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Art is in Bloom at the UK Art Museum

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 3:33pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2015) — Art In Bloom, the Art Museum at University of Kentucky's annual fundraiser, opens today, Friday, April 24, with floral designers interpreting works of art from the museum's permanent collection. Floral designs will be on display from noon-8 p.m. Friday, April 24, and from noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26. Admission to see the floral designs is free.

 

This year's Art in Bloom festivities honor Kasia and Andre Pater. Since their move from Poland in 1988, Andre's art has focused on subjects including polo, racing, cattle, wildlife, foxhunting and Native Americans. Kasia has contributed to magazines including Kentucky Living and Kentucky Monthly, as well as published a book of poems, "Poste Restante."

In addition to the exhibition of floral designs, the Art in Bloom cocktail party will be presented 7:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25. The party will consist of art-inspired food, drinks, music and poetry. Food will be provided by local chefs including:
· Cole Arimes, of Coles;

· Renee Brewer, of Wine + Market;

· Seth Brewer and Carrie Arps, of Enoteca;

· Toa Green, of Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream;

· Martine Holzman, of Martine's Pastries;

· Jonathan Lundy, of Coba Cocina;

· alumna Ouita Michel, of Holly Hill Inn;

· Johnny Shipley, of County Club;

· alumnus Dan Wu, a private chef who appeared on Fox's "Master Chef," and

· Nat Yuttayong, of Nat's.

 

Maker's Mark will provide signature cocktails and music will be performed by the Carlos Espinosa Trio, the UK String Quartet and singer-songwriter Carla Gover.

 

Art-inspired poetry by Julia Johnson, Maurice Manning, Erik Reece, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer and Frank X Walker will also be read at the event.

Tickets for the Art in Bloom Cocktail Party are $75 and are available at the door, online by visiting the museum's website at http://finearts.uky.edu/art-museum or by phone at 859-257-6218.

Art in Bloom 2015 is co-chaired by Renee Saunier Brewer, Seth Brewer, David Coomer and Dan Wu.

 

The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

 

An Evening of Mozart Masterpieces

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 2:59pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2015) — In a grand collaboration with the University of Kentucky Choirs and the UK Symphony Orchestra, hundreds of performers from UK School of Music will take the Singletary Center for the Arts stage to perform works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

The concert program will feature Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor under the direction of conductor of the UK Symphony Orchestra John Nardolillo and conductor of the UK Choirs Jefferson Johnson. The ensembles will also perform the composer’s “Overture to Le nozze di Figaro” and Symphony No. 38 in D Major “Prague.”

 

Prior to the concert, the Friends of the UK School of Music and the Art Museum at UK will host a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. in the museum.

 

Mozart was born into a musical family, educated by his father, Leopold, and paraded on tour throughout Europe as a musical prodigy on both the keyboard and violin. Ten years of travel fostered the growth of his compositional voice, which became one of the most influential in the history of western music.

 

The Requiem Mass was one of three major works that dominated the final months of Mozart’s life. The Mass was commissioned by Count Walsegg-Stuppach to honor his wife, who had died in February 1791. The story of the Requiem’s commissioning and conception were a point of intrigue from the moment of its first performance. The combination of Walsegg-Stuppach requesting the work in secret and Mozart’s death before its completion sowed the seeds of conjecture for years to come. At the time of Mozart’s death in December 1791, the manuscripts were handed over to a former student, Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who claimed to have composed the latter parts of the Requiem while completing the rest of Mozart’s sketches to create the Requiem we know today.

 

In addition to the gifted ensembles and conductors, the concert will showcase the vocal talents of UK Opera Theatre senior Jessica Bayne, of Christiansburg, Virginia; graduate student Holly Dodson, of Lexington; junior Matthew Pearce, of Union, Kentucky; and doctoral candidate André Campelo, of Goiânia, Brazil.

 

Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Lang Lang and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts, with UK Opera Theatre at the Lexington Opera House, and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record with Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.

 

The ensembles of the UK Choirs constitute one of the most active and vibrant collegiate choral programs in the country. UK's choral ensembles are 220 students strong, presenting more than 60 performances annually. The choirs are regularly invited to perform at prestigious national conferences including the American Choral Directors Association. They have also toured Europe extensively, offering a rich international educational experience for our students.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Theatre Ends 'Hair' Raising Season With Broadway Musical

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 3:44pm

 

 

Promotional video for "Hair" by UK Department of Theatre and Dance. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2015) — Don't miss the last four performances of the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance closing production, the popular Broadway musical "Hair," running through April 26, at the Guignol Theatre.

 

A rock musical, "Hair" follows the lives of politically active young people living the bohemian lifestyle in New York's East Village during the 1960s. Its cast of characters fights against the draft and Vietnam War, questions authority and advocates for freedom of expression. "Hair," written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, originally premiered off Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1967, found its way to Broadway in April 1968, and won a Tony and Drama Desk Award in 2009. Family of Ragni will be in attendance at the April 25th performance.

 

"Hair" takes the Guignol stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 23-25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Tickets to "Hair" are $20 for general admission and $15 for UK students with a valid ID through the Singletary Center box office. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 859-257-4929, visit online at www.scfatickets.com or purchase in person during operating hours.

 

The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from the renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life. 

UK Ethnomusicologist Donna Kwon Selected for ACLS Fellowship

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:42pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17 , 2015) — University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Donna Kwon has been selected as a recipient of a 2014-2015 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship. Kwon's research is titled "Stepping in the Madang: Embodying Space and Place in Korean Drumming and Dance."

 

"Stepping in the Madang" addresses the spatialization of culture in Korean drumming and dance, centering on the concept of the “madang,” a cultural space that was revived in opposition to the Western stage in South Korea. While the madang can best be visualized as a village courtyard, it can also refer temporally to an occasion in time or socially to a sense of embodied communal participation. The thesis of this research contends that the participatory way of being that is cultivated in the madang counteracts the fossilization of tradition by bringing folk practices more fully into the embodied present, even if in an idealized fashion.

 

Kwon earned bachelor's degrees in piano performance and women's studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory, a master's degree in music and ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and a doctoral degree in musicology and ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served as an elected member of the Society for Ethnomusicology Council and is president of the Association for Korean Music Research.

 

Before coming to UK School of Music in 2008, Kwon taught at Lawrence University and Grinnell College and served as the William Randolph Hearst Fellow at Rhodes College, offering courses on Asian music, global and American popular music, world music, Korean percussion and musical places, spaces and scenes. She is the recipient of a Fulbright IIE fellowship, two grants from the Korea Foundation, the Distinguished Master's Thesis Award, and the Marnie Dilling Prize. Kwon presents papers regularly at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference on her research interest which include Korean music, East Asian and Asian American popular and creative music, issues of music and embodiment, gender and the body, space and place, music scenes and the workings of cultural politics. She is also the author of the book "Music in Korea: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture" that was published as part of the Global Music Series of Oxford University Press (2011).

 

Kwon was happily surprised with the ACLS Fellowship. "My first reaction was just utter disbelief. In fact, I was so convinced that I would be passed over that I completely missed the 'congratulations' in the subject line when opening the initial email from the ACLS Director of Fellowship Programs, Dr. Matthew Goldfeder. I am beyond ecstatic to be a recipient of this support in order to bring this research to fruition and really bring the book project to life. Beyond this, it is incredibly gratifying to know that my research spoke to specialists and non-specialists enough to be selected from the pool of applicants this year. As one of the few ethnomusicologists in the state of Kentucky, it’s easy to feel isolated and lose a sense of connection and perspective from others in the field so this award means that much more to me."

 

The ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of 72 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. This year ACLS made a total of 70 awards to faculty of all ranks and independent scholars too support research in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences.

 

"Fellows were chosen for their potential to create new knowledge resulting from investigations and reflections on cultures, texts and artifacts from across the globe and human history," Goldfeder said. "ACLS programs employs a rigorous multi-stage peer review process to ensure that humanities scholars themselves select those few fellows who exemplify the very best in their fields. The 70 fellows this year represent more than 50 colleges and universities and an array of human disciplines, including linguistics, religious studies, architectural history and geography."

 

ACLS Fellowships allow the scholars to spend six to 12 months on full-time researching and writing. The program is funded by the ACLS endowment, which has received contributions from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment of Humanities, the council's college and university associates, past fellows and friends of ACLS.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Love/Hate Relationship With Gypsies and Gypsy Music Focus of Longyear Lecture

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 4:53pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015) — The University of Kentucky School of Music will present a colloquium talk and workshop on Gypsy music by Carol Silverman as part of the Rey M. Longyear Colloquium Lecture Series. The talk is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, in the Niles Gallery located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. Silverman will also hold a Balkan singing workshop the following afternoon at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, in the Niles Gallery.

 

Carol Silverman is a professor of cultural anthropology and folklore at the University of Oregon. As part of the Longyear Lecture, she will present her research in a talk titled “Global Gypsy: Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation and Representation.”

 

In the last 20 years, the popularity of Balkan "Gypsy" music has exploded, becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs in the United States and Western Europe. At the same time, thousands of Balkan Roma have emigrated westward due to deteriorating living conditions. Entrenched stereotypes of thievery have arisen amidst deportations and harassment. In this heightened atmosphere of xenophobia, Roma, as Europe’s largest minority and its quintessential “other,” face the paradox that they are revered for their music yet reviled as people. 

 

Balkan Gypsy music is simultaneously a commodity, a trope of multiculturalism, and a potent in-group symbol in cosmopolitan contexts. Focusing on clubs and festivals, this ethnographic presentation investigates the ramifications of the current scene for Romani performers and non-Romani musicians, producers, audiences and marketers.

