LAWRENCE - The University of Kansas will celebrate the beginning of an era with an eight-concert series celebrating the renovation of Swarthout Recital Hall, the primary performance venue for the KU School of Music.
Reach Out Kansas, Inc., Smithyman & Zakoura, and The Zakoura Family Fund, a Fund of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, will sponsor all of the events to kick off the opening of the performance hall.
*Visiting Artist Series: Leon Fleisher and The Fleisher-Jacobson Piano Duo, Leon Fleisher, piano and Katherine Jacobson, piano at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Mar. 30, private event – with a free simulcast to be held in Murphy Hall, Room 130 (free and open to the public, but seating is limited).
*Due to illness while on tour, Mr. Fleisher is unable to travel for the next week on the recommendation of his doctors. He very much regrets not being able to perform for this very special concert. Richard Goode will be joining the performance in Mr. Fleisher's place. The event will be invitation only. To learn more about Richard Goode, visit http://www.franksalomon.com/richardgoode/. The event will feature a simulcast to be held in Murphy Hall, Room 130 (free and open to the public, but seating is limited).
A Celebration of KU Music Alumni 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, Apr. 1, private event – Alumni performing include: Jeff Beruan, Joyce Castle, Paul Garner, Alan Harris, Robert Hiller, David Holloway, Nancy Ives, Maria Kanyova, William Lane, Cynthia Munzer, Lindsay Ohse, Phyllis Pancella, Delores Stevens, Hugo Vera, Carol Wilcox-Jones, Pat Wise, and many, many more.
Visiting Artist Series: Susanna Phillips, soprano at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 7 – free and open to the public
Visiting Artist Series: Lawrence Brownlee, tenor and Martin Katz, piano at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Apr. 9 – free and open to the public
Visiting Artist Series: Eric Ewazen, composer with KU Faculty & Students at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 14 – free and open to the public
Kansas Virtuosi at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 19 – free and open to the public
Visiting Artist Series: David Schifrin, clarinet with the Borromeo String Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Apr. 27 – free and open to the public
Visiting Artist Series: Deborah Brown, vocalist with KU Jazz Students at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1 – free and open to the public
“Celebrating the reopening of Swarthout Recital Hall is one of the most exciting events in our history,” said Robert Walzel, KU School of Music dean. “The series of concerts celebrating our beautiful state-of-the-art facility allows us to show off exceptional musical talent in the most extraordinary small concert venue in America’s Heartland.”
Two compositions will receive world premiere performances during the series, both on April 19. The Kansas Virtuosi, comprised of faculty of the School of Music, will present Serenade for Winds, op. 149 by KU music faculty member James Barnes and Sadat by New York-based composer Mohammed Fairouz. Barnes, who retires in May, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career at KU. Fairouz, whose composition In the Shadow of No Towers was premiered by the KU Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in 2013, completed Sadat on commission from Reach Out Kansas, Inc., a major sponsor for this series of concerts celebrating the reopening of Swarthout Recital Hall.
Swarthout Recital Hall has been the principal academic performance space for the School of Music since 1957, hosting more than a million patrons. Nearly every day of the school year, one or more recitals are held in Swarthout, and many graduating seniors perform their senior recitals in the hall to cap their educational experience.
The hall was named for Donald Swarthout, who served as KU’s dean of Fine Arts from 1923 to 1950. Nationally known for his work, Swarthout also served as president of the Music Teachers National Association and directed the KU Concert and Chamber Series, which became the foundation of the arts programming for the Lied Center of Kansas.
The renovation completely remade the hall by replacing everything back to the cinder block super-structure and constructing an entirely new performance space with modern seating, acoustical treatments, audio, lighting, and recording and webcasting capabilities. The renovation of the outdated recital hall -- arguably the most used concert facility in Kansas -- will allow the University to more effectively support students and contribute to the cultural fabric of the region.
The majority of the funding for the Swarthout Recital Hall renovation was provided through private philanthropy. The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation made a $1 million leadership gift to renovate the hall and other major gifts were made by generous KU Alumni and friends.
The concert series is the kick-off event for the University of Kansas sesquicentennial (KU150).
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit www.music.ku.edu
For more information about Leon Fleisher, visit http://www.franksalomon.com/leonfleisher
For more information about Susanna Phillips, visit http://imgartists.com/artist/susanna_phillips
For more information about Lawrence Brownlee, visit http://www.lawrencebrownlee.com/
For more information about Martin Katz, visit http://www.allmusic.com/artist/martin-katz-mn0001905996/biography
For more information about Eric Ewazen, visit http://www.ericewazen.com/about.php
For more information about David Shifrin, visit http://www.davidshifrin.com/web/bio.aspx
For more information about the Borromeo String Quartet, visit http://www.borromeoquartet.org/
For more information about Deborah Brown, visit http://www.jazzvox.com/deborahbrown/biography.htm