An appearance by world-renowned pianist Jonathan Biss, rare presentations of music by 20th century composer Harry Partch, a dramatic musical presentation of Verdi’s Requiem as performed by imprisoned musicians in the Terezín Concentration Camp of Nazi Germany, and a staged presentation of Henry Purcell’s Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas are among more than 100 performances and music-related events to be presented in 2016-17 by the University of Washington School of Music.
Pianist Biss appears with the UW Symphony Orchestra (David Alexander Rahbee, director) on Dec. 9 to perform Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with the orchestra on the eve of his solo recital on the UW’s President’s Piano Series.
The UW Symphony also helps to close out the season on June 3 when the orchestra joins with the UW Chamber Singers (Geoffrey Boers, director) under the baton of guest conductor Murry Sidlin of the Defiant Requiem Foundation to present Defiant Requiem, Verdi at Terezín, a unique performance of Verdi’s Requiem accompanied by documentary footage, taped interviews, and spoken narration, in remembrance of prisoners of the Terezín Concentration Camp who performed the Requiem more than 16 times while in captivity, working from a single smuggled score.
In addition to the concerts by the UW’s student orchestras, choirs, wind ensembles, chamber groups, and other instrumental ensembles are numerous performances and recitals by the UW’s performance faculty. In the month of October alone, faculty performances by Greg Sinibaldi (Oct. 6), Stephen Stubbs and Tekla Cunningham (Oct. 20), Frequency (Oct. 23), Stuart Dempster and William O. Smith (Oct. 26), and Marc Seales (Oct. 28) showcase diverse approaches to improvised music from the 17th century to the present.
Sinibaldi, artist-in-residence in the Jazz Studies program, deploys saxophone and electronic wind instrument (EWI) to create heavy, experimental art music along with faculty colleagues Ted Poor, drums, and Ryan Ferreira, guitar, in his season-opener Oct. 6 at the Meany Studio Theater.
Lute, harp, baroque guitar, and violin, meanwhile, figure prominently in Stylus Fantasticus, a performance of music in the “free and fantastic” style of the 17th century presented Oct. 20 by faculty artists Stephen Stubbs and Tekla Cunningham.
Frequency, a dynamic new chamber trio featuring UW faculty artists Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir and Melia Watras, joined by Pacific Northwest Ballet Concertmaster Michael Jinsoo Lim, makes its UW debut on Oct. 23 at Meany Theater with a program of interconnected works and improvised music and a return appearance on May 13 at Brechemin Auditorium presenting Bach Refractions, including selections from Bach's Goldberg Variations.
Professors emeriti Stuart Dempster and William O. “Bill” Smith return to campus Oct. 26 for “Eighty and Ninety,” a concert on the UW Music of Today Series marking milestone birthdays and more than 50 years of collaborative music-making. Prof. Dempster also participates--as composer and guest conductor--in a Feb. 10 concert by Solaris Vocal Ensemble (Giselle Wyers, director) and the Seattle Modern Orchestra (alumni Julia Tai and Jeremy Jolley, co-directors).
Pianist Marc Seales, a mainstay in the Northwest Jazz world, performs solo Oct. 28 at Brechemin Auditorium, the first of three quarterly performances in 2016-17. Additional concerts are Feb. 17 (with guest Tom Collier, vibes and marimba) and April 14.
Other faculty performances of note include “Indigo Mist: Phase II,” on Nov. 17 at the Jones Playhouse, featuring the premiere of a new improvisational work by faculty composers Richard Karpen and Juan Pampin, Jazz Studies faculty members Cuong Vu and Ted Poor, and guests Stomu Takeishi (Cuong Vu Trio) and Nguyễn Thanh Thủy (Six Tones Ensemble). The performance is part of the UW’s Music of Today series, co-presented by the School of Music and the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS).
The UW’s piano faculty each take a turn on the Meany mainstage in 2016-17. Artist-in-residence Cristina Valdés (Feb. 9) performs music by living composers, including the UW’s Richard Karpen and Joël-François Durand. Professor and program chair Craig Sheppard presents an all-Chopin recital (Feb. 23) and Robin McCabe performs works by Schumann and Mussorgsky (March 9). Sheppard returns to Meany on April 4 with colleague Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello, for a program of works by Beethoven, Franck, and others.
In addition to her March 9 Meany recital, Prof. McCabe is also the mastermind behind the quarterly series “Intersections: Music, Words, and Pictures.” Exploring inspired intersections between music, painting, and literature, the series includes pre-concert lectures by UW faculty and performances by some of the School’s most proficient student musicians. The first performance, Dec. 4 at Brechemin Auditorium, features a pre-concert lecture, "Listening with Your Eyes Open," by UW English Professor Leroy Searle. Subsequent performances are March 5, when School of Art lecturer Catherine Roche presents a lecture, "Sudden Shower Over the Seine: Japanese Woodblock Prints in Paris," and May 7, with UW Philosophy Professor Ronald Moore delivering a lecture, "The Line of Thought: Lyrical Power in Words, Music, and Painting."
UW Music faculty make a number of featured appearances in 2016-17 on concerts by the UW Wind Ensemble (Timothy Salzman, director). Faculty pianists Cristina Valdes (Dec. 8), and Robin McCabe (May 25), artists-in-residence David Gordon, trumpet (May 25) , Mary Lynch, oboe (Mar. 7), and faculty composer Huck Hodge (May 25) are among guest soloists, along with UW alumni Jeff Bowen, guitar (April 20), and Eric Rynes, violin (Dec. 8).
Instruments from the Harry Partch Instrument Collection, in residence at UW, are featured in rare performances of the composer's Oedipus: A Music Dance Drama, May 5 through 7 at Meany Theater and the 17 Lyrics of Li Po for adapted viola and voice, performed on Dec. 2 by faculty artist Luke FItzpatrick on the composer's handmade adapted viola.
Music from around the world, presented by the UW's Ethnomusicology program, includes performances by quarterly visiting artists, including Marisol Berríos-Miranda (Caribbean music and dance on Dec. 6), Paco Diez (Sephardic folk music on March 7), and Manimou Camara (Music of Guinea, West Africa on May 30).
Students and faculty from the Jazz Studies program, including affiliate professor and world-renowned guitarist BIll Frisell, gather for the ninth annual Improvised Music Project Festival (IMPFest IX), May 12 and 13 at the UW's Ethnic Cultural Theater. Festival guest musicians and lineups are to be announced as details are finalized.
A staged presentation of Henry Purcell's Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas, co-presented by UW Music and Seattle's Pacific MusicWorks (PMW) April 30 at Meany Theater, features outstanding professional musicians and singers along with the UW's Chamber Singers. Conducted by the Grammy winning faculty artist Stephen Stubbs, the production marks the fourth major co-production between the UW and the acclaimed Seattle-based production company.
Frequent PMW performer and UW voice teacher Cyndia Sieden (soprano) joins with the UW's head of accompanying Rhonda Kline (piano) to perform art songs and arias for voice and piano on Feb. 18 in Brechemin Auditorium, followed on April 15 by SIeden's UW voice faculty colleague Kari Ragan, soprano, who teams up with colleagues from Washington State University and University of Puget Sound for "Me and My Mezzos!"
Both voice concerts are among more than 60 events on the school's concert season to be presented free of admission charge, thanks to generous support from School of Music friend Mina Person (learn more here). Included among free events in the 2016-17 concert season are performances by Corda String Quartet (Dec. 2 and May 27) and the Evergreen Trio (Feb. 2 and May 11), co-winners of the UW Music 2016 Strings and Piano Competition.
Program details, ticket information, and a full list of events on UW Music's 2016-17 concert season are available here.