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Christianne Stotijn Sings Her Middlebury Encore

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Dutch mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn and the world’s most in-demand collaborative pianist, Julius Drake, will perform together at the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, December 2, 2011, at 8 p.m. Both performers are returning artists on the Performing Arts Series. Their concert program will include songs by Schumann, Mahler, and Eisler.

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Winners of the 2010 BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award for their recording of Tchaikovsky Romances, the duo is sought-after in the world’s most prestigious venues. Crackerjack music guide noted, “From her first phrases it was obvious that Christianne Stotijn is an artistic singer with a rich voice which she used to express fully the many emotions in her recital. Whether placing notes on the mask of her face or deep in her chest register she drew us completely into her world…This exciting drama brought pianist Julius Drake to the fore in the significant accompaniment. Throughout the evening his playing was as partner and sure support…”

About Christianne Stotijn

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Mezzo soprano Christianne Stotijn was born in Delft, the Netherlands. Throughout her career, she has won several important prizes including the prestigious 2005/06 ECHO Rising Stars, 2005 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and the Dutch Music Prize in 2008. Stotijn was also a BBC New Generation Artist in 2007. An impassioned performer of lieder, she has performed recitals in many of the world’s premier concert halls with her accompanists Joseph Breinl and Julius Drake, with whom she has had a longstanding and fruitful collaboration. Her recital career has already seen her appear several times at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Spivey Hall in Atlanta, among others. She made her debut at the Philharmonie Berlin performing Schoenberg’s “Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten” with pianist Mitsuko Uchida.

The eminent conductor Bernard Haitink has been an influential figure in Ms. Stotijn’s career. Following her successful performances in Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Orchestre National de France and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Haitink invited her for the Mahler 2 with the BBC Proms, Beethoven 9 at the Lucerne Festival, Rückert Lieder with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, St. Matthew Passion with the Boston Symphony, as well as Das Lied von der Erde with the London Symphony Orchestra.

On the concert and operatic platform, Stotijn has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dallas Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, the Operas of Paris and the Netherlands, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Teatro Arriaga, Bilbao. BBC Music Magazine describes her as “that artist in a thousand whose personality shines through everything she does.”

About Julius Drake

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Pianist Julius Drake lives in London and specializes in the field of chamber music, working with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and in recordings. He has appeared at all the major music centers; recent concerts have taken him to the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Salzburg, Schubertiade, and Tanglewood Music Festivals; to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Philarmonie in Cologne; the Châtelet and Musée de Louvre in Paris; the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms in London.

Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000–2003, Drake was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, and New York. He is appointed artistic director of Leeds Lieder in 2009 and the Machynlleth Festival in Wales from 2009–2011.

Julius Drake’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for the Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. A series of song recitals, Julius Drake and Friends, in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Ian Bostridge, Angelika Kirchschlager, Sergei Leiferkus, Felicity Lott, Katarina Karneus, Simon Keenlyside, Christopher Maltman, Mark Padmore, Christoph Pregardien, Amanda Roocroft, and Willard White.

In 2010 Julius Drake was appointed Professor at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria and he regularly gives master classes, recently in Amsterdam, Brussels, Oxford, Paris,Vienna and at the Schubert Institut, Baden bei Wien.

Live recordings from recitals at Wigmore Hall London for the “Wigmore Live” label have included concerts with Lorraine Hunt Liebersen, Joyce Didonato, Christopher Maltman, Gerald Finley, and Matthew Polenzani. He has made an award-winning series of recordings with Ian Bostridge for EMI, including discs of Schumann, Schubert, Henze, Britten, The English Songbook, and La Bonne Chanson. His recent series of recordings with Gerald Finley for Hyperion— Ives, Barber, Schumann, Ravel, and Britten— has been widely acclaimed and Barber Songs and then Schuman Heine Lieder have won both the 2008 and 2009 Gramophone Awards.

The Christianne Stotijn/Julius Drake concert will take place on Friday, December 2, 2011, at 8 p.m., at Mahaney Center for the Arts, in the Concert Hall. A special reception will follow the concert to celebrate series director Paul Nelson’s forty-eight years of teaching Political Science at Middlebury. 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 Buy tickets at ext. 6433 or http://boxoffice.middlebury.edu/index.php. For more information, go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

Russian Pianist Performs at Middlebury November 18

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Alexander Melnikov Will Provide a ‘Concert Feast’ of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues

Russian piano sensation Alexander Melnikov makes his Performing Arts Series solo debut with an all-Shostakovich concert program on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. He will play Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, op. 87, a tour de force set of works in every major and minor key. This rarely-performed masterpiece pays homage to the genius of Bach.

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Melnikov is an authority on this work; his 2010 recording of the 24 Preludes and Fugues for the  harmonia mundi label was greeted with rave reviews, including Classica Magazine’s 2010 “Choc de Classica” for best recording, and BBC Music Magazine’s 2011 Instrumental Recording of the Year. His interpretation was heralded as an “electrifying and rhapsodic” standard by the New York Times. Despite this recognition, Melnikov remains an exceptionally modest and self-critical artist whose abilities are entirely at the service of the music. After a highly-acclaimed performance at Vienna’s Konzerthaus in November 2010, Melnikov will bring this cycle to Berlin, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Middlebury in the 2011-12 season.

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Born in Moscow in 1973, Melnikov performed Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto at the age of 12 and was heavily influenced by Sviatoslav Richter. His involvement with historically-informed performance began at 18; today, it continues to play an important role in his repertoire.

Chamber music provides an essential complement to Melnikov’s activities. In addition to Isabelle Faust, his colleagues include Alexander Rudin and Jean-Guihen Queyras. He also performs as a member of a wind quintet featuring Teunis van der Zwart (horn), Marcel Ponseele (oboe), Lorenzo Coppola (clarinet) and Javier Zafra (bassoon).

As a recitalist, Melnikov has appeared in halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, and London’s Wigmore Hall. As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as the Russian National Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra (under Charles Dutoit), Rotterdam Philharmonic (under Velery Gergiev), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

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“Melnikov’s playing has wonderful colour and imagination … His pianissimi are astonishing, with long, meticulously nuanced passages often remaining very, very quiet, while, in the sculpted fugues, the intensification of volume runs to a purposeful plan … Everything is testament to reflection and skill, yet the pianist is not lecturing, but laughing, dreaming, lamenting and dancing.”—Jan Brachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“His playing is always refined, yet resolutely committed. His great achievement is to be simultaneously conspicuous and discreet, both sensitive and full of character.”—Bavarian radio

The Alexander Melnikov concert will take place on Friday, November 18, 2011, at 7 p.m., at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, in the Concert Hall. Due to the extended nature of this program, please note the early start time; complimentary refreshments are served during the two intermissions. 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 x-6433 or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts/performing/11-12/melnikov-11.

Jeremy Cline Presents ‘Climbing on the World Tree’

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Senior Dance Major Investigates Nature and Spirit

Senior Jeremy Cline ’11.5 will present his thesis dance “Climbing on the World Tree” at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19, in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Dance Theatre.  A joint major in dance and religion, Cline focuses his work on elements of ritual performance and investigates the nature of our relationships with spirit. Cline, a cast of five dancers, and live musicians explore the many facets of human consciousness through original choreography.

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Cline’s piece is inspired by consideration of the levels of creation, a motif that appears in many religious traditions. The three realms of heaven, earth, and the underworld serve not merely as metaphors, but as actual modes of experience.

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In “Climbing on the World Tree,” dancers Davis Anderson ’13, Jessica Lee ’13, Otto Pierce ’13, Alexandra Vasquez ’12, and Meredith White ’15 seek to embody these different modes of being. Original music by Elias Alexander ’13 and Yuki Takeda ’14 embellish this exploration. Drawing on movement from traditional cultures as well as modern dance, the dancers work as an ensemble to create a world outside of the ordinary. Included in the piece is work on the single-point aerial trapeze. Also known as dance trapeze, this low-hanging apparatus allows for dancing through the air. Expect an evening of unconventional performance as the work reflects on moving realms and our own mental perceptions.

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Tickets are $12 for the general public; $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, and other ID card holders; and $6 for students. For tickets, go to http://boxoffice.middlebury.edu/index.php. For more information, call x-6433 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

— Photos: Alan Kimara Dixon

‘The Art of Success’ Plays November 17-19

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Bawdy Drama is Based on the Life of Artist William Hogarth

The Department of Theatre and Dance presents The Art of Success, written by Nick Dear and directed by Richard Romagnoli, on November 17-19, 2011. Based on the life of artist William Hogarth, this bawdy comedy uncovers the dark underbelly of 1700 s London. The play will be performed Thursday, November 17, Friday, November 18, and Saturday, November 19, all at 8 p.m., plus a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday only, in the Seeler Studio Theatre, at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

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Audiences will follow the famous 18th century English painter and engraver William Hogarth through an evening of wild encounters with his wife, mistress, murderess, and even Prime Minister Robert Walpole. The Art of Success is a farcical romp accented by Hogarth’s sexual compulsions and professional ambitions. The correlations between Hogarth’s London of the 1730s and England’s (and America’s) larger cultural complexion at the end of the millennium are uncanny. Rakes, whores, and murderers rub elbows with writers, politicians, and aristocrats in this comic escapade with dramatic overtones—and enough adult content to make the play anything but family entertainment. Frank Rich of the New York Times called the play “a scabrous comedy about the creation, purpose, promotion, merchandising, censorship and government patronage of art.”

The cast includes Max Hoffman ’12, Christo Grabowski ’12, Teddy Anderson ’13, James Connolly ’13, Jake Schwartzwald ’14, Alicia Evancho ’12, Molly O’Keefe ’12.5, Isabel Shill ’12.5, Lindsey Messmore ’11.5, and Emily Rosenkrantz ’11.5. The stage manager is Alan Sutton ’14, with assistant stage managers Sade Williams ’14.5, Victoria Marambio ’14, and Xiyue (Cynthia) Tu ’14. Professor of Theatre and Program Chair Mark Evancho designed the lights; Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer/Associate Technical Director Hallie Zieselman designed the set; and Artist in Residence and Costume Designer Jule Emerson designed the costumes.

A Behind-the-Scenes Lunch and Discussion about The Art of Success will take place on Thursday, November 15, at 12:30 P.M., at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Seeler Studio Theatre. Director Richard Romagnoli will introduce the play and speak about the inspirations for the Middlebury production; members of the cast and crew will share insights on their work. Lunch is provided free of charge for Middlebury College ID card holders; pay-as-you-can community donations are accepted.

The Art of Success is for mature audiences only. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, and emeriti, and $6 for Middlebury College students. For the Box Office, call x-6433 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/tickets.

World-renowned Hugo Wolf Quartett Performs October 28

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Free Concert is Gift to the Middlebury Community

The Performing Arts Series presents the acclaimed Viennese string quartet, the Hugo Wolf Quartett, on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The concert is presented free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support of the Institute for Clinical Science and Art.

This concert is part of a multi-year collaboration between the Performing Arts Series and the Institute for Clinical Science and Art, in which the Institute designates a high-profile concert to be offered for free. This gift to the Middlebury community is made in memory of F. William Sunderman Jr. and Carolyn Reynolds Sunderman. The Institute will also present a second free concert later this season: the Pavel Haas Quartet, on Friday, April 13, 2012.

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The Hugo Wolf Quartett is made up of violinists Sebastian Gürtler and Régis Bringolf, violist Gertrud Weinmeister, and violoncellist Florian Berner. Having developed from an ensemble known only to chamber music lovers to one of the most sought-after string quartets of its generation, the Hugo Wolf Quartett left our audience on the edge of their seats when last in Middlebury in 2010. They have been called “new stars on the quartet heaven” by Der Standard, Vienna, and the Los Angeles Times proclaimed that the quartet “claims a prominent place on anyone’s ‘must-hear’ list.” Their Middlebury program will include Mozart’s String Quartet No. 16 in E-flat Major, K.428, Webern’s String Quartet (1905), and Schubert’s String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D.887.

For 17 years, the quartet has been a fixture on the international chamber music scene and has fascinated audiences around the globe. Their grand personalities, passionate will for expression, and unceasing artistic curiosity are the trademarks of their work.

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Through training with the Alban Berg, Smetana, Amadeus, and LaSalle quartets, and also with Ferenc Rados, the ensemble laid the cornerstone for a highly successful career together. Founded in Vienna in 1993, the quartet soon won such coveted awards as the Special Prize of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the European Chamber Music Prize, followed by the International String Quartet Competition in Cremona in 1995— the same year that they debuted in the Vienna Konzerthaus. In 1998, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus elected the four as Rising Stars, and since then the quartet has regularly performed in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and Berlin’s Philharmonie, as well as at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, the Colmar Festival, La folle journée de Nantes, and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg.

The quartet equally emphasizes the classical/romantic and contemporary musical literature in their program selection. Indeed, numerous compositions have already been written for, and premiered by, the Hugo Wolf Quartett, such as Friedrich Cerha’s String Quartet No. 4, Johannes Maria Staud’s “Dichotomie,” string quartets by Erich Urbanner, Dirk D´Ase and Otto M. Zykan, and a quartet and octet by jazz guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel.

The Hugo Wolf Quartett has also distinguished itself on the recording scene. Their recordings of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18/4 and Op. 132 (Gramola, 2001) and Schubert’s String Quartet D887 and D87 (VMS, 2009) both won Austrian radio station Ö1’s Pasticcio Prize. In addition, the quartet’s close collaboration with legendary jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist John Taylor is documented on the recording Other People (CamJazz, 2006); and, in 2007, the label cpo released the first-ever recording of two string quartets by Franz Mittler, an enigmatic Viennese multi-talent of the first half of the 20th century. The quartet’s latest CD (VMS, 2010) is a live recording of three early Joseph Haydn works performed during the 2009 Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival.

During the 2011/2012 season, the ensemble will record the complete oeuvre for string quartet by its namesake, the Austrian late Romantic composer Hugo Wolf, as well as a live performance of the Schubert Octet.

The Hugo Wolf Quartett concert is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. For more information, call x-3168 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

Site-Specific Artist Patrick Dougherty Returns

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Visit Marks the Farewell to “So Inclined”

Patrick Dougherty, whose enchanting community-created sculptural project So Inclined has embellished the Route 30 entrance to the Mahaney Center for the Arts for the past four years, will return to campus on Friday, October 28. Dougherty will discuss his world-wide projects and commissions since that time in a 4:30 p.m. talk in Room 221 of the MCFA. The lecture is free and open to the public.

patrickdougherty-soinclined-mahaney_centerDougherty’s site-specific sculpture at Middlebury was constructed in three weeks of September 2007. It represents the collaboration of more than two-hundred and thirty volunteers, from elementary school children to college studio artists and adult community members from Addison County and beyond. To create the sculpture, silver maple and grey dogwood saplings were harvested from  Weybridge, Vermont. Like all of Dougherty’s projects, So Inclined was understood to be a temporary structure from its inception. Once dismantled, the sculpture materials will be recycled into compost, and returned to the earth as a supplement for campus plantings. The survival of the installation through four Vermont winters and summers—through ice and snow storms, tropical rains, and dry spells—has heightened its landmark status on the campus. So Inclined has embraced many visitors, as an attraction for the community that produced it, as well as for families and tourists casually passing by the building.
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All are invited to post their memories of the construction process or subsequent visits to a blog set up on the College’s website: http://sites.middlebury.edu/soinclined/. The blog will be live through the month of December.

Dougherty is the subject of a recent monograph, Stickwork, which lists all of his projects including Middlebury’s So Inclined. The book will be available for purchase and signing by the artist following his talk. A video by Daniel Houghton, a Middlebury alumnus from the class of 2006, documents the creation of the sculpture and will be shown in the lower lobby of the Mahaney Center for the Arts during the week preceding and following Dougherty’s presentation.

so_inclined___patrick_doughertySo Inclined was commissioned by the College’s Committee on Art in Public Places, under the direction of Richard Saunders, director of the Middlebury College Museum of Art. While not permanent, its presence has enhanced the College’s distinguished collection of public sculpture, inaugurated in 1996 by action of the Board of Trustees.

Middlebury Audience Favorite Paul Lewis Continues Schubert Piano Cycle

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

British pianist Paul Lewis will treat audiences to an evening of Schubert’s piano works at the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:00 P.M. Lewis is internationally recognized as one of the leading pianists of his generation, and has become an audience favorite on the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.

paul_lewis-preferred-cred-keith_saundersThis concert is the third in a series of five concerts in Lewis’s worldwide Schubert project. In 2011, he began this two year cycle, performing all of Schubert’s mature piano works from the Wandererfantasie onwards. The series will be presented in Middlebury, London, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Bologna, Florence, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and at other venues worldwide. For the October 14 concert at Middlebury, he will perform the Wandererfantasie, as well as the Four Impromptus and Moments Musicaux. The next installment in the series will take place in Middlebury on May 4, 2012.

Lewis has already garnered significant critical acclaim for Schubert performances. The Chicago Tribune noted, “Lewis’ deep insights into the emotional complications of this music were matched by his firm grasp of classical structure and the ways in which Schubert’s lyrical gift illuminates that structure. This was Schubert playing of a very high order.”

Between 2005 and 2007, Lewis performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas at venues throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaim, and his recordings of the cycle for Harmonia Mundi have received unanimous praise throughout the world. His complete set of the Beethoven Piano Concertos with Jiri Belohlavek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra was chosen as Recording of the Month in both Gramophone and Classic FM Magazine in autumn 2010. He has recently completed recordings of the three Schubert song cycles with tenor Mark Padmore. Many of his most recent recordings will be for sale at the concert venue.

In summer 2010, Lewis became the first pianist in the history of the BBC Proms to play all five Beethoven Piano Concertos in a single Proms season. The complete cycle was broadcast on BBC television. He is also a regular guest at many other prestigious venues and festivals including the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Roque d’Antheron Piano Festival, the Klavier Festival Ruhr, and London’s Wigmore Hall where he has appeared on more than forty occasions.

Lewis studied with Ryszard Bakst at Chethams School of Music and Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. Along with his wife, the Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, he is artistic director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK.

Tickets are $20, for faculty and Staff and $6 for Middlebury College students. For tickets or information, go/boxoffice or x-6433.