College of Music’s West Circle Series continues with ‘Rachmaninoff!’

Celebrating the passion and beauty of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s music

The second concert in the College of Music’s Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series will feature the music of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, considered one of the finest pianists of his time and one of the most accomplished composers of the 20th century. Two performances will be offered – 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 and 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 – both taking place in the newly renovated Cook Recital Hall, Music Building, 333 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing.

Featured performers – pianists Minsoo Sohn and Alan Nathan, soprano Molly Fillmore, and cellist Suren Bagratuni – will present works including songs, solo piano, and a sonata for cello and piano. Dr. Kevin Bartig will give a preview lecture 45 minutes before each performance. MSU music alumnus and Tony award-winner William David Brohn is generously sponsoring the concert.

Minsoo Sohn, assistant professor of piano at MSU, recently returned from giving a solo recital at Carnegie Hall where he rated rave reviews from the New York Times and New York Arts.

Sohn, the 2006 Prize Laureate of Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition, was also a top prizewinner at the Rubinstein, Cleveland, and Busoni international piano competitions. He has appeared at festivals and collaborated with orchestras throughout NorthAmerica and Europe. He recently received accolades from the New York Times, who called his Honens-label CD of Bach’s Goldberg Variations a “beautifully articulated, radiant interpretation” and named it one of the top classical recordings of 2011. 

Pianist Alan Nathan served as head of music and conductor at the Cologne Opera in Germany. He first gained national attention making his conducting debut at the Washington Opera on one day's notice, which led to more than 40 performances of eight productions at the company. He is assistant professor of collaborative piano at MSU.

Soprano Molly Fillmore, has recently joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. She made her Met debut in the role of Helmwige in the new Ring Cycleproduction. In 2011, she sang a principal role in Philip Glass' Satyagraha at the Met, which was broadcast live in more than 40 countries as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Fillmore is associate professor of voice at MSU.

Suren Bagratuni, cello, has toured worldwide, earning enthusiastic praise in both the traditional and contemporary repertoire. He has performed with major orchestras in the former Soviet Union, including the Moscow Philharmonic, and has also appeared with numerous orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. He is professor of cello and artist teacher at MSU.

Kevin Bartig, musicologist, is the author of Composing for the Red Screen: Sergey Prokofiev and Soviet Film (Oxford University Press, 2013), as well as articles and reviews in The Journal of Musicology, Kritika, Notes, and Opera Musicologica. He was a Lilly Teaching Fellow during the 2011-12 academic year, and in 2010 he received MSU’s prestigious Teacher-Scholar Award. He is assistant professor of musicology at MSU.

The Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series, now in its third year, offers reserved seating only. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (age 60 and older), $5 for students with ID and anyone under age 18 and free "rush" seating for students, if available, just prior to preview lecture for any unsold seats. Tickets can be purchased at the door one hour before the concert, online, or in the Music Office via phone at (517) 353-5340 or in person in Room 102, Music Building.

(Click on photos to download high-res files.)

Following is a list of remaining concerts that make up the West Circle Series:

  • Happy Birthday Mozart – 3 p.m., January 27 and 7:30 p.m., January 28, 2013
    Join the West Circle Series’ annual birthday celebration for one of the world’s most beloved composers. Marcie Ray will give a preview lecture 45 minutes before each performance.

  • All About Brahms – 3 p.m., February 24 and 7: 30 p.m., February 25, 2013
    Much more than a lullaby – this concert features the beautiful Liebeslieder Waltzes and the astonishingly powerful Piano Quintet. Performers include Derek Polischuk, piano; Deborah Moriarty, piano; Melanie Helton, soprano; Molly Fillmore, soprano; Richard Fracker, tenor; Peter Lightfoot, baritone; Minsoo Sohn, piano; Dmitri Berlinsky, violin; I-Fu Wang, violin; Yuri Gandelsman, viola; and Suren Bagratuni, cello. Michael Callahan will give a preview lecture 45 minutes before each performance.

Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival 

  • Schubert and More – 3 p.m., March 17, 2013
  • Early Beethoven – 7:30 p.m., March 19, 2013
  • Bach Around the Clock – the Sequel, a 12-hour marathon – 12:00, 3, and 7:30 p.m., March 21, 2013 (plus two free performances at 2 and 5 p.m.)
  • Happy Anniversary Brahms – 8 p.m., March 23

Tickets for Cello Plus: 

Topics filed under:

Share this: