Posts by Missey


2012–2013 Performing Arts Series Opens with Emerson and Takács String Quartets

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Audiences Will Enjoy Rare Opportunity to Hear Two of America’s Greatest Chamber Ensembles in Rapid Succession on September 29 and October 2, 2012

The Performing Arts Series launches its 93rd season with two of the world’s finest string quartets in back-to-back concerts. The Emerson String Quartet returns to Middlebury for its 32nd campus recital on September 29, playing works by Schumann, Shostakovich, and Beethoven. Just three nights later, the Takács String Quartet will give its 24th Middlebury concert, including works by Schubert, Britten, and Dvořák, on October 2. The Box Office will offer a special package price to help patrons take advantage of this rare convergence of chamber music talent.

Emerson String Quartet


The Philadelphia Inquirer recently remarked of the Emerson, “few string quartets have regularly displayed such individuality among members—an ideal stance for coloring and differentiating the complex strands of the fugues.” The Emerson String Quartet stands alone in the history of string quartets, with an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings since 1987, nine Grammy Awards, three Gramophone Awards, and the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

emersonsq-2_lisa-mariemazzuccoFormed in 1976 and based in New York City, the quartet took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. The ensemble is the Quartet in Residence at Stony Brook University. Violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, founding members of the Emerson, were joined by violist Lawrence Dutton in 1977 and cellist David Finckel two years later. The ensemble recently announced what will be its first member change in 34 years, when cellist Paul Watkins replaces David Finckel at the end of the 2012–2013 concert season. Finckel, who joined the Emerson Quartet in 1979, and spent many childhood summers locally on Lake Dunmore, will leave the group to devote more time to his personal artistic endeavors. Since first performing at Middlebury College early in their career in 1981, the quartet has presented 31 performances, received 4 honorary degrees, and performed for the Mahaney Center’s opening gala in 1992.

The Emerson String Quartet will perform on Saturday, September 29, 2012, at 8:00 P.M., in Mead Memorial Chapel. The program includes Robert Schumann’s Quartet in A major, op. 41, no. 3, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Quartet no. 12 in D-flat major, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s first “Razumovsky” quartet. Associate Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin offers a pre-concert lecture at 7:30 P.M. The concert is supported by the Office of the President, and serves as the capstone performance of the Clifford Symposium on Creativity and Collaboration. Learn more about the symposium at http://go.middlebury.edu/clifford.

Takács Quartet


Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács String Quartet (Edward Dusinberre, violin; Károly Schranz, violin; Geraldine Walther, viola; and András Fejér, cello) plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth, and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame. The ensemble won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.


The Takács Quartet’s award-winning recordings include the complete Beethoven Cycle on the Decca label. In 2005, the Late Beethoven Quartets won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award, and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award, and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy. Of their performances and recordings of the Late Quartets, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “The Takács might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present.”

The Takács Quartet will perform on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at 7:30 P.M. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Their concert program will include Franz Schubert’s “Rosamunde” quartet, Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet no. 2 in C major, and Antonín Dvořák’s “American” quartet.

Individual tickets to either quartet concert are priced at $25. Concertgoers who purchase tickets to both concerts can take advantage of the special quartet package price of $20 per performance. Discounts are available for Middlebury College faculty, staff, students, alumni, and emeriti. For tickets or information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

Pilates with Nina Vila, Vermont Center for Classical Pilates

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30–1:20 p.m.

Starting September 18

MCA, Dance Studio 109

Open to Middlebury College Students/Faculty/Staff

PE credit available

Once/week for $60*         Twice/week for $120

10 weeks total

*once/week students may attend either day

*The first 20 College faculty/staff to register will receive a $10 discount, courtesy of Wellness at Middlebury. Sorry, this discount is limited to current faculty/staff only; other ID card holders are not eligible.

Register September 12-28

online at go/tickets, call xMIDD,

or stop by the Box Offices in McCullough or the Mahaney Center for the Arts

Great for strength, flexibility, and conditioning!

Questions? Nina, ninavccp@gmail.com or 388-7400

or Missey, mathomps@middlebury.edu or x5258

Mahaney Center for the Arts Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The 2012–2013 Arts Season Kicks Off with Campus-wide Symposium on Creativity and Collaboration

The Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a season packed with hundreds of concerts, plays, museum exhibitions, dance performances, films, and more. An early highlight of the season is the Clifford Symposium on Creativity and Collaboration, hosted by the Mahaney Center for the Arts on September 27-29, 2012.


