Fairfield University to present "Romantic Interludes" a violin/piano recital at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Orin Grossman

Pianist Orin Grossman, Fairfield University's academic vice president and a professor of Fine Arts, will take the stage with violinist Janet Packer, chair of the string department at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 3 p.m. The duo will perform a program of "Romantic Interludes," in the Kelley Theatre of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The program will feature music by Robert Schumann, Juan Orrego-Salas, Franz Schubert and Amy Beach.

Dr. Grossman began piano and theory instruction at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., at the age of five. After several graduate recitals there he entered Harvard College where he won the coveted Concerto Competition and performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 4 with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. He graduated Magna cum Laude in Music from Harvard and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Music from Yale University and won acclaim while touring France with the Yale Orchestra in 1971.

Since his successful New York Carnegie Recital Hall debut, Dr. Grossman has pursued a long-standing interest in jazz and popular music. In recent years, Dr. Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in St. Petersburg, Cairo and New York. Dr. Grossman is also an active chamber music player, and is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Round Hill Chamber Players - a professional repertory company based in Fairfield.

Image: Janet PackerJanet Packer, who has been a member of the violin faculty at Longy School of Music for 26 years, has established a unique career as a concert violinist and a nationally recognized educator.

Packer's performances demonstrate mastery of a wide range of musical styles. As soloist with orchestra, recitalist and recording artist, Packer's musical intelligence and personality have won accolades of audiences and critics and the respect of musical colleagues.

An ardent champion of new music for the violin, Packer is president of Pro Violino Foundation, Inc., whose mission is to support the creation and dissemination of contemporary violin music. In recent years, she has commissioned and premiered works for violin and piano by important contemporary composers and her recordings have garnered national acclaim. Her major orchestral appearances include performances with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony of Panama, Rochester Philharmonic and Boston Pops Orchestra. Her 2003-2004 performance schedule takes her to concert halls in eight states, including recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.

The concert features music from the Romantic era of the 19th century, including Robert Schumann's Sonata No. 1, and Franz Schubert's brilliant Rondo, composed just before his untimely death at the age of 31. In addition, Dr Grossman and Ms. Packer will perform an important American Romantic work, the Sonata in A Minor by Amy Beach. Dr. Grossman and Packer will perform Schumann's "Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op.105," which was composed in 1851, Schubert's "Rondo in B Minor, D. 895," composed in 1826, and Amy Beach's "Sonata in A Minor, Op. 34," composed in 1896. Amy Beach was a remarkable musician, whose symphony was the first such work written by a woman performed by the Boston Symphony. Her sonata is a stunning example of a powerful talent not sufficiently recognized today.

The duo will also perform the world premiere of Juan Orrego-Salas' "Turns and Returns, Op. 121," written specifically for Ms. Packer. Orrego-Salas, founding director of both the Departamento de Música (now Instituto de Música) of the Universidad Cat—lica de Santiago and the Latin American Music Center at Indiana University School of Music, has composed numerous works.

Orrego-Salas has received commissions from the Louisville Orchestra, the National Symphony of Washington, D.C., the National Endowment for the Arts, and many universities, chamber ensembles and soloists. The Chilean-born Orrego-Salas received the National Prize for the Arts in Chile in 1992.

"Romantic Interludes," is sponsored by University College and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University. Tickets are $12, $6 for seniors. Full-time faculty members at Fairfield University are entitled to one free ticket and a second at half-price. Tickets are free for students with a valid Fairfield University ID and members of the Institute for Retired Professionals currently enrolled for Spring 2004. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 2, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 164