 

Silverman has done research with Roma for over 25 years in Balkans, Western Europe and the U.S. Her work explores the intersection of politics, music, human rights, gender and state policy with a focus on issues of representation. A professional performer and teacher of Balkan music, she also works with the Voice of Roma

 

In addition to scores of articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes, Silverman published "Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora" (Oxford University Press, 2012), which won the Merriam Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. She is also the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships including the John Simon Guggenheim and the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships.

 

The UK School of Music, part of UK College of Fine Arts, has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Theatre 'Lets the Sunshine In' at Guignol With 'Hair'

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 1:06pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance will end the season with a groovy revolution. The department will present the popular musical “Hair” April 16- April 26, in the Guignol Theatre.

 

“Hair,” written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, originally premiered off Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1967 and found its way to Broadway in April 1968. “Hair” is a musical that embodies the romanticized spirit of the hippie counter culture of the 1960s. Though the plot is rather loose, the musical tells the story of Claude and his struggle with conscription into the Vietnam War.

 

Under the direction of Russell Henderson, the department first produced “Hair” in October 1993. It ran with such overwhelming success that it included midnight showings and a rerun in the summer of 1994.

 

“Like Hamlet, it’s a play about a man who can’t make up his mind ultimately,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Russell Henderson, who will also direct the 2015 production. “But it’s really about the search for self and self identification and how you figure into a larger society.”

 

The cast consists of a “tribe” of 30 people. Students registered for the show like a class and have designated rehearsal times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the rehearsal process the cast had to acquire a necessary understanding of the period both historically and culturally. The musical encompasses a lot of references that were contemporary in the 1960s and explores themes such as resistance to the Vietnam War, women’s liberation, the sexual revolution and the drug culture of the time. Henderson stressed in rehearsal that the actors should not be playing ‘hippies’ but rather people living during the period.

 

In the 1960s a group of like-minded, unrelated people who lived together for mutual gain was considered a tribe or a commune. These people would often live with each other, provide for each other and celebrated ideas such as freedom, happiness, peace, harmony and understanding. A tribe could also include people who would be a hippie for the weekend and return to their desk jobs on Monday.

 

 “We are representing an era and a group of people that really believed in the power of love and believed in the power of togetherness – the whole cast had to find that together,” said theatre senior Rachel Snyder, of Dayton, Ohio, who is playing Shelia Franklin. “We had to become the tribe. And I think we have done that.”

 

“These people lived free without labels in a world that always wanted to confine something to a label, and this directly mirrors our society today,” said theatre junior DeAndreus Baines, of Memphis, Tennessee, who portrays Hud. “We spend more time now trying to give something a title instead of letting it be whatever it wants to be.”

 

While many of the references will be understood fully by those who grew up in the 1960s, the musical is still relevant to a 2015 audience. Many of the issues brought to light in the 1960s, such as the fight for equal human rights, are still prevalent in today’s culture.

 

“This is 2015, not 1948, but have we really progressed?” said Synder. “We are still fighting about discrimination, drug use, sexuality, human rights and freedom. Do we need to keep illuminating the issues, fighting for humanity, and sharing love? I think now is the time to ‘Let the Sunshine In.’”

 

Taking in the April 25 show will be several members of the family of "Hair" co-writer Gerome Ragni, including a relative who attends UK.

 

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., April 16-18 and 23-25. A 2 p.m. matinee performance will be presented April 26. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for the general public.

 

The production contains mature content such as strong language and brief nudity.

 

The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

The Beat Goes On: UK Percussion Students, Alums Join Forces for 30-year Concert

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 4:29pm
 LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of James Campbell, will join forces with a generation of its distinguished alumni to present a performance of John Luther Adams’ outdoor masterpiece “Inuksuit” for 9 to 99 percussionists at the Singletary Center for the Arts. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin 3 p.m. Sunday, April 12. 

Designed as a concert with an open footprint, “Inuksuit” will feature 75 percussionists and take place on and around Stoll Field, the Student Center and the Singletary Center. The special event celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the award-winning UK Percussion Ensemble, who recently won the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Percussion Ensemble Competition for a record fifth time. If inclement weather arises, the concert will be moved inside the Singletary Center.

 

Andrew Bliss, UK alumnus and professor of percussion at the University of Tennessee, will serve as the concert’s artistic director. Bliss was involved in both the world and U.S. premieres of “Inuksuit” in Banff, Alberta, and Greenville, South Carolina.

 

 

Two pre-concert events will also mark this special reunion concert. Bliss and noted Wilco drummer, Glenn Kotche, will give a pre-concert talk in the Singletary Center President’s Room at 2 p.m.

 

Hear what percussionist Kothce had to say about returning to campus during his last visit to UK.

 

In addition, the UK Wildcat Marching Band Alumni Drumline will perform on Stoll Field in a pre-concert exhibition at 2 p.m. The talk, exhibition and concert performance are free and open to the public.

 

Noted music critic Alex Ross called “Inuksuit” “one of the most rapturous experiences of [his] listening life.” Composer John Luther Adams has been called "one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century" (The New Yorker). His life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world, and he is known "for melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries." In 2014, Adams was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his recent orchestral work, “Become Ocean.”

 

Under the direction of Campbell, the UK Percussion Ensemble has won the prestigious PAS Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest five times. They have also performed at several PAS International Conventions, the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, The Bands of America Percussion Ensemble Festival, and alongside international guest artists such as Robin Engelman, Steve Houghton, John Bergamo, Michael Burritt, Bob Becker, William Cahn, Michael Spiro, Chalo Eduardo, Ney Rosauro, Liam Teague, Dick Schory, Anders Åstrand, Richie Garcia, Dave Samuels, Danny Gottlieb, Glenn Velez, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro, Jerry Steinholtz, David Johnson, Rich Holly, Dean Gronemeier, Fred Sanford, Thomas Burritt, John Parks, J.B. Smith, N. Scott Robinson, Andy Harnsberger and many others.

 

The UK Percussion Ensemble is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Marks 10 Years of Showcasing Music Around the World

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 3:21pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Join the University of Kentucky School of Music for the 10th anniversary of the UK World Music and Dance Concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

The event was started in 2005 by emeritus Professor Han Kuo-Huang. In honor of his legacy, the School of Music will present a special concert featuring music and dance from around the world with a sonic journey that spans the Bluegrass to Bali and beyond.

 

The concert will begin with the rare opportunity to hear the dynamic sounds of the Balinese “marching gamelan” called gamelan bebonangan, featuring fast syncopated rhythms, interlocking melodies, weaving movements and powerful gongs. Following this, the program journeys to Zimbabwe for the entrancing sounds of the Shona mbira (thumb piano) performed by the MbiraCats from the University of Cincinnati College and Conservatory of Music, led by Stefan Fiol.

 

Next will be virtuosic solo pieces on two representative Chinese string instruments. First, Luyin Shao, a doctoral candidate in musicology and ethnomusicology at UK, will play on the pear-shaped pipa and then Qi Yu will perform on the guzheng zither. These international musicians have studied these instruments from a young age and majored in music performance in their home countries.

 

Next the program will return “home” and feature music from the UK Bluegrass Ensemble, led by Ellyn Washburne, a UK musicology graduate student.

 

The concert will also highlight the talents of exchange students from the Arts College of Inner Mongolia University and include selections of overtone throat singing, horsehead fiddle pieces, Mongolian choir music and traditional bowl dance. The concert will conclude with a Korean samulnori piece performed by the UK Korean Ensemble, led by Donna Kwon, assistant professor of ethnomusicology.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

For more information about these events, call 859-257-4912 or contact Donna Kwon by email at donna.kwon@uky.edu.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Superstar Violinist Joshua Bell Joins UK Orchestra in Concert

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 4:10pm

 

 

Joshua Bell plays "Summer" from Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015) — Continuing a tradition of playing with the best of the best classical musicians, University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will take the Singletary Center for the Arts stage with superstar violinist Joshua Bell this weekend. The concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

 

The program for the Bell concert with UK Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro John Nardolillo, includes performances of Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No.1 in G Minor, Op. 26 and Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28.

 

Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."

 

Recently named the music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bell is the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. Their first recording under his leadership of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 7 from Sony Classical debuted at number one on the Billboard Classical chart. Bell’s recording of the Bach violin concertos with the orchestra was released September 2014 and coincided with the airing of the HBO documentary "Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass." He has recorded more than 40 CDs, garnering Mercury, Grammy, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards. Bell's previous release "Romance of the Violin" was named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year by Billboard and earned the musician Classical Artist of the Year honors.

 

Bell was recognized for his achievements by the New York Chapter, The Recording Academy in 2013 and by the National YoungArts Foundation in 2012. In 2011, he received the Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and the Huberman Award from Moment magazine. Bell was named Instrumentalist of the Year 2010 by Musical America and received the Humanitarian Award from Seton Hall University. In 2009, he was honored by Education Through Music and received the Academy of Achievement Award in 2008. In 2007, Bell was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize and recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.

 

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell received his first violin at age four. At age 12, he began studying with Josef Gingold at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is now on faculty. Two years later, he came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra and at 17 debuted at Carnegie Hall. His career has spanned over 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, and he is an outspoken advocate for classical music and keeping music education in schools. Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius.

 

To hear Bell talk about the upcoming concert at UK, listen to his interview with WUKY at: http://wuky.org/post/meet-joshua-bell.