The annual Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium kicks off each academic year by giving the campus community rich opportunities to discuss and experience timely topics from many perspectives. This year’s symposium, entitled “Creativity and Collaboration” is hosted by the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts in honor of its 20th-anniversary season, and includes over 30 arts activities and events, all open to the public. Peabody Award-winning radio producer Julie Burstein, author of the acclaimed book “Spark: How Creativity Works,” offers the opening keynote speech on Thursday, September 27. New York City’s High Line park is the topic of a second keynote, given by former New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and High Line Vice President for Planning and Design Peter Mullan on Friday, September 28. PearsonWidrig DanceTheater marshalls the energy of professional dancers, Middlebury College students, faculty, alumni, and staff to create A Curious Invasion, a sweeping, site-specific dance work that will travel through the Mahaney Center in four performances on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29. Other Symposium highlights include two screenings of the Oscar-winning dance film Pina on Saturday September 29 at Dana Auditorium, a capstone performance by the Emerson String Quartet on Saturday, September 29 in Mead Chapel, and much more. A full schedule of symposium events is posted at http://go.middlebury.edu/clifford.


The 93rd season of the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series includes an impressive list of world-class national and international performers. String quartets continue to be a hallmark of the Series, with concerts by the legendary Takács Quartet (October 2, 2012), two free performances by the prize-winning Jupiter String Quartet (November 29 and 30, 2012), and a free concert by BBC New Generation Artists, the Escher String Quartet (March 8, 2013). Pianists Paul Lewis (October 26, 2012), Shai Wosner (February 13, 2013), and Rafal Blechacz (April 23, 2013) uphold the Series’ excellent tradition of solo piano repertoire.

The Performing Arts Series is not limited to just music—theatre and dance play an important part of the season as well. In January, acclaimed theatre company the Rude Mechanicals comes to Middlebury for a week of residency activities with students, and two performances of their daring work The Method Gun (January 18 and 19). Inspirit Dance Company returns to campus in March with The Opulence of Integrity, (March 15 and 16,), a powerful new work inspired by the life and legend of Muhammad Ali. Tickets for the Performing Arts Series go on sale to the general public September 17.

The Series also launches the Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) this year. Supporters of the performing arts will uphold the tradition of excellent concerts, plays, and dance events. Member benefits include receptions, invitations to special events with the artists, and priority ticket processing. Tickets will be made available to PASS members on September 10, a week before the general public. Information is available at http://go.middlebury.edu/PASS.


On September 3, the Middlebury College Museum of Art reopened after a summer renovation. The major fall exhibition China Modern: Designing 20th-Century Popular Culture opens September 14. This vast exhibition takes an in-depth look at the rich tradition of Chinese designs and styles in advertising, packaging, and promotional art for cinema, music, comic books, pulp fiction, fashion, games, and toys. These iconic images chronicle China’s changing attitudes and identity and its transition to a giant commercial superpower.

The new year heralds the arrival of the much-anticipated exhibition Nature Transformed: Edward Burtynsky’s Vermont Quarry Photographs in Context, opening February 8. Burtynsky’s iconic photographs of the quarries of Vermont are explored within the context of the geological and social history of the area, including the Italian immigrant stoneworkers in the granite quarries near Barre. A series of related public talks and special events will expand viewers’ perspective on the exhibition, including a day trip to the Rock of Ages Quarry on September 22. Co-curators Juliette Bianco and Pieter Broucke give the celebratory opening lecture on February 12. Edward Burtynsky himself gives an artist talk on March 14.

Other exhibitions this season include Camera Work: Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand, and Company, (September 4–October 28); Oliphant: Editorial Cartoons and the American Presidency, 1968–2007, (October 30–December 9), and Linear Thinking: Sol Lewitt, Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary Art from the Collection, (February 8–May 5). Museum admission is free.


The Theatre Program opens their season with contemporary American playwright Gina Gianfreddo’s biting coming-of-age comedy U.S. Drag, directed by Alex Draper ’88, on October 25–27. The play follows two stylish but vapid young women who move to Manhattan in search of love, happiness, and stardom.

Later this fall, Cheryl Faraone directs Shakespeare’s As You Like It, November 15–17. This melancholy tale of love and exile is set in the early part of the 20th century, as the old world tips forever into the new. Spring term productions will include Sham Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Richare Romagnoli (April 11–13), and the Inaugural Middlebury New Play Festival, directed by guest artist Andrew Smith ’97.5 (April 25–27 and May 2–4). Tickets go on sale two weeks prior to each opening night.


The Dance Company of Middlebury celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a repertory of diverse and dynamic new works created in collaboration with an accomplished group of artists: artistic director Andrea Olsen, choreographer and educator Catherine Cabeen, musician Kane Mathis, dancer Paul Matteson ’00, cellist David Darling, dance maker Peter Schmitz, and musician Michael Chorney. Under Olsen’s artistic direction, the seven-member company will tour to San Francisco and the Monterey Institute for International Studies following a Middlebury College premiere on January 25 and 26.

Student work is always a focus of the dance program. Seniors Davis Anderson ’13, Jessica Lee ’13, and Hannah Pierce ’13 present their thesis dance concert on April 19 and 20, exploring the intersections between contemporary dance and other interests, from language to literature to the environment.. Tickets for dance program events go on sale two weeks in advance.


The Department of Music presents a rich mix of concerts by students, faculty, and guest artists throughout the coming year. Among the excellent departmental ensembles are the Middlebury College Choir, performing Faure’s Requiem (November 8); the Middlebury College Orchestra (November 17); the Middlebury College-Community Chorus, giving a Thanksgiving concert (November 18); the African Music and Dance Ensemble (November 28); and the Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble, playing big band, swing, and jazz music (December 1). The third annual Bach Festival will take place April 26-28, with concerts, interest sessions, and more.

Visiting musicians include Duo Runedako, with a concert featuring multiple keyboard instruments on Monday, October 8. Soprano Deborah Lifton and pianist Charis Dimaras will give a springtime recital including art songs by Strauss and Rachnmaninoff, as well as Middlebury’s own composer and faculty member Su Lian Tan, on Saturday, March 2.


The Department of History of Art and Architecture will sponsor a series of public talks by guest artists and architects throughout the year. The first is Ann Beha of Boston, Massachusetts, whose firm is part of the team responsible for the Center for Arts and Education, a new year-round facility at the Shelburne Museum. Her lecture, “Architecture as Art House; Museums for a New Generation,” will take place on Wednesday, September 19 at Twilight Auditorium.

Other speakers include architect Jorge Silvetti of Machado and Silvetti Associates (October 18), Huey Copeland of Northwestern University, speaking about artist Lorna Simpson’s installation work (November 8), and architect Andrew Freear of Auburn University’s Rural Studio (February 28).


The Hirschfield International Film Series will present acclaimed foreign and independent films on Saturdays throughout the year at 3:00 and 8:00 PM, free of charge. This year’s series kicks off with Mike Mills’ comedy Beginners, which earned Christopher Plummer a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance as an aging father exploring his new gay identity (September 15). Other highlights include Cannes Jury prize-winner A Screaming Man, about a former swimming star in Chad (October 20), and A Separation, the Academy Award-winning Iranian film about a husband and wife who clash about the decision to leave their home country, on November 3.

Special events include a discussion with Chinese director and writer Liu Jiayin, who visits campus in conjunction with the screening of her film Oxhide II on October 27. Shot in real time, the film follows a family as they eat a dinner of dumplings and discuss everyday problems, revealing layers of intricacy behind a seemingly simple premise.


Student work is the focus of a series of exhibitions planned for 2012–2013. The first, Living Portraits, on view September 18–25, features oil paintings and ceramic sculptures created in professors Jim Butler’s portraiture class. Student artists present vivid images expressing the personalities of people who have made a difference in their lives. Other fall exhibitions include Environmental/Figurative Interiors (September 26–October 3), Line in Space: Just a Corner of Your Memory Palace (October 10–18), Pinhole Photography (October 30–November 7), The Autumn Campus (November 27–December 6), and Silkscreen Prints (November 28–December 6). These studio art shows are presented in the Johnson Building, and are free and open to the public.

For more information, or to request a 2012–2013 Arts Calendar, call 802.443.3168 or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts.

Pilates Classes with Nina Vila; OHIC Discount Available

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30–1:20 p.m.

Starting February 21

Mahaney Center for the Arts, Dance Studio

Once/week for $60*         Twice/week for $120*

(once/week students may attend either day)

* $10 OHIC discount for the first 20 faculty/staff to register!

