Ke-Nekt chamber series announces 7 concerts

Israel's acclaimed Aviv Quartet. To celebrate its seventh season, the Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series will present seven concerts for tastes from baroque to contemporary jazz, beginning with Israel’s acclaimed Aviv Quartet.

“Chamber music has been called a conversation among friends,” said Trevor Jorgensen, series coordinator and assistant professor of music. “The exciting 2010-11 season showcases many ways that conversation can happen—from highly ordered musical roles to inventive and playful improvisation.”

Continuing a popular feature of the Ke-Nekt Series, a member of the SUNY Oswego music faculty will introduce each concert and join the visiting artists onstage for a specially prepared selection.

Winners of the Amadeus and Schubert prizes, the Aviv Quartet has performed at leading venues around the world. On the group’s last American tour, critic Donald Rosenberg marveled at their interpretive grace and technical precision, noting that violist Nathan Braude and cellist Rachel Mercer interact with violinists Sergey Ostrovsky and Evgenia Ephstein “to seamless eloquent effect.” Jorgensen will host their season-launching concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the Sheldon Hall ballroom.

The accomplished operatic tenor and concert singer Nicholas Phan will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, at the Church of the Resurrection, 120 W. Fifth St. Phan, who has sung roles with the New York City and Houston Grand operas, also regularly appears with the nation’s leading symphony orchestras. Associate professor Todd Graber will host this event.

Over the last few Ke-Nekt seasons, one concert has been designed to highlight a particular form of musical literature. Faculty member and accomplished pianist Robert Auler will present an “Homage to the Piano Trio” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, in Sheldon Hall ballroom. Principal cellist David LeDoux and violinist Cristina Buciu, both members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, will join Auler.

“The Art of the Harpsichord” will offer an intimate evening of early chamber music at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Campus Center auditorium. Harpsichordist Robert Kerner will join oboist Aaron Reece and flutist Kelly Covert. Critics say Kerner’s virtuosity and exhilarating musicality are paralleled by his historically exacting performance of period music. Julie Pretzat, a longtime music faculty member who is associate dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, will host the concert.

Ke-Nekt’s featured American composer for 2010-11 is Jonathan Pieslak, whose compositions are performed and broadcast internationally. He has been recognized with awards and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, the American Music Center and the American Composers Forum. Pieslak will be present for a performance of his work at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Campus Center auditorium. Auler will host.

David Mastrangelo, Syracuse native and violinist with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, will collaborate with faculty pianist Juan Francisco La Manna at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in Sheldon Hall ballroom. The evening features Ravel’s “Violin Sonata,” Schumann’s impassioned “Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op.121,” and the haunting “Fratres” by Estonian composer Arvo Part. Mastrangelo has performed under the batons of such luminaries as Eduardo Mata, Hugh Wolff, Lawrence Foster, Barry Tuckwell and Michael Tilson Thomas.

The final concert of the season will present the musical conversation of chamber music in a distinctly different mode. The Quartet of Happiness takes modern jazz and infuses it with a hefty dose of cheekiness and irreverent humor, wrapping it all in theatrics. The group’s mission is to make jazz enjoyable and accessible to a wide audience. Faculty member Eric Schmitz will host the mixture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in Sheldon Hall ballroom.

To increase the interactive nature of the series, each concert will begin with a 7 p.m. talk by the performers.

Season or individual tickets can be purchased online at, any SUNY Oswego box office or by calling 312-2141.

The Tarandi Foundation, advised by the Shah family, will provide support for Aviv Quartet residency programs in the Oswego and Fulton city school districts.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Season opener—The Aviv Quartet will open SUNY Oswego’s Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series on Oct. 13. Clockwise from top left are cellist Rachel Mercer, second violinist Evgenia Ephstein, founding member and first violinist Sergey Ostrovsky and violist Nathan Braude. Ke-Nekt features seven concerts through April 20.

(Posted: Aug 10, 2010)

Tags: none, music, ke-nekt