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Strings Festival To Showcase Renowned Artists, Students

Sept. 26, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Members of the Bearkat and Huntsville communities can immerse themselves in the world of string performances during the annual Festival of Strings, beginning Friday (Oct. 4).

The four-day festival will feature concerts by internationally renowned artists, the SHSU Symphony Orchestra and music faculty.

Activities will “tune up” that day, when guest artist and world-renowned violinist Dylana Jenson conducts a master class with students beginning at 3 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

“Ms. Jenson was the first American woman to win a top award in the world-famous Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia,” said associate professor of violin Javier Pinell. “She has performed worldwide in the great concert stages around the globe.”

Festival of Strings posterOn Saturday (Oct. 5), Jenson will join SHSU’s Symphony Orchestra for “a fantastic program of powerful and familiar music, plus two exceptional guest artists” that will include works by Beethoven, Copland and Rimsky-Korsakov, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Concert Hall.

Professor Emeritus Carol Smith will open the program with the brass and percussion work, ‘Fanfare for the Common Man,’ by Aaron Copland.

“Incidentally, he taught the great conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein who later was a teacher to Dr. Carol Smith,” said Zachary Carrettin, director of orchestral studies.

The orchestra will also perform the famous “Russian Easter Festival Overture,” composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

“This brilliant work features virtuoso playing by every section and individual on stage and is based on the contrasts one might witness during the Easter-period festivals in Russia, where the sacred themes (Christian Orthodox chant) are juxtaposed with wild dances and abundant, even excessive jubilation,” Carrettin said.

Finally, Jenson wil showcase her skills as a violin soloist, performing Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto.”

“Her performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto last year at the SHSU GPAC is still being talked about by those fortunate enough to have heard the concert,” Carrettin said.

On Monday (Oct. 7), renowned cellist Pamela Frame will work with cello students from 4-6 p.m. in the GPAC Concert Hall.

At 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall, SHSU’s faculty quartet in residence, the Kolonneh String Quartet, will present a “delightful and contrasting program” featuring “masterpieces” by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, known as the “father of the string quartet,” and Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, a pioneer in the “tango nuevo” style, according to Pinell.

“Haydn was a prolific composer who wrote 104 symphonies and some 83 string quartets. Monday’s concert will include one of his most celebrated works, ‘String Quartet in G major, O. 77, No. 1,’” Pinell said. “Piazzolla revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. Among his most famous works is a duo for violin and guitar titled ‘Histoire du Tango.’ Each movement of this piece represents a period in the history of the tango.

Finally, on Tuesday (Oct. 8), Frame will work with SHSU student chamber ensembles and then join them in performance, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall. Also joining Frame and SHSU student string quartets will be faculty cellist Daniel Saenz.

All of the performances and classes offered as part of the Festival of Strings are free and open to the public, except the Oct. 5 symphony orchestra concert. Tickets for that concert are $15 for general admission, $14 for senior citizens and $5 for students.

For more information on any of these activities, call the SHSU School of Music at 936.294.1360.



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