Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival

17th Annual Concert series brings acclaimed 20-member chamber ensemble of visually impaired musicians and other international guests.

The MSU College of Music presents the 17th annual Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival Wednesday, Apr. 5-9 in MSU Auditorium’s Fairchild Theatre. The festival will consist of three concerts spanning the five days and feature guest artists from around the world and MSU faculty artists. Artistic director is Suren Bagratuni, professor of cello.

Festival Schedule

Wednesday, April 5
Korean Hearts of Vision Chamber Orchestra
7:30 p.m. Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium

The chamber orchestra Hearts of Vision (“the hearts that see”), from South Korea, has given more than 300 concerts worldwide. Consisting entirely of visually impaired musicians who transcribe the scores into Braille, this unique orchestra captivated New York with a concert in Carnegie Hall in 2011 – the first concert by visually impaired musicians in the almost 120 years of that famous venue’s existence.

The program includes works by Beethoven, Schönberg, and musical theatre and movie tunes, including those from Gone with the Wind, Les Miserables, Love Story, Schindler’s List.

This concert is generously sponsored by Ken and Sandy Beall TraveLuxe Wired. Travel provided by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Support also comes from MSUs Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Friday, April 7
NOBILIS Trio Is Back
8 p.m. Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium

Having performed together for many years, violinist Ruggero Allifranchini, cellist Suren Bagratuni, and pianist Stephen Prutsman make up the chamber ensemble NOBILIS Trio. Allifranchini, a native of Milan, Italy, was the recipient of the Diploma d'Onore from the Chigiana Academy in Sienna, Italy. While at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he became a founding member of the Borromeo String Quartet in which he played exclusively for 11 years. Bagratuni studied at the Moscow Conservatory and later in the United States at the New England Conservatory of Music. He won the silver medal at the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory. Bagratuni is currently artist-teacher and professor of cello at the MSU College of Music. Prutsman studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He won international recognition as a medalist at the 1990 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. The following year he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and received a medal in the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium.

The trio will present an all-Beethoven evening, including Trio Op.70, No. 2 in E-flat Major and the famous Archduke Trio Op. 97 in B-flat Major.

This concert is generously sponsored by April Clobes and Glen Brough; Jerry Schuur and Elaine Karle.

Sunday, April 9
Chamber Music Masters
3 p.m. Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium

Renowned musicians — faculty and guest artists — grace the stage to perform popular works including César Franck’s piano quintet and the clarinet quintet by Johannes Brahms. Performers for this concert include: MSU artist faculty Margarita Shevchenko, piano, Guy Yehuda, clarinet, Dmitri Berlinsky, vionlin and Suren Bagratuni, cello, as well as guest artists Ruggero Allifranchini, violin, and Kathryn Votapek, viola. MSU students include violinists I-Pei Lin and Daniela Diaz.

This concert is generously sponsored by Stanley and Selma Hollander; Nancy and Charlie Seebeck.

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