Registration opens Monday, January 30, at 10 a.m.!

Register at the Box Offices in McCullough or the Mahaney CFA,

Call xMIDD, or go online at www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets

Great for strength, flexibility, and conditioning!

Newcomers welcome.

*The first 20 College faculty/staff to register will receive a $10 discount, courtesy of the Optimal Health Initiative. Sorry, this discount is limited to current faculty/staff only; other ID card holders are not eligible.

Pilates exercises focus on the deep core/torso muscles, with careful attention to breath and alignment of the spine, for a total-body workout. Classes are open to Middlebury College students, faculty, and staff. Registration closes March 1.

Questions? Nina, ninavccp@gmail.com or 388-7400; or Missey, mathomps@middlebury.edu or x5258

Russian Pianist Performs at Middlebury January 13

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Concert Program to Include Bach, Mozart, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff

Sensationally gifted Russian pianist Rustem Hayroudinoff returns to the Performing Arts Series with a public concert on Friday, January 13, at 8 p.m. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. His program will include Bach’s Partita No. 2; Mozart’s Sonata in D major, KV 576; Liszt’s Étude d’exécution transcendante No. 10 in F minor and Grande Étude de Paganini “La Campanella;” and Rachmaninoff’s Sonata No. 1 in D minor.

rustem_hayroudinoff3a-credit_ulli_richterHayroudinoff last performed at Middlebury two years ago, in January 2010. His performance of works by Franck, Chopin, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff was widely acclaimed as a highlight of the 90th anniversary season, prompting series director Paul Nelson to pursue the pianist for a re-engagement.

Hayroudinoff has earned worldwide critical acclaim for his powerful, nuanced performances. BBC Radio 3 commented, “Rachmaninoff asks everything of his pianist: a steely rhythmic sense, coruscating virtuosity, spiritual depth and introspection . . . Rustem Hayroudinoff marshals all these qualities.” After his sold-out January 2010 performance at the Frick Museum in New York City, Vanity Fair exclaimed, “Somebody give Rustem Hayroudinoff directions to Carnegie Hall!” Esteemed Soviet pianist Lazar Berman praised him as “a serious artist and master, whose emergence in today’s atmosphere of pseudo-artistic and shallow music-making is specially valuable and welcome.” London’s Classic FM Magazine described Hayroudinoff as a “sensationally gifted” musician of “stunning artistry.”

Hayroudinoff graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Lev Naumov, and received his postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton. His performances have been broadcast on most major classical radio stations around the world. He has recorded for NAMI Records (Japan), Decca, and Chandos. His recordings of Shostakovich’s Theatre Music and the Dvorak Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic were greeted with universal acclaim, garnering praise such as “dazzling and . . . electrically compelling” (Gramophone) and “utterly magical” (Classic FM) and were selected amongst the Best CDs of the Year by BBC Music and the Gramophone magazines respectively. His CD of the Rachmaninoff Complete Preludes was selected by Classic FM as a part of the “four disc essential Rachmaninoff collection,” alongside the recordings by Arthur Rubinstein and André Previn, and the recording of the Complete Études-Tableaux by Rachmaninoff became the Instrumental Choice of the Month with the BBC Music Magazine and was nominated for its Best Instrumental CD of the Year in 2008.

Hayroudinoff has performed to great critical acclaim in Japan, his native Russia, and Europe. His 2011-12 season will include performances of the Dvořák piano concerto with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; recitals in the USA, Mexico, and UK; and chamber music series with the principals of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the U.K. and Germany.

Hayroudinoff is a professor of piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Residency activities associated with this performance are made possible by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts, established in 2011, which supports opportunities that broaden the scope of Middlebury students’ experience in the performing arts. As part of his Middlebury visit, Hayroudinoff will work with Middlebury College composition students, performing their new works and providing feedback.

