Ithaca College Concerts to Present a Season of "Extreme Chamber Music"

08/21/2006

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck

Ithaca College Concerts announces its 2006–7 season of “Extreme Chamber Music” featuring several nontraditional chamber ensembles in three concerts. All concerts begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music.

* Tuesday, October 24: Piano soloist Menahem Pressler and the Prague Chamber Orchestra.
* Friday, February 2, 2007: The Turtle Island String Quartet will perform with the guitar duo the Assad Brothers.
* Tuesday, March 20: The Imani Winds woodwind quintet.

Season subscriptions are available at the following levels:

* Children, senior citizens, and Ithaca College students—$26.50
* Ithaca College alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators; Friends of Ithaca College; other students—$45.75
* General public—$53


Season brochures, including a form to order tickets for all three concerts, will be mailed to past subscribers. Those who wish to be added to the mailing list should call (607) 274-3171.

“We’re calling this season ‘Extreme Chamber Music’ because the performances are all pumped-up versions of the traditional small chamber ensemble,” says Art Ostrander, dean of the music school. “The Prague Chamber Orchestra performs without a conductor, so the players have to treat everything they play like chamber music for 30 musicians. Also, combining one of the great crossover string quartets with a guitar duo will provide a tremendous synergy of music making. And the Imani Winds, the most traditional ensemble of the season, is extreme in its bold programming of Latino and African works.”

Both the Prague Chamber Orchestra and pianist Menahem Pressler have performed in Ford Hall before, but not together. Pressler is most renowned as the pianist with the Beaux Arts Trio for over 50 years. He will be featured in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27. In addition to Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”), the orchestra will perform compositions by Britten and Barber.

The Grammy Award–winning Turtle Island String Quartet will join forces with the Latin Grammy Award–winning Assad Brothers for a program entitled “String Theory.” Performing both separately and in tandem, the groups will play works written especially for the unusual combination of instruments. The Turtle Island String Quartet fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and has performed folk, bluegrass, swing, be-bop, funk, R&B, rock, and hip-hop as well as music of Latin America and India. The Assad Brothers have recorded with such famed artists as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and clarinetist and six-time Grammy winner Paquito D’Rivera.

The African American/Latino woodwind quintet Imani Winds has a unique style of classical music, one that’s infused with cultural references, effortless elegance, and profound honesty. Their repertoire ranges from Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” and Astor Piazzolla’s “Fuga e Misterio” to works composed or arranged by members of the ensemble.

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