This spring the University of Kansas School of Music promises an exciting slate of performances, including world-renowned visiting musicians, musical festivals, operas and daily ensemble, student and faculty performances.
On Thursday, the Lied Center of Kansas presents virtuoso percussionist Andy Akiho with the KU Percussion Group. On Saturday, the KU Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble I will perform with saxophonist and three-time Grammy Award winner Jeff Coffin. The concert is part of the Prairie Winds Festival, which attracts high school students to KU for three days of classes, clinics and performances. Thanks to the support of Reach Out Kansas, Inc., Coffin, who is a member of the Dave Matthews Band and was part of the Grammy-winning Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, will teach master classes while visiting the university.
Later in February, the School of Music will host the first Wunsch New Music Festival, bringing the best and brightest representatives in new music composition and performance to KU. This year’s festival, held on Feb. 13 and 14, will feature lectures and works by guest composers Amy Beth Kirsten, Tonia Ko, Hannah Lash and Nina C. Young.
Trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle and his quintet Catharsis will headline the 42nd Annual Jazz Festival. Drawing college, high school and middle school jazz ensembles from the region, the festival will hold two evening concerts at the Burge Union on March 1 and 2.
Opera lovers will have the chance to see two productions this semester. From March 6 to March 8, KU Opera presents Gaetano Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, a charming romantic comedy that revolves around a miraculous love potion. Later in the semester, the School of Music will partner with University Theatre for Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring opera students and the KU Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout the semester, audiences will have multiple opportunities to hear the KU Choirs, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensembles, Symphonic Band and University Band. On April 4, the Lied Center will present premier jazz pianist and composer Renee Rosnes with the KU Jazz Ensemble I.
KU Symphony Orchestra and KU Choirs, conducted by Carolyn Watson, will perform Brahms’ Schicksalslied for the Ninth Annual Scholarship Concert at the Lied Center on Feb. 15. The Symphony Orchestra will also perform Verdi’s Overture from La Forz del Destino and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique.
On March 24, the School of Music will head to Kansas City as KU Choirs and high school choral ensembles throughout the metro area come together for the KU Choral Festival: The Joy of Singing at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Outstanding student musicians will be showcased in two concerts. On March 21, the 2018 Concerto Competition winner, Max Gerhart, will be the guest soloist in the KU Symphony Orchestra concert at the Lied Center. The Undergraduate Honor Recital, where students are selected to perform based on nominations and auditions, will be on March 26 at Swarthout Recital Hall.
The School of Music offers more than 300 performances a year. For a complete list, including information on visiting artists, faculty and student recitals, and ticketing information go to music.ku.edu/events.