The concert by Rustem Hayroudinoff will take place on Friday, January 13, at 8 p.m., at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts, in the Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For more information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

New African Music and Dance Ensemble Goes ‘Beyond Drumming’

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Students Explore Musics of Uganda

The new Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble will present their debut concert “Beyond Drumming” on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 8 p.m. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Directed by Dr. Damascus Kafumbe, the ensemble will highlight the music and culture of Uganda in an hour-long program of instrumental, song, and dance performance.

africaninstruments-fall2011-photovincentajones12The concert will feature students performing original compositions, arrangements of traditional tunes, and dance choreography on a wide range of Ugandan musical instruments, including adungu (bow harps), agwara (side-blown trumpets), akogo (thumb pianos), bucence (reed-box rattles), madinda (xylophones), ndingidi (tube fiddles), ndongo (bowl lyres), ng’oma (drums), and nsaasi (gourd shakers).


Student performers for this concert will include Alex Eppler ’12, Alexander Tipper ’15, Alexandra Vasquez ’12, Allison Lacroix ’12, Benjamin Goldstein ’12, Carllee James ’13, Christine Valentin ’12, Connie Ruth Sanabria ’12, Dane Verret ’12, Deborah Wakefield ’12, Dominic Matthew Atkatz ’12, Erin Prak ’12, Hannah Clarke ’12, Heather Stefek ’12, Jeremy Cline ’11.5, Kelsey Calhoun ’12, Kira Gordon ’12, Lynn Noble ’11.5, Nathan Kloczko ’12, Rebecca Shaw ’12, Ryan Hershey-Van Horn ’12, Sarah Chapin ’12, Vincent Jones ’12, and Yuan Kang Lim ’12.
damascuskafumbe1Dr. Kafumbe is the newest faculty member in the Department of Music. In addition to directing the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble, he teaches courses in ethnomusicology and world music. Dr. Kafumbe also an expert performer on various East African musical instruments and of numerous East African dance traditions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in  music from Makerere University in Uganda (2004) and two graduate degrees in musicology from the Florida State University College of Music (2006 and 2011).
Sponsored by the Department of Music, the concert will be free and open to the general public. For more information, call ext. 3168 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

Lessons and Carols on December 11

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Lessons and Carols 2009

Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2011, 4 and 7 p.m.
Mead Chapel
40th Anniversary Celebration!

Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas has been a special Addison County tradition for 40 years. It is celebrated in historic Mead Chapel. People come from all over the county and state to participate in this joyous community event, filling the chapel for both the 4 and 7 p.m. services. It offers an opportunity for the entire community to sing traditional Christmas music, enjoy the beautiful voices of the College Choir and remember the original meaning of the holiday season.

There is no admission fee, but each year donations are collected for HOPE, Elderly Services, and Addison County Home Health and Hospice.

This year, the Lessons and Carols service will be held on Sunday, December 11. Scriptural readings — or lessons — are read by students, staff, and faculty. Interspersed between the lessons, Advent and Christmas music is performed by the College Choir, under the direction of Jeff Buettner, or sung by the congregation. Organist and Professor of Music Emeritus Emory Fanning provides the accompaniment as well as music before and after the service. The carillon atop the chapel welcomes people with the sound of bells ringing down the hillside. Chaplain Laurie Jordan leads the service.

Special guest performers for this anniversary service include Dan Marcy, a member of the College’s voice faculty, the Snowflake Brass Quartet, and a violin quartet.

The service is based on the Advent Service of Nine Lessons and Carols that has been celebrated every year at King’s College, Cambridge, England since 1918, which is broadcast to millions worldwide on Christmas morning through BBC World Service Radio. It was originally planned by Eric Milner-White, the Dean of King’s College Chapel. He had been a World War I British army chaplain, and became a liturgical pioneer who was convinced that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship. Though the music changes each year, the backbone of the service — the prayers and lessons — has remained virtually unchanged since those days.

The first Middlebury service took place in 1971, under the direction of Emory Fanning and Chaplain Charles P. Scott. They were convinced that the college’s music department was up to the challenge and that the community would welcome this colorful and moving celebration. One of the readers that first year was a Middlebury College senior named James H. Douglas (later Vermont governor), who read the Nativity lesson from the second chapter of Luke. Jim will read again on this 40th anniversary.

Middlebury’s Lessons and Carols was made famous by two public television specials. Christmas in Vermont: A Celebration of Lessons and Carols was filmed in 1984. And in 1988, A Vermont Christmas, narrated by actor Burgess Meredith and filmed on location in Middlebury and on the College’s Bread Loaf campus, was produced by Vermont Public Television. Each production was rebroadcast, over several years, by more than 200 public television stations nationally.

Please call the Chaplain’s Office at ext. 5626 with any questions.