The Enso String Quartet

The Enso String Quartet

Stellar composers, performers light up BGSU New Music and Art Festival

Virtuoso pipa player Zhou Yi, award-winning composer Chen Yi and the critically acclaimed Enso String Quartet will be among the featured guest artists during BGSU’s 28th annual New Music and Art Festival Wednesday-Saturday (Oct. 17-20). Performances will include University musical ensembles and pieces by BGSU composers.

Composer Chen Yi

Festival events will take place on campus and throughout the city, beginning with an informal performance by the Enso String Quartet at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 17) at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St. in Bowling Green.

Winner of the 2003 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the ensemble has won top prizes in other international competitions and has appeared throughout the United States, Central America and Europe. The members play on a matched set of instruments by London-based luthier, Nigel Harris, and have given first performances of many new works, including those by composers Karim Al-Zand, Anthony Brandt and Kurt Stallman.  The quartet formed in 1999 at Yale University and has completed graduate residencies at Northern Illinois University and at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Its members hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music (UK) and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Also on the 17th, a visual music screening will begin at 8 p.m. at the Cla-Zel Theater, 127 N. Main St. Featured will be works by festival guests Allan Schindler, Stephanie Maxwell and Jean Detheux, along with selections from the 2007 Northeastern University Visual Music Marathon. A second visual music screening will take place on the closing day of the festival, Oct. 20, at 1:30 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater. Both screenings are free and open to the public.

Detheux, Schindler and Maxwell will discuss their work at 10 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 18) in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

The opening concert of the festival begins that evening at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, featuring the Enso String Quartet. The concert will include new works by Al-Zand, Burton Beerman, Chen Yi, Pierre Jalbert and Joan Tower. Tickets are $5 for students and senior citizens and $8 for other adults. For tickets, call the center box office at 2-8171.

The pipa    

Also Thursday, Zhou Yi will give a demonstration and performance on the pipa (a Chinese lute) at noon Thursday at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St. Music by Chen Yi will be featured in the program. Accomplished in the traditional repertoire, Zhou Yi is also an active performer of contemporary music. Her playing has been praised for its meticulous technique and expressiveness. A guest lecturer at New York University, she has won numerous international awards and has performed around the world and across the United States, in venues including Merkin Concert Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music. Her music has been recorded on the Moon in Sky label and published by New Era Sound & Video Company of Guang Zhou and Nanjing Video Publishing House of China.

Audiences can learn more about guest composer Chen Yi when she discuss several of her award-winning compositions and the development of her unique compositional style during a 4 p.m. lecture that day in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center.

On Friday (Oct. 19), Zhou Yi and several BGSU performing groups will be featured in a global sounds concert at 8:30 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. The New Music Ensemble, University Performing Dancers, Kusuma Sari Gamelan and Hayabusa Taiko Ensemble, along with Nina Assimakopoulos, flute, will perform works by Made Arnawa, Larry Austin, Chen Yi and Thomas Reiner. Tickets are $5 for students and senior citizens and $8 for other adults. Call the box office at 2-8171.

Earlier that day, Kenneth Thompson will direct the BGSU New Music Ensemble in a chamber music concert at 10:30 a.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The concert will feature music by Luciano Berio, Chen Yi, Kristin Kuster and Scott Unrein. Free tickets will be available at the door.

Jacqueline Leclair, an oboist and BGSU music faculty member, will present “In Focus: Luciano Berio's ‘Sequenza VIIa,’” a discussion of one of Berio’s most important and innovative works, for solo oboe. She will speak at 11:45 a.m. Friday in Bryan.

At 2:30 p.m. Friday, the festival continues with a concert of chamber and choral music in Kobacker. The show will feature works by BGSU Distinguished Artist Professor Marilyn Shrude, Rob Smith, Chen Yi and Bowling Green alumnus Joseph Dangerfield.

BGSU faculty members will perform another chamber music concert, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday (Oct. 20), with music by Michael J. Burns, Andres Carrizo, Michael Djupstrom, Jonathan Graybill, Gianluca Verlingieri and Philip Wharton, Performing will be soprano Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers, flutist Nina Assimakopoulos, trumpeter Charles Saenz and bassoonist Nathaniel Zeisler.

On the final day of the musical portion of the festival, the art component gets under way with a talk by Robert Glenn Ketchum, an artist, environmental activist, writer and lecturer. Ketchum will discuss “Conservation and Photography: A Long, Evolving History,” at 5:30 p.m. in 115 Olscamp Hall. Ketchum's imagery and books have helped to define contemporary color photography while also addressing critical national environmental issues.

Following Ketchum’s talk,“Water Works,” an exhibition showcasing his photography and the works of artists-activists Jackie Brookner, Betsy Damon, Basia Irland, Eve Andree Laramee and Stacy Levy, will open with a reception at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery of the BGSU Fine Arts Center. The exhibition continues through Nov. 17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free.

Visit for more on the art aspect of the festival.

The festival closes with a concert featuring the Bowling Green Philharmonia, conducted by Emily Freeman Brown, and the Wind Symphony, conducted by Bruce Moss. Beginning at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, the concert will include works by BGSU alumnus Michael Albaugh, Chen Yi, John Mackey, Bright Sheng, John Stevens and W. Claude Baker. Saxophonist John Sampen, Distinguished Artist Professor, will be a featured performer. Tickets are $5 for students and senior citizens and $8 for other adults. To reserve seats, call 2-8171.

October 15, 2007