afropop Worldwide describes as “A hard-hitting dance mix that delivers both percussive fury and joyful uplift,” will be the MusicUnitesUS visiting artists in October. Born into a family of sabar drummers, Lamine Touré is a key figure in the Senegalese music scene and has performed throughout Africa, Europe, and North America. Curating the residency is Patricia Tang, associate professor of music at MIT.

Then in March 2011, Palestinian oud and violin player Simon Shaheen, who has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, will be the featured MusicUnitesUS artist. His music reflects his Arabic legacy while forging new frontiers by embracing western jazz and classical styles. Shaheen’s residency will be highlighted by a March 12 concert: Simon Shaheen and Friends: Heritage Without Boundaries.

Local audiences will also be able to hear the best that Brandeis music students have to offer — from classical favorites to contemporary jazz — and it’s all for free! Hear from all six of the Brandeis music ensembles, including the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, String Ensemble, University Chamber Choir, Early Music Ensemble, University Chorus and Jazz Ensemble, at October’s “Music Fest,” and in December, join the University Chorus and Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra for Brandeis’ beloved holiday tradition, “Messiah Sing.”

2010-11 Brandeis Concert Season

All professional concerts are held in Slosberg Music Center on the Brandeis campus. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $15 for Brandeis community and seniors; $5 off when purchased in advance; $5 for students. Purchase tickets through Brandeis Tickets, online or by phone: 781-736-3400.

Joshua Gordon and Randall Hodgkinson
Passionately Modern: Music for Cello and Piano after World War II

Sunday, Oct. 3, 3 p.m.

Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble
Non-Volatile Memory Storage 

Saturday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
7 p.m. preconcert reception

Birds on Fire: Jewish Music of the Italian Renaissance

Saturday, Nov. 13, 8 p.m.

World Music Concerts and Intercultural Residencies

Lamine Touré and Group Saloum
Residency: Oct. 13-16
Concert: Saturday, Oct. 16, 8 p.m.

Simon Shaheen and Ensemble Qantara
Residency: March 10-12, 2011
Concert: Saturday, March 12, 8 p.m.

Lydian String Quartet Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration
Gala Concert: Saturday, March 26, 2011, 8 p.m. concert, 7 p.m. lecture by Daniel Stepner
and Sunday, May 1, 2011, 8 p.m. concert, 7 p.m. lecture by Daniel Stepner

Brandeis Student Ensemble Concerts
All student concerts take place in Slosberg Music Center and are free and open to the public.

Music Fest

Sunday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m.
A highlight of Fall Fest weekend! Experience all six Brandeis music ensembles in an afternoon of harmonic convergence.

Brandeis University Chorus

Saturday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m.
Program includes Mozart’s rich, festive, and delicate Coronation Mass, K.317. James Olesen, director.

Brandeis University Chamber Choir
Sunday, Nov. 14, 4 p.m.
Music by the Renaissance composer William Byrd including “Mass for Four Voices.” James Olesen, director.

Brandeis Wind Ensemble

Sunday, November 14, 7:00 p.m.
Ground control to Major Tom… blow your mind with music from outer space. Thomas Souza, director.

Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra
Sunday, November 21, 8:00 p.m.
Liszt’s “Hungarian Fantasy,” Hindemith’s “Der Schwanendreher,” and Sibelius Symphony No. 1.  featuring winners of the 2010 Concerto Competition: Hannah Saltman ’12, viola, and Sang-Hee Min (Wellesley ’11), piano. Neal Hampton, conductor.

Brandeis Early Music Ensemble
Saturday, December 4, 8:00 p.m.
The Italian madrigal “La Mantovana,” which made its way through history to become Israel’s national anthem “Hatikvah,” and other works from the early Renaissance, on period instruments. Sarah Mead, director.

Brandeis Jazz Ensemble

Sunday, December 5, 7:00 p.m.
Who’s afraid of the big band Monk? The coolest ensemble on campus plays music made famous

Improv Collective

Monday, December 6, 7:00 p.m.
It ain’t been made up yet. Tom Hall, director.

Chamber Music Ensembles

Tuesday, December 7, 7:00 p.m.
Classical music at its most intimate. Judith Eissenberg, director

Messiah Sing
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium
Hallelujah! Join the Brandeis University chorus and Brandeis-Wellesley orchestra, along with a campus full of fellow music lovers, for our annual celebration.

New Music Brandeis
Saturday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m.
World premieres of new music from Brandeis’ renowned graduate composition program.

For up-to-date calendar listings, visit

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