Concert season showcases acclaimed music faculty

Music department begins with tribute to founder Irving Fine

The Brandeis Music Department will offer more than 70 performances this year – ranging from classical, jazz, world, funk, and new music – beginning with a tribute to its founder Irving Fine.

On Saturday Sept. 10, Lydian String Quartet members Daniel Stepner, Mary Ruth Ray and Joshua Gordon, with guest Ya-Fei Chuang on violin, will present music by Fine as well as by Fauré and Ravel. In October the Lydians return with violinist Judith Eissenberg to perform a Vienna-inspired concert of Mozart and Harbison, plus Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet with Judith Gordon on piano, and “In8” by Brandeis professor David Rakowski. 

Professor Yu-Hui Chang is co-artistic director of Dinosaur Annex, Boston’s premier contemporary music ensemble. On Sept. 25, the ensemble will perform new music by five distinguished composers – an authentic blend of classical, vernacular, pop, jazz and non-Western. Tickets are available on their website or at the door.

In October, bassist Bob Nieske, director of the Brandeis Jazz Ensemble, will be joined by Phil Grenadier, trumpet and flugelhorn; Jon Hazilla, percussion; and Dave Tronzo, slide guitar and gizmos, for Music by Chants. “We’ll explore the simplicity of the chant form, as well as the ‘chance’ that is fundamental to improvisation,” says Nieske. The program also includes jazz standards and Nieske’s original compositions.

Session X, which blends funk classics and funky free improvisation, will be on campus in November. April Hall's vocals are backed by Amadee Castenell; Tom Hall, sax;
 Kevin Barry, guitar; Marty Ballou, bass; Mr. Rourke, turntables; and Dean Johnston, drums – an all-star band that has performed with the likes of Elvis Costello.

Since 2006, Brandeis has brought virtuoso international musicians to the Boston area. This fall MusicUnitesUS welcomes its first dance theater performance. Navarasa Dance Theater infuses classical Indian choreography with modern dance and martial arts for an experience that The Times of India says “stuns the audience with its complexity and beauty.”

Audiences also can experience the passion of young musicians at performances by the outstanding Brandeis student ensembles: the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, University Chorus and Chamber Choir, Early Music Ensemble, Improv Collective, Jazz Ensemble and Dance and Music of Ghana. Student ensemble concerts, New Music Brandeis concerts and student recitals are free and open to the public.

Concerts are held in Slosberg Music Center unless otherwise noted.

Professional concert tickets are $20 for the general public; $15 for Brandeis community and senior citizens; $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased through Brandeis Tickets online or by phone at (781) 736-3400. The schedule is below:

Music for 2, 3 and 4: Honoring Irving Fine
Saturday, Sept. 10, 8 p.m. (pre-concert lecture, 7 p.m.)

Hootenanny with Pesky J. Nixon
Saturday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m.

Dinosaur Annex: Dissolving Boundaries
Sunday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m. (pre-concert lecture, 7 p.m.)

Lydians @ Noon
Wednesday, Oct. 12, noon
Mandel Center for the Humanities

Lydian String Quartet: Vienna Meets Boston
Saturday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m. (pre-concert lecture, 7 p.m.)

Bob Nieske 4: Music by Chants
Saturday, Oct. 1, 8 p.m.
World Music Series: Navarasa Dance Theater
Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m. (pre-concert lecture, 7 p.m.)

Session X
Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 p.m.

Naoko Sugiyama: Solo Piano
Sunday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m.

Exsultemus: “Music for Voices and Viols by Byrd, Gibbons and Tomkins”
Saturday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m.

Joshua Gordon and Randall Hodgkinson: Birth of the Duo (Short Form and Long Form)
Sunday, Nov. 13, 3 p.m.

“Kaffeekonzert” with Robert Hill, harpsichord
Sunday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m. concert, 10 a.m. coffee hour. Free and open to the public.

Messiah Sing
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 4 p.m. Free and open to the public.
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Categories: Arts

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