 

Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The 100-member all-student orchestra, housed at UK School of Music, presents more than 50 concerts each year including classical, chamber and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Lang Lang, Ronan Tynan, Natasha Paremski and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

 

Many of UK Symphony Orchestra's performances with major artists are the result of collaboration between Nardolillo and Michael Grice, director of the Singletary Center. More on that partnernship can be seen here:

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra also collaborates yearly with UK Opera Theatre and has recently presented "Porgy and Bess," "La Bohème," "Die Fledermaus," "Carmen," "La Traviata" and "Madama Butterfly," as well as Broadway favorites "Sweeney Todd," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera." They also have an active outreach program bringing classical music to all corners of the Commonwealth. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record for Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.

 

Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Men's Chorus, Women's Choir Spring into Concert

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 4:22pm

 

UK Women's Choir singing "Pie Jesu" at Ely Cathedral. A transcription of this video can be found here

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2015) — As the University of Kentucky's Women’s Choir prepares for their summer tour to Spain and the Men’s Chorus returns to their home stage fresh off their heralded performance at the American Choral Director’s Association National Convention in Salt Lake City, the ensembles will come together in a concert of mutual commendation and celebration. The UK Women's Choir and Men's Chorus Spring Concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

"Gaudete" performed by the UK Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of American Choral Directors Association. A transcript of this video can be seen here.

 

At the spring concert, the UK Men’s Chorus will perform a variety of works including the medieval Irish chant “Christus Resurgens,” Richard Burchard’s “Tenebrae” and guest conductor and UK doctoral candidate J.D. Frizzell’s composition “i thank you God for most this amazing day” based on a poem by E. E. Cummings. A composer, conductor and baritone, Frizzell is the director of Fine Arts and director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest Christian School.

 

The concert will also include selections sung by the UK Women’s Choir from Spanish composers to celebrate their trip to Spain in June 2015. Among the works to be performed will be “Gloria” by Ola Gjeilo and “O Magnum Mysterium” by Tomás Luis de Victoria.

 

In addition to the Men’s Chorus and Women’s Choir, the a cappella groups acoUstiKats and Paws and Listen will also perform.

 

The UK Women’s Choir, directed by Lori Hetzel, is a select ensemble composed of more than 100 of the school’s most talented female voices. The singers, ranging from freshmen to graduate students, represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature spanning from Gregorian chant to eight-part music of the 21st Century. With an emphasis on music by female composers, the ensemble performs works of many different languages and compositional forms. The UK Women’s Choir has achieved many distinguished honors and performed in countless venues worldwide.

 

The UK Men’s Chorus, directed by Jefferson Johnson, is a 90-voice ensemble composed of students who range from freshmen to graduate students. The young men represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. Founded in fall 2002, the Men’s Chorus has grown in size and popularity each semester. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chant to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, the Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Kentucky, touring each semester.

 

Tickets for the UK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus Spring Concert are $10 for general admission. The tickets may be purchased via the Singletary Center ticket office online, by phone at 859-257-4929, or in person at the ticket office.

 

UK Choirs are a part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The choral ensembles have garnered international attention with appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome, Italy) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna, Austria). 

 

For more information on the concert, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.             

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Vocalist Reginald Smith Jr. Winner at Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:51am

 

 

 

 

 

"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) – University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. has taken one of the five winning spots in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against eight other vocalists in the grand finals concert March 22 at the Metropolitan Opera. Smith is the second UK vocalist to win the prestigious opera competition.

 

"I am so proud of Reggie. It couldn't have happened to a kinder person," said Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. "Reggie has worked hard his entire young career. He was an incredible citizen in our program when he matriculated at the University of Kentucky and it's wonderful to see all of that hard work paying off. This is a great day for the University of Kentucky, the College of Fine Arts and for the UK Opera Program. It also speaks to the quality of the comprehensive training that the students are receiving in the UK School of Music. I couldn't be prouder of all of our students and faculty."

 

As part of the finals, Smith, a baritone, performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi. He advanced to the semifinals and finals at the Met out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.

 

A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar where he studied under McCorvey. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

Tenor and UK Artist-in-Residence Gregory Turay was the first UK vocalist to be named a winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1995.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Classical Superstar Joshua Bell to Perform With UK Orchestra

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 2:00pm

 

Joshua Bell performs "The Four Seasons" Summer III. Presto by Antonio Vivaldi.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Classical aficionados will not want to miss celebrated violinist Joshua Bell as he joins Maestro John Nardolillo and the acclaimed University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in concert at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Bell will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

 

Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."

 

Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Alum Takes Easter Oratorio on the Road

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:38am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — When University of Kentucky alumnus Lorne Dechtenberg wrote his Easter oratorio, "King of Glory," in 2014, he hoped those who experienced the work in Lexington would enjoy it. As it turned out, not only did they enjoy it, but so did residents of other communities who began requesting performances as well. As a result, Dechtenberg and the Bluegrass Opera will present six performances of the work this Easter season in five different Kentucky towns.

 

The work tells the story of the crucifixion and resurrection through a musical journey that is designed to reach audiences on a visceral level, enabling them to experience the text in a new and vivid way. "It's like Handel's "Messiah" only it's meant for today's listeners instead of 18th-century ears," said Dechtenberg, who has been receiving praise for the work since its premiere last April.

 

The work features professional singers, auditioned from across a 200-mile swath of Kentucky (from Hodgenville to Hazard), with tight, colorful harmonies and warm, rich melodies that they hope will stay with listeners long after the performance ends.

 

Dechtenberg, who holds degrees from UK School of Music in composition and conducting, co-founded the Bluegrass Opera in 2008. In 2010, he and his "Honeymoon Symphony" were chronicled in the KET documentary "Composer at Work," an effort that brought together members of the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Community Orchestra for a premiere at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts

 

In addition to Dechtenberg, "King of Glory" will feature several performers with ties to UK, including alumni Gordon Earl Thomas, Kaymon Murrah and Dena Sullivan Smith, as well as staff member Mike Bratcher, of UK HealthCare Information Technology.

 

"King of Glory" will be presented:

· 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Actors’ Playhouse of Georgetown;

· 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Lexington; 

· 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Union Church, in Berea; 

· 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, at First Christian Church, in Frankfort;

· 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at First Baptist Church, in Richmond; and 

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Lexington Seventh Day Adventist Church.

 

Tickets for "King of Glory" are $20 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID, and kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be ordered online at www.bluegrassopera.org or by phone at 859-940-9379.

 

The Bluegrass Opera is a nonprofit performing arts company that specializes in the performance of new and underperformed musical works for the stage – operas, musicals, and everything in between. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Vocalist Advances to Finals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 1:32pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. is one of nine vocalists who has advanced to the finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against 17 semifinalists March 15 at the Metropolitan Opera. He will vie to win the competition performing with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi, this weekend in the grand finals concert 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22.

 

 

"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.

 

Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. He studied under Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Voices in Harmony Brings to UK Three of Nation's Best A Capella Groups

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 2:51pm

 

 

The House Jacks in concert with a special appearance by Voices of Legend High School Choir. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2015) — Voices in Harmony, a two-day a cappella festival, will culminate with a public concert featuring some of the best a cappella acts in the nation including The House Jacks, Musae and University of Kentucky's own Acoustikats, national finalists on NBC's "The Sing Off" in 2013. The concert, presented by the UK Choirs in association with the A Cappella Educators Association, will begin 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.  

 

The fifth annual Voices in Harmony A Cappella Festival is making its UK debut after starting at Lexington Catholic High School. The festival has grown each year and has supported the formation and growth of dozens of a cappella groups across the region.

 

This year more 300 participants from more than 20 local and regional middle schools, high schools, universities and community choirs will experience thrilling performance, dynamic clinics and engaging educational workshops.

 

A high school group competition will be held as part of the festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Lexington Catholic High School, and will include performances by UK Acoustikats and Paws and Listen, UK's popular female a cappella group.  

 

The House Jacks is known as “the original rock band without instruments” (San Francisco Chronicle) that creates powerful original music using only their five voices. The band’s vocal innovations laid the groundwork for the current a cappella renaissance, and their music can be heard in the movie “Pitch Perfect,” on the television show “The Sing Off” (U.S., China, Netherlands and France) and on radio stations around the world. The House Jacks continue to electrify audiences with their pioneering sound, powerful original songs, dynamic versions of popular songs and their incomparable “Human Jukebox,” a popular part of their act where they take requests from the audience. 

 

 

Musae singing "Electric Lady" O.P.B. Janelle Monae at the Hong Kong A Cappella Dinner 2014.

 

Founded in 2011, Musae has gained acclaim performing at a cappella festivals across the nation. As a powerhouse all-female vocal band, Musae shares a fresh and fun sound while playing on their sense of femininity and womanhood. True to the original Latin, these “muses” seek not to just inspire but also breathe new life into the professional vocal scene in the U.S. and abroad. Most of their singers have been prominently featured in groups on NBC’s “The Sing Off.”

 

Founded in 1993, by Jefferson Johnson as a subsection of the UK Men’s Chorus, the acoUstiKats are the premier all-male a cappella ensemble in the state of Kentucky. Following their success on “The Sing-Off,” the Acoustikats decided to form a professional vocal band following in the footsteps of notable all-male groups like Straight No Chaser and they have performed in countless venues across the U.S. The professional group features current UK students and alumni from the ensemble.

 

Tickets for the Voices in Harmony concert featuring The House Jacks, Musae and the Acoustikats range from $15-25 with a discount for groups of 15 or more. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center for the Arts box office online at www.scfaticket.com or call 859-257-4929. 

 

UK Choirs are a part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The choral ensembles have garnered international attention with appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome, Italy) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna, Austria). 

 

For more information on the Voice in Harmony festivities, contact Adam Beeken, at ajbeeken@gmail.com, or visit online at www.voicesinharmony.net.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Shining a Light on Connections Between Worlds of Art and Science

Sun, 03/08/2015 - 11:29am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2015) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky is hosting "Looking for Light: Chemistry, Art, Story, and Song," the third annual event of the Math, Arts, and Sciences Coalition (M.A.S.C.). This free public event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the museum in the Singletary Center for the Arts, with a reception to follow.

 

The event explores the idea of interconnectedness between the arts and sciences and features a collaborative mixed media performance by vocalist and UK doctoral student Shareese Arnold, Lexington-based artist Marjorie Guyon, and Susan Odom, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at UK.


Odom will elaborate on her innovative research on energy collection and storage, and how light interacts with matter to create what we perceive as different colors. She will also explain some of the science that unifies art and music. Guyon and Arnold will work together to combine visual images and operatic arias to create a palpable landscape space with emotional resonance.

Arnold is currently in her second year of doctoral work at UK Opera Theatre on full scholarship. She performed the title singing roles of Suor Angelica in "Madama Butterfly," Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni," Bess in "Porgy and Bess" and The Sorceress in "Dido and Aeneas."  

Guyon has exhibited throughout the United States, with works displayed in public and private collections including International Paper, FedEx, Brown Foreman, Pfizer, Morris Museum of Art, UK HealthCare and The Keeneland Foundation. Her background in poetry and her experience in art-making has merged into what she calls "the Bigger Room," an idea of "place-making with a benevolent goal."

Odom's work at UK Department of Chemistry focuses on utilizing synthetic organic chemistry to create materials for energy collection and storage. This research involves the synthesis of organic compounds for incorporation in electrochemical energy storage systems, either as additives for life extension and improved safety or as the energy storage materials themselves. Applications of this research include lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and redox flow batteries for storage of solar and wind power.

 

The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu
 

UK Alumna Receives Fellowship With Civic Orchestra of Chicago

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:21am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumna and French horn player Melanie Erena is continuing her successful music career as the recipient of a two-year fellowship awarded by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. As part of the fellowship program, Erena will occasionally be called upon to play in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as receive mentorship from orchestra members along the way.

 

Before arriving at the UK School of Music, Erena attended Lafayette High School and took horn lessons from Joanne Filkins, director of UK School of Music Student Affairs. Upon completion of her high school degree, the musician chose to continue her studies at UK where she studied with David Elliott, associate professor of French horn. In 2010, Erena was one of three winners of the UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition giving her the prestigious opportunity to perform a solo with the orchestra. She was also a recipient of the school's O. Helton Memorial Acres Scholarship, which recognizes the accomplishments of an outstanding member of the school and music body.

 

Erena graduated summa cum laude from UK in December 2011 with bachelor's degrees in music performance and music education and a 4.0 GPA. She then attended Northwestern University, where she received a master's degree in performance and studied with Gail Williams, a former co-principal hornist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

 

As a talented musician, Erena has traveled internationally to perform in places such as Canada, Europe and China. She has also performed in many famous venues in the United States including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center and Cleveland's Severance Hall.

 

The Civic Orchestra is regarded as one of the most respected music training programs for emerging musicians in the United States. Through the direction of Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot, musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Ricardo Muti and the many guest artists who perform at the Symphony Center each season, Civic has become one of Chicago's greatest cultural and educational resources.

 

The Civic Orchestra is well-known for serving the Chicago community by presenting free, high quality concerts at Symphony Center as well as free, interactive chamber music performances in schools and community locations throughout the city. Additionally, the Civic Orchestra is a signature program of the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The institute works hard to offer pathways for both musicians and audiences to develop as citizens musicians by promoting the power of music to create connections and build community.

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

'Tales of Hoffmann' Comes to Stage With Vocal Fireworks

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:38pm

 

 

Promo for "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) — If you adore sword fights, sopranos with high, high notes, mezzos in pants, sexy courtesans, evil villains and great death scenes (there are several)…you must see University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s "The Tales of Hoffmann" running March 5-8, at the Lexington Opera House.

 

Paris was the place to be between 1852 and 1870. Plays and operettas mixed lavish settings and sensual themes with political and social satire. Wealthy men from high society were often seen at opening nights with actresses, young dancers and elegant courtesans on their arms.

 

Jacques Offenbach embodied the spirit of this era, in his opera, "The Tales of Hoffmann." This opera (sung in French with English supertitles) is based on the stories by the German romantic E.T.A. Hoffmann, who appears as the main character. He pursues three doomed loves while his muse, disguised as an old friend, tries to persuade him to devote himself to his art. Each act has a villain to hiss at and beautiful arias to enjoy. Some of the music will be so familiar that you may leave the Opera House humming. Hoffmann dons a pair of magical glasses which turns his reality into something dreamlike.

 

Gabrielle Barker, UK senior, gives a reading and then a performance of the "Doll Aria" from "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre.

 

Hoffmann is sung by tenors, Gregory Turay, alumnus and artist-in-residence, and Jonathan Parham, a graduate student studying with Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre. All the principal roles are double cast with UK Opera Theatre’s award-winning singers, including Wanessa Campelo and Holly Nicole Dodson as Nicklausse/The Muse; Gabrielle Barker and Mary Catherine Wright as Olympia; Whitney Myers and Brittany Jones as Giulietta; and Ashley Jackson and Dianna Vetter as Antonia. The casts perform on alternate days, March 5 – 8.

 

Andrew Miller, UK senior, gives a reading and then a performance of  "Jour et nuit" from "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 

 

Members of the UK Symphony Orchestra bring the beautiful melodies of this opera to life, under the baton of Maestro John Nardolillo. UK Opera Theatre is honored to have as guest director, David Lefkowich, who has worked in major opera houses around the world. Lefkowich and Turay last worked together in the premiere of Julie Taymor’s "The Magic Flute" at the Metropolitan Opera. They are delighted to work together again in this production in Lexington.

 

"The Tales of Hoffmann" will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 5-7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Tickets range from $38.40 to $54.75 based on location of seating. To purchase tickets, contact the Lexington Center box office – in person, by calling 859-233-3535 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Student ticket rates are available in person at Lexington Center box office only with a valid student ID.

 

UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

Middle East Drum Specialist Joins UK Percussion Group

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:23pm

 

Duo 77 for two frame drums performered by Yousif Sheronick and guest artist Shane Shanahan. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Yousif Sheronick, a popular global percussionist, will serve as guest artist with the UK Percussion Group (UKPG) in a concert of Middle East music. This concert, which is free and open to the public, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Singletary Center For the Arts Recital Hall. 

 

Sheronick's concert will feature the artist with members of UKPG. These musicians are drawn from the UK Percussion Ensemble, internationally recognized for its excellence and innovative programming. UKPG, a smaller chamber group, performs demanding percussion literature written for economic forces.

 

Sheronick is a specialist on the frame drum, a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. Frame drums are often constructed with a round, wooden frame. Metal rings or jingles may also be attached to the frame. The frame drum is one of the most ancient musical instruments; it is reputed to be the first drum to be invented and examples are found in cultures throughout the world.

 

Critics say Sheronick “is capable of creating hypnotic atmospheres” where he “transported the listener to another dimension.” Of Lebanese decent, he was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His first exposure to Arabic music came from his mother singing over the drone of the vacuum cleaner. As with many first generation Americans there was a separation between the house (Arabic) and the outside (American) world.

 

Sheronick has performed around the globe to critical acclaim, genre hopping with leading artists in the classical, world, jazz and rock music arenas. The New York Times hails him for his “dazzling improvisations” and his “wizardry on a range of humble frame drums.”

 

Influences on Sheronick's music are far reaching as he grew up playing a rock and roll drum set, studied classical percussion earning a master's degree at Yale University and went on to study music from Brazil, India, Africa and the Middle East. These combined influences propelled him into performances with Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Lark Quartet, Ethos Percussion Group, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Cindy Blackman Santana, Glen Velez and Paul Winter.

 

The Yousif Sheronick concert is sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, the School of Music, the UK Percussion Studies Program, and the College of Arts and Sciences and their Passport to the World Series: Year of the Middle East.

 

For more information on the UK Percussion Group concert, contact James Campbell, director of Percussion Studies at UK School of Music, at (859) 257-8187.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

UK Sophomore Recognized in Regional Woodwind Competition

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 5:29pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Sophomore bassoon major Jonathan Barrett was recognized at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Performance Competition held in January at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Barrett, who represented Kentucky in the competition, performed three pieces, including Alexander Tansman's Sonatine for bassoon and piano. His performance earned him an honorable mention honors.

 

“I've been playing bassoon for 8 years now and have been studying with Professor Peter Simpson for the last three,” Barrett said. “I want to thank all of my teachers over the years, my parents, friends and family, and especially Peter for helping me prepare for this competition, and my trusty accompanist, Tedrin Lindsay.”

 

Barrett has studied other instruments including clarinet, flute, bassoon, guitar and saxophone. He says that guitar was his first instrument but he has been playing the saxophone for nine years.

 

“Music is a life style,” Barrett said. “Growing up with discipline, passion, hard work and the joy of music has no doubt made me the person I am today”.

 

The MTNA's mission is to “support the careers and professionalism of teachers of music” for students like Jonathan Barrett. Each year, nine surrounding states send the winners from their own competition to the Southern Division Competition for an opportunity to be sent to nationals. Winners from the regional competitions go onto nationals, which is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The MTNA recognizes six Young Artist award winners in composition, brass, piano, string, voice and woodwind.  

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

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