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School of Music

Singer, composer collaborate for voice concert tonight

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A pianist could play “Claire de Lune” today, and Claude Debussy would never hear it. An orchestra could play the “New World Symphony” next weekend, and Antonin Dvořák could never tell them what it was like to see buffalos roaming the prairies. When a musician can collaborate with a composer, it is a rare opportunity to deconstruct the imagination of a creative mind that was compelled to create a work of art.

Piano master class to address Facebook, historical context

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Thomas Schumacher is an award-winning piano soloist who has performed in concert halls around the world. But the most marvelous instrument, he said, doesn’t even make music. Schumacher will teach a piano master class at 10:30 a.m. today in the Sherwood-Marsh Studios and will stress the importance of engaging and educating the audience through that most marvelous instrument, Facebook.

Voice Students present the songs of Ben Moore

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At the Chautauqua School of Music, students often view recitals as valuable learning experiences. They are the perfect opportunity for these young musicians to perform a piece they have been working on in front of a supportive and knowledgeable audience. Because the students play what they have been working on in lessons, these recitals rarely have themes, but tonight’s recital will be an exception.

In the spotlight

Great American Picnic
July 5’s premiere performance of the Music School Festival Orchestra introduced an energetic and versatile group of young musicians ready to take on the challenges of not only difficult but very diverse repertoire. Tonight’s concert will once again display the astounding amount of progress the MSFO has made since its first concert, but it also will have some debuts of its own.

Lesenger uses master class to instruct singers on acting

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An opera production derives from the music, not the other way around, said Jay Lesenger, artistic/general director of Chautauqua Opera Company. Sometimes directors will have a concept in mind before delving into a production, but Lesenger said he believes in a firm understanding of opera and its traditions before interpreting the music for the stage. “I’m not of the school that I have to do something different to make it true,” Lesenger said. “I’m all for innovation, but that’s not how I go about looking at a piece. I don’t say, ‘How can we do this differently?’ I just say, ‘How can we do it well?’”

Vamos teaches master class on importance of musical family tree

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In the music world, teachers are family. Musicians can trace the lineage of their instructors through generations, forming a musical genealogical web. Technique, fingerings and style are inherited from those teachers, but for students, after months and even years of working with the same teacher, it’s not about the basics. It’s about the personal connection that drives students to work even harder in the practice room because it is no longer a teacher who inspired them; it is a life-long friend.

From stage to classroom, Gavrylyuk returns to teach piano master classes

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In the past two weeks, the Chautauqua School of Music has held master classes with some of the most seasoned professionals in the music industry. These teachers have had successful solo and chamber music careers, and most hold positions in the most prestigious conservatories in the country. Alexander Gavrylyuk is also a seasoned professional, soloing at major concert halls around the world and winning all the big-name competitions. Gavrylyuk holds his own on the list of distinguished master class coaches, but he’s only in his 20s.

Voice concert showcases 5 students’ talents

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For Voice Program faculty member Donald St. Pierre, teaching music is not just about the notes on a page. It is about reminding students why they got involved with music in the first place. At 7:30 p.m. tonight in McKnight Hall, singers will bestow another warm greeting to the Chautauqua community through song with a voice concert. It is the first concert in a series of Wednesday night performances that will offer a glimpse into the hard work these students have done throughout their stay at the Institution.

Unique duo to play Fletcher concert

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When pianist Rose Chancler Feinbloom submitted an advertisement to Craigslist looking for a musician to play contemporary chamber music with her, she never expected the ad to be answered by a marimba player. Jane Boxall, classical marimba player by day and rock drummer by night, answered the ad within three hours of its being posted to the Internet. That was back in 2008. The two, now officially known as the Ricochet Duo, will perform a concert at 4 p.m. today in Fletcher Music Hall.

Tonight, an orchestra is born

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An orchestra has many musicians, but it breathes as a unit. For some symphony orchestras, it may take years to foster the kind of bond necessary to produce top quality music, but students in the Music School Festival Orchestra have only seven weeks. At 8:15 p.m. tonight, the MSFO will perform its first of five concerts in the Amphitheater. Led by music director and conductor Timothy Muffitt, the concert will feature four works that would appear at home on any professional symphony’s program. However, there will be something that sets the MSFO apart.

Grammy-winning opera star to sing All-American concert

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In 2006, Ruth Ezell, a television producer in St. Louis, aired a documentary about world-renowned soprano Christine Brewer, calling her “the antithesis of the stereotypical prima donna.” At 6:15 p.m. tonight in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, the Grammy Award-winning opera star will perform alongside her longtime colleague, pianist Craig Rutenberg, in a free All-American concert celebrating the July 4 holiday. Each musician will also conduct two master classes, which will be open to the public for a small fee, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday in McKnight Hall.

Piano recital brings Milbauer full circle

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When pianist John Milbauer first came to the School of Music in 1989, he was on the verge of giving up music forever. Playing the piano was a physical struggle. He was frustrated with the technical aspect of the piano, and he just didn’t have the right teacher — until Chautauqua changed all that.

Hand-picked Pavarottis to sing in the new season

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A singer’s life is not just about music. It’s about stage presence, drama and belting to the nosebleed section. Today at 1 p.m. in McKnight Hall, students in the Chautauqua School of Music’s Voice Program will celebrate the beginning of an intense summer season with the annual “sing-in” event.

Unconventional summer in store for piano students

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The Piano Program at the School of Music is, in a word, unconventional. As piano students introduce themselves to each other and faculty through a private “Play-In” today, they embark on a summer program that will allow them the opportunity to learn adventurous approaches to making music.
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