concerts

Joaquín Achúcarro to present rare solo concert Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in SMU’s Caruth Auditorium

Joaquin Achucarro 300pxThe Distinguished Performer Concert Series opens its 2017-18 season with a rare solo recital by world-renowned concert pianist, recording artist and Joel Estes Tate Professor Joaquín Achúcarro. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Roach Johnson ’54, longtime friend of Meadows School of the Arts.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available from the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS), or online: bit.ly/AchucarroConcert.

The all-Chopin concert will feature six works by the 19th-century Romantic composer, including his Prelude, Op. 45 in C-sharp minor; Fantasia Impromptu; Nocturne, Op. Posth. in C-sharp minor; Barcarolle, Op. 60; Polonaise, Op. 53 in A-flat major; and, after an intermission, 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Following the concert, Achúcarro will fly to London to record these Chopin works for a new CD.

> In Memoriam: Dallas civic leader, SMU benefactor Jeanne Roach Johnson

The late Jeanne Roach Johnson (1932-2017) – Dallas civic leader, investor and philanthropist – was a longtime supporter of SMU and of the Meadows School. A lifelong music lover, she gave several major gifts to establish endowment funds and initiatives for Meadows piano programs.

“Whether they know it or not, Jeanne Johnson’s legacy of philanthropy at the Meadows School has touched virtually every single music student for the last 20 years,” said Meadows Dean Samuel Holland. “The impact of her giving included a complete renovation of the music practice room complex, new and refurbished Steinway pianos, and scholarships for deserving students – not to mention a major gift to the National Center for Arts Research.

“Over many years, in part because of her love for the piano, Jeanne and our distinguished artist-in-residence, Joaquín Achúcarro, developed a warm and wonderful relationship. Jeanne was seen at virtually every piano event at the Meadows School and eagerly followed the careers of Joaquín’s students and alumni. I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute for this great lady than for Achúcarro to dedicate this recital – of repertoire Jeanne particularly loved – to her memory and her legacy.”

In October 2015, the French magazine Diapason selected Achúcarro’s BMG-RCA recording of Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto Macabre for Piano and Orchestra with London’s National Philharmonic Orchestra as one of “The Best 100 Piano Recordings of All Time,” along with such legends as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz and Rubinstein. He has even had a planet named after him: The International Astronomical Union christened the miniplanet 22191 “Achúcarro” in his honor.

Since winning the 1959 Liverpool International Competition, Achúcarro has toured 61 countries and played in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Berlin Philharmonie, Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. He has performed with more than 200 major orchestras, from the New York, Los Angeles and London Philharmonics to La Scala of Milan and the Tokyo Symphony. He has also played with more than 350 conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle.

He has also received the highest honors in the arts bestowed in his native Spain: the Gold Medal of Fine Arts, The National Award for Music and the Great Cross of Civil Merit.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows homepage

Meadows Wind Ensemble presents ode to Dallas in Cityscapes, Friday, March 3, 2017 at SMU

The dramatic transformations of Dallas’ skyline and development of the city’s Arts District are the inspirations for an upcoming concert by SMU’s Meadows Wind Ensemble.

Cityscapes is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, 2017 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The program features Dallas Symphony Pops conductor Jeff Tyzik’s composition Cityscapes for Brass Quintet and Wind Ensemble and continues the “city” theme with Olivier Messiaen’s Couleurs de la cité celeste and Aaron Copland’s Quiet City.

The program will conclude with a performance of Stephen Paulus’ Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble, featuring Meadows graduate student Nick German on piano. The piece was written on commission for the MWE, and the performance will be a tribute to Paulus, a longtime friend of the Ensemble who passed away last year.

Tickets are $8 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Escher String Quartet showcases work of student Michael van der Sloot

Escher

Members of the Escher String Quarter, left to right: Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; and Brook Speltz, cello.

The internationally acclaimed Escher String Quartet is set to perform two free concerts, open to the public, at SMU. This will be the second program of their 2015-2016 Meadows residency. This group has previously performed at New York’s Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall and Berlin’s Piano Salon Christophori. Now, they’ll perform at  Caruth Auditorium on March 17 and at O’Donnell Hall on March 18, both at 7:30 p.m.

The concert on March 17 will showcase three pieces, most notably the world premiere of Night Music, composed by Meadows Master of Music degree candidate Michael van der Sloot. Van der Sloot, who studies composition and is also a talented cellist, he has written works for the Calgary Youth Orchestra and Grammy-winning violinist and SMU Meadows Artist-in-Residence Matt Albert, among others.

Michael

Michael van der Sloot (M.M. Composition ’17)

Van der Sloot describes the piece as “pretty creepy and restless.”

“It’s like when you’re lying completely still in bed, wide awake because you know there is a monster in the closet. There’s a little bit of anxiety and anticipation,” he says.

His piece was chosen among submissions from multiple other music composition students. “The atmosphere and the title of the work were a compelling fit for our program, which deals with death, either through direct personal experience as in Benjamin Britten’s Quartet No. 3, or indirectly as in Franz Shubert’s Death and the Maiden,” says Aaron Boyd, one of two violinists in the Escher String Quartet. “We were struck by the quality of all of the composers’ submissions, but van der Sloot’s work was an impressive combination of  aleatoric freedom with real textural and timbral beauty.”

The quartet will also hold workshops and classes as part of their residency. One workshop will be a particularly immersive experience for the students and will culminate in the formation of the March 18 concert. This side-by-side concert with the quartet and music students of the Meadows school will include works by Brahms, Dvorak, Shostakovich, and Haydn.

Meadows Community Series presents J.S. Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion Sunday, March 6, 2016

Meadows choral March 2015 4The Meadows Chorale of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts is partnering with Conservatory Orchestra of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) to present J.S. Bach’s monumental work St. Matthew Passion.

The performance is part of the Meadows Community Series, a series established to bring Meadows performances to the community and engage new audiences. This dramatic retelling of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Christ is a huge undertaking, rarely taken on by college choirs. The Meadows Chorale, under the direction of Pamela Elrod Huffman, has been preparing for this all year.

Dr. Robert Bode, director of choral activities at UKMC, will conduct the concert at Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) on Sunday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free to guests, and no tickets are required. In lieu of tickets, the choir asks guests to make a donation to the North Texas Food Bank online or at the concert (both cash and non-perishable food items will be accepted).

NPR describes the piece as “one of the pillars of Western scared music, at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful.” This piece continues to move audiences even three hundred years after it was first heard during Good Friday services at St. Thomas’ Church in Leipzig, Germany.

Meadows Chorale Nov. 2014The work is divided into two parts, originally intended to be performed before and after the sermon during Good Friday services. The first part begins with an immense wave of sound to tell the stories of the Last Supper and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The second part is more somber and tells of the trial, crucifixion and burial of Jesus, and meant to leave viewers in a mournful mood as they anticipate the memorial of Christ’s death on the cross.

The Meadows Chorale was invited by UKMC to collaborate on this project and will also be performing at the American Choral Directors Association 2016 Southwest Regional Convention in Kansas City on Tuesday, March 8.

For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

SMU Jewish Studies celebrates Judeo-Spanish Culture Week Jan. 24-31, 2016

Judeo-Spanish Culture Week 2016 flyer

Schedule of events for SMU’s 2016 Judeo-Spanish Culture Week. Click the image for a full-size version.

The Jewish Studies Program in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences celebrates the unique culture of Jews in Spain with a series of events and lectures Jan. 24-31, 2016.

Highlights of Judeo-Spanish Culture Week include:

  • A screening of Flory’s Flame, a documentary about the life and music of 90-year-old Sephardic composer and performer Flory Jagoda, Sunday, Jan. 24. Free.
  • A discussion of “Jewish Treasures of Medieval Spain” with Danielle Joyner, visiting assistant professor of art history, and Shira Lander, director of Jewish studies, Monday, Jan. 25. Free.
  • A lecture on the future of the Judeo-Spanish language Ladino by Bryan Kirschen, assistant professor of Romance languages at Binghamton University and co-writer and co-director of the 2015 film Saved by Language, Thursday, Jan. 28. Free.
  • A concert featuring Trio SefardiHoward Bass, Tina Chancey and Susan Gaeta – who perform with Flory Jagoda using period instruments and specialized vocal techniques in their stories and songs. Tickets are $5 for SMU students, $15 for SMU faculty and staff members, and $25 for the general public; they are available online at smu.edu/triosefardi. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

All events are open to the public. For more information, contact Shira Lander, director of Jewish Studies, 214-768-2157.

Find more information, including a full schedule, at SMU’s Dedman College blog

Arts and civic leader Caren Prothro to be honored in 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” Tuesday, March 31

Caren Protho

Caren Protho will be honored in the 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” benefit concert, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will honor arts and civic leader and SMU trustee Caren Prothro in “Meadows at the Meyerson,” 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.

The 22nd annual benefit concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra. The 2015 event chair is Heather Furniss, and the honorary chairs are Sarah and Ross Perot Jr.

In a presentation of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (“The Song of the Earth”) led by conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will be accompanied by two renowned opera singers – mezzo soprano Michaela Martens and tenor Thomas Studebaker. Based on six 8th-century Chinese poems, the hour-long work was composed after Mahler learned he was terminally ill and is known as the finest part of his artistic legacy.

“Meadows at the Meyerson is the embodiment of our values as an arts organization in the community. We present the critically recognized Meadows Symphony Orchestra in our city’s Arts District and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas,” said Sam Holland, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are especially delighted this year to honor Caren Prothro, long a champion for arts and cultural excellence in our city. We are also grateful for her longstanding support of the Meadows Scholars Program, which allows Meadows to compete with the top arts and communications programs in the U.S., attracting prospective students to Dallas who might otherwise wind up in Boston, New York, Chicago, or L.A.

SMU's Meadows Symphony Orchestra in Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center

SMU’s Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform in the 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” event Tuesday, March 31, in Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center.

“Many of these academically gifted artists, or ‘smartists’ as we like to call them, will choose to stay in Dallas after graduation, building Dallas’ intellectual capital and momentum as one of the most culturally dynamic cities in the United States.”

This year’s honoree, Caren Prothro, is an active supporter of the arts, higher education and programming addressing the needs of at-risk youth. A previous chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees, Prothro currently serves as co-chair of SMU’s Campaign for the Second Century with a historic goal of $1 billion to support endowment and capital expansion. In 2015, she will begin her service as a member of The George W. Bush Foundation.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Read the full story from SMU News

Calendar Highlights: March 6, 2015

Welcome back from the snow day! What’s going on this weekend at SMU:

Emanuel BorokBeethoven Sonatas for Piano & Violin: SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents Beethoven Sonatas for Piano & Violin on Saturday, March 7, 8 p.m., in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The performance will feature Cilburn gold medalist Alexander Kobrin on the piano and Meadows Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Emanuel Borok (pictured right) on the violin. Kobrin and Borok will perform the second of three concerts devoted to the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas. The final concert will be May 11, 2015. For more information, call 214-768-2787.

Don’t forget: Daylight Saving Time 2015 begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8. Spring forward!

Music, art and culture highlight SMU’s 2013 Russian Winter Festival

The Flying Balalaika Brothers

Renowned Austin-based musicians The Flying Balalaika Brothers will perform with Jamal Mohamed, director of the Meadows World Music Ensemble, at SMU March 2, 2013. The gala concert will kick off the University’s 2013 Russian Winter Festival.

Renowned Russian-American musicians The Flying Balalaika Brothers bring their energetic take on traditional music and their own original compositions to SMU’s 17th annual Russian Winter Festival.

SMU percussion instructor Jamal Mohamed, director of the Meadows World Music Ensemble, joins the Austin-based band for a gala kick-off concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

Tickets can be purchased online and at the door for $20. The concert is free for SMU students and faculty (with ID) and for children under 12. For more information about tickets, call 214-718-0701.

Saturday evening will also include recognition of the Dallas-Saratov Sister City relationship and an award presentation honoring University students for their achievements in Russian language studies. The events at SMU will be followed by the opening of the exhibit “Russian Winter 2013 Art Showcase” at Dallas’s Evol Society gallery, 8060 Park Lane, Suite 126.

The tradition of the Winter Festival in Russia is centuries old, serving as a farewell to winter and a greeting to the coming spring. The SMU Russian Club, in conjunction with the Russian American Center, has made the Winter Festival a yearly event in Texas, featuring artistic and academic events as well as musical performances by international folk, classical and contemporary artists. 

Viktor Shenderovich

Political writer and human rights activist Viktor Shenderovich will speak at SMU Thursday, March 7 as part of the University’s 2013 Russian Winter Festival.

“The SMU Russian Festival is a great opportunity to experience Russian culture and learn about one of the world’s most enigmatic nations,” says Zachary Cowan, SMU Russian Club president.

Campus events during the Russian cultural week include “Russian Authority vs. the Russian Satire: The History of the War.” Viktor Shenderovich, one of Russia’s most prominent political writers and human rights activists, will present the lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7 in Portico A, Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

The Russian Club is also coordinating several community events, including a children’s concert and contest entitled “The Planet of Talents” scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at the Farmers Branch Manske Library. This event will feature an exhibit of artwork by children of Dallas and Saratov. The week will also feature other activities at various libraries, schools and colleges in the Dallas area.

Visit the SMU Russian Club online

Meadows Opera Theatre opens 2012 with The Marriage of Figaro

John Hendricks as Figaro and Julie Marx as Susanna in the 2012 Meadows Opera Theatre production of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo by Kim Ritzenthaler.

Cupid is at work and at play on Figaro and Susanna’s wedding day – but who is wooing whom?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day month, Meadows Opera Theatre and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra bring to life a cornerstone of the operatic repertoire, The Marriage of Figaro. The production runs Feb. 2-5, 2012, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The Marriage of Figaro – with or without its alternate title that translates as The Day of Madness – has charmed audiences since the debut of Pierre Beaumarchais’ original play in 1784. The working-class hero and heroine want only to celebrate their wedding in peace, but the competing agendas of friends, family members and even their aristocratic employers complicate the proceedings.

Count Almaviva, their master, has eyes for the bride, and a mysterious older woman lays claim to the groom. Countess Almaviva wants to win back her husband’s love, while the hormonal teenage page Cherubino wants to win the heart of every female he meets.

The play was banned in Vienna for a time because of its satire of the aristocracy, yet the 1786 opera became one of Mozart’s most successful works during his lifetime. (The composer himself directed its first two performances from the keyboard of his fortepiano.) It was the first of three collaborations with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, with whom he also wrote Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte.

Njabulo Mthimkhulu as Count Almaviva, Julie Marx as Susanna and Paul Kroeger as Don Basilio in the 2012 Meadows Opera Theatre production of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo by Kim Ritzenthaler.

Mozart’s celebrated score will be performed by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities Paul Phillips. Meadows Opera Theatre Director Hank Hammett directs the production, with choreography by Professor of Dance Danny Buraczeski.

The opera will be sung in Italian with projected English translation. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets for The Marriage of Figaro online at Vendini or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Find a complete cast list under the link below. (more…)

Meadows Wind Ensemble enjoys ‘An Evening With Genghis Barbie’ Oct. 14, 2011

The Meadows Wind Ensemble of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, under the direction of Jack Delaney, welcomes New York City’s “hottest classical, pop, rock, jazz, indie, alternative, punk, electro-acoustic ensemble” for a Friday evening show.

The all-female French horn quartet Genghis Barbie joins the MWE at 8 p.m. Friday, October 14 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The group – composed of Freedom Barbie, Velvet Barbie, Electric Barbie and Attila the Horn – is considered one of the most innovative and energetic chamber ensembles on the music scene. Tickets are $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley and in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Genghis Barbie are classically trained players who studied at Juilliard or the Manhattan School of Music, and are dedicated to distinctive, interactive and personal performances. The Meadows concert is part of their inaugural U.S. tour.

The program will include Richard Strauss’ Vienna Philharmoniker Fanfare, noted for its striking brass textures, and Robert Schumann’s virtuoso showcase Konzertstuck for Four Horns and Wind Ensemble. Also to be performed are Eric Ewazen’s Symphony in Brass, Circuits by Cindy McTee and Minute Fanfare, a rousing work for eight horns by SMU student composer Vince Gover.

Genghis Barbie also will present a free master class from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Caruth Auditorium. The class will be hosted by Gregory Hustis, principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Meadows adjunct professor.

Listen to the Genghis Barbie rendition of Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” in a new window, or click the YouTube screen at right.

> Read more from SMU News
> Learn more about Genghis Barbie at their official website
> Visit the Meadows Wind Ensemble online

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