Students and Patrons Experience Top Guest Artists

The College of Music attracts guest artists, lecturers, and artists in residence from an array of disciplines and backgrounds.

Visiting artists present wonderful opportunities for students to engage with music on a highly tangible level. Designed to offer varying backgrounds and expertise, the College of Music schedules guests to provide students with performance, entrepreneurial perspectives, scholarly lectures, and master class opportunities. 

Patrons also get the opportunity to experience these artists up-close. Guests perform with faculty and student ensembles throughout the season. See highlights below, or browse the full visiting artist list under the events section of our website.

2014/15 Guest Artist Highlights 

Robert Beaser, composer
MSU Wind Symphony 
(The End of Knowing, a world premiere)
Thursday, September 25, 7:30 p.m. Cobb Great Hall 
Robert Beaser has emerged as one of the most accomplished creative musicians of his generation. Since 1982, when the New York Times wrote that he possessed a “lyrical gift comparable to that of the late Samuel Barber,” his music has won international acclaim for its balance between dramatic sweep and architectural clarity. 

Christian McBride, jazz bass
MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence
October 9-October 13
Grammy winner Christian McBride has played with hundreds of artists, from McCoy Tyner and Diana Krall to Sting. He has served as artistic director at Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program and the Dave Brubeck Institute, and was co-director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem. His recordings include The Philadelphia Experiment, Vertical Vision, Live at Tonic, and his latest release Out Here.

Michael Sachs, trumpet
MSU Wind Symphony (Soloist)
Thursday, October 23, 7:30 p.m. Cobb Great Hall
Michael Sachs, with the Cleveland Orchestra since 1988, is recognized internationally as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, author, and clinician. He is frequently featured as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, and has been guest soloist with numerous orchestras and chamber groups. He also serves as head of the trumpet department at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Marcello Cormio, conductor 
Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte
November 19, 21, 22, 23, Fairchild Theatre.
Marcello Cormio has appeared around the U.S. and Europe, with the San Antonio Symphony, Sarasota Opera, the Orchestra della Società dei Concerti di Bari, the Bacau Symphony, the Bay View Festival, and the orchestras of Indiana University School of Music. He recently performed at the head of the University of Kentucky Symphony in concert halls in Hangzhou, Tianjin, and at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing.

Robin Eubanks, jazz trombone
MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence
December 4-8. December 5, Fairchild Theatre
Robin Eubanks, an eminent musician, composer, performer, and educator (professor of jazz trombone at the Oberlin College Conservatory), has performed with many notable artists including Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones, and Talking Heads. He has won Grammy Awards for his performances on Michael Brecker’s Wide Angles and Dave Holland’s What Goes Around. 

Take 6
Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest Concert
Sunday, January 18, 3:00 and 7:00 p.m., Fairchild Theatre
The most awarded vocal group in history (10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more) has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres, and is recognized as the pre-eminent a capella group in the world. Members Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley unite in crystal clear harmony of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop.

The Orchid Ensemble
Musique 21
March 3, Fairchild Theatre
Established in 1997, the JUNO Award-nominated Orchid Ensemble is Lan Tung on the erhu/Chinese violin, Yu-Chen Wang on the zheng/Chinese zither, and Jonathan Bernard on percussion. The ensemble, which blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, has been tirelessly developing an innovative musical genre based on the cultural exchange between Western and Asian musicians.

Daniel Beckwith, conductor, pianist
Handel’s Xerxes
March 25, 27, 28, 29, Fairchild Theatre
Daniel Beckwith has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, Grand Theâtre du Genève, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Seattle Opera, among others. He has accompanied such artists as Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, and Frederica von Stade, and will join faculty artist Melanie Helton in a recital in January at Fairchild Theatre.

Ruggero Allifranchini, violin
Cello Plus 
April 6-12, Fairchild Theatre 
Ruggero Allifranchini, associate concertmaster of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, studied at the New School in Philadelphia and at the Curtis Institute of Music. He cofounded the Borromeo String Quartet, with which he played exclusively for 11 years. Over the past few seasons he has played as guest concertmaster with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Stephen Prutsman, piano
Cello Plus 
April 6-12, Fairchild Theatre
Stephen Prutsman has served as artistic partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he conducted concertos from the keyboard, performed in chamber ensembles, and wrote several new works for the orchestra. More recently, he was the artistic director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music. He was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth Piano competitions, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

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