Opportunity Knocking with Union-Curtis Collaboration

EvanLeRoyJohnson-EricLu3:00 pm • Sunday, January 15th 2017
3:00 pm • Sunday, February 12th 2017
Union College Memorial Chapel • Schenectady, NY

Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Canoe.
Canoe who?
Canoe you give me an opportunity to help me get my career going?

In the music world, one of the greatest challenges for a young performer coming out of school is getting a concert presenter to give the artist a real professional performance opportunity. Many concert presenters will not “take a chance” on an artist if they are “unfamiliar” to their audiences. Hmmm… for those artists who are deserving, but not yet “familiar,” they’re caught in the chicken or the egg scenario.

Recognizing that it takes opportunity to knock, the Union College Concert Series is collaborating with the Curtis Institute of Music to provide emerging musicians with credible professional engagements in order to assist moving their careers forward. This Sunday is the first of two such concerts to be presented by the Union College – Curtis Institute collaboration.

Sunday’s concert features Evan LeRoy Johnson, tenor and Mikael Eliasen, piano with a performance of Franz Schubert‘s Die schöne Müllerin (The Fair Miller-Maid). This is Schubert’s earliest extended song cycle to be widely performed and based on poems by Wilhelm Müller. Josef Schmee presents a pre-concert lecture at 1:30 pm (January 15th).

The second concert takes place on Sunday, February 12th with Eric Lu at the piano. Lu is barely twenty and has already won multiple awards such as the 1st prize winner of the IX Moscow International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists and the 2015 National Chopin Competition in Miami, USA, where he also received the best concerto prize. In October 2015, at 17 years old, Lu won the 4th prize at the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw, becoming one of the youngest laureates in the history of the competition. In his academic pursuits at the Curtis Institute of Music, he studies with Jonathan Biss and Robert McDonald. He is also a pupil of the pianist Dang Thai Son.

Eric Lu’s program (on February 12th) is to include:

  • W.A. Mozart — Sonata in D Major, K. 311
  • Franz Schubert — 4 Impromptus, D. 899
  • Frédéric Chopin — Preludes, Op. 28, