Lee University’s 21st Presidential Concert Series boasts a variety of accomplished musicians from around the globe. These world-class performances will begin Sept. 4, with the ensemble Classical Jam, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee’s Dixon Center.
Classical Jam unites acclaimed soloists and chamber musicians for performances that delight both new and established audiences for classical music. The group is led by cellist, Wendy Law, and includes a violin, viola, flute, and percussion. Classical Jam presents a broad repertoire including traditional classical works, exciting improvisations, and original compositions. Classical Jam aims to develop a more personal relationship between concertgoers, performers and composers by inviting audiences to share in the process of creation and discovery.
Along with dedication to their individual careers, members of Classical Jam are teaching artists at leading organizations such as the Lincoln Center Institute, the New York Philharmonic, 92nd Street Y, and Carnegie Hall.
On Oct. 29, Lee will host Latvian violinist Baiba and her sister, pianist Lauma Skride, at 7:30 p.m., in the Squires Recital Hall.
Baiba Skride was born into a musical family in Riga where she began her studies. She transferred in 1995 to the Conservatory of Music and Theatre in Rostock. In 2001, Baiba won First Prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition. She has appeared with prestigious orchestras such as the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and the Philadelphia, Houston and Cincinnati orchestras.
Pianist Lauma Skride, the youngest of three Skride sisters, began playing piano at the age of five and has since travelled the world, performing either as a soloist or chamber musician. Lauma has appeared with numerous international symphonies, and among her many accolades is the prestigious Beethoven Ring. She is renowned for her interpretations of Germanic classical and romantic works, and a broad repertoire that includes works by Haydn, Schumann, Prokofiev, Mozart, rarities by Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn.
The Skride sisters appear regularly as a duo. “Energy, vigor and musical-sensitivity” are among the many descriptions of their performances.
On Nov. 12, Lee will present Siberian Virtuosi at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Center.
Siberian Virtuosi, the State Ensemble of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Northeastern Russia, is an ensemble of 12 violinists and a pianist gaining increasing popularity around the world. Founded in 1994 as the Virtuosi of Yakutia, the ensemble has performed over 1200 concerts during the last 17 years. They have performed in 14 European and Asian countries, including France, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Germany, Israel, China and South Korea.
In 2005, the ensemble performed in Paris in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the European Union. The year prior, the ensemble’s 10-year anniversary tour to major Russian cities was broadcast in over 150 countries.
Lee will present Chamber Fest on Jan. 14, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the Squires Recital Hall, and Jan. 15 in the new Lee University Chapel.
Chamber Fest comprises performances of various chamber works featuring guests David Shifrin, clarinet, The Miró String Quartet, and Lee faculty members Gloria Chien and Ning An.
Shifrin is one of only two wind instrument players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award’s inception in 1974. He collaborates often as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Shifrin has appeared with numerous symphonies, performing extensively across the nation. He continues to broaden the repertoire for clarinet and orchestra by commissioning and championing the works of 20th and 21st century American composers.
Shifrin served as artistic director of the Chamber music Society of Yale and later, Yale’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall, as well as artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
The Miró Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, was hailed by the New York Times as possessing “explosive vigor and technical finesse.” In its second decade, the quartet continues to captivate audiences and critics around the world with its startling intensity, fresh perspective, and mature approach.
They maintain an active international touring schedule, while also teaching chamber music as the faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin.
On Jan. 22, Classical Mystery Tour will perform with the Lee University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Robert Bernhardt at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Center.
The four musicians of Classical Mystery Tour look and sound like The Beatles. The full show presents 30 Beatles songs performed exactly as they were written. Audiences have heard “Penny Lane” with a live trumpet section, the rock/classical blend on the hard-edged “I Am the Walrus” and experienced the beauty of “Yesterday” with an acoustic guitar and string quartet.
The Los Angeles Times called the show “more than just an incredible simulation…a high goose bump quotient.”
Tickets will be available at the Dixon Center Box Office (423-614-8343) on weekdays between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., one week prior to each concert. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior adults and area students.
For information regarding events, please call the School of Music offices at 423-614-8240 or visit our website www.leeuniversity.edu.