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KU School of Music presents Annual Scholarship Concert at Kauffman Center on March 12

Thursday, March 6, 2014

LAWRENCE - The University of Kansas School of Music proudly presents the Annual Scholarship Concert at 7:00 p.m. on Wed. March 12 in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Please call 816-994-7222 for ticket information. The event is sponsored by Reach Out Kansas, Inc.

As in previous years, the annual event features the KU Choirs and Symphony Orchestra. The Scholarship Concert highlights the need for support of music scholarships at KU and honors scholarship donors who make those student opportunities possible. It is also a chance for scholarship donors to interact with the students they generously support. 

"Scholarships for talented music students are the life blood of any great music school," said School of Music Dean Robert Walzel. "In addition to highlighting the ever-increasing need for scholarship funds, we want to honor those individuals who so graciously support KU students through music scholarships."

The concert program features Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 by Gabriel Faure, conducted by Paul Tucker, director of choral activities, featuring soprano Maria Kanyova, assistant professor of voice and KU alumna, and bass John Stephens, professor of voice. Guest conductor Andrés Franco will conduct Violetta’s aria, “Sempre Libera” from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, featuring soprano Maria Kanyova, assistant professor of voice and KU alumna, and tenor, Genaro Mendez, associate professor of voice. The program will conclude with Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi, also led by guest conductor Franco.

Recently promoted to Resident Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of its summer festival, Concerts in the Garden, guest conductor Andrés Franco has established himself as a conductor to watch. Among Franco’s recent highlights are debuts with the Elgin, Eugene and St. Louis symphony orchestras, the National Symphony of Colombia, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León in Spain, and re-engagements with the Houston Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As Principal Conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of Latin American music by composers of our time, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga, and the popular Argentine composer, Astor Piazzolla. Also committed to the education of young musicians, he serves as Conductor of the Fort Worth Youth Philharmonic.

“I am honored and excited to be conducting the KU Symphony Orchestra during the Scholarship Concert at the Kauffman Center” said Franco. “I can hardly believe it has already been 7 years since I left KU to pursue my professional career. My time in Lawrence prepared me for the professional world. During my years at KU, I was afforded many incredible opportunities: I conducted several concerts at the Lied Center and several opera performances, including multiple runs of fully-staged versions of Bernstein’s Candide and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Several faculty members were my mentors and provided invaluable advice. They opened doors for me that allowed me to advance my career. I am looking forward to seeing them again and thanking them in person! I also have very strong ties in Kansas City and have kept in touch with many of my friends, colleagues and supporters over the years. I see this concert as an opportunity to give back to a community that was instrumental in propelling me forward during the early stages of my career as a conductor.”

For more information about Andrés Franco, please visit: http://andres-franco.com
For more information about Genaro Mendez, please visit: http://music.ku.edu/genaro-mendez
For more information about Maria Kanyova, please visit: http://music.ku.edu/maria-kanyova
For more information about John Stephens, please visit: http://music.ku.edu/john-stephens
For more information about Paul Tucker, please visit: http://music.ku.edu/paul-tucker

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit www.music.ku.edu.

Media Contact:
J.D. Warnock
KU School of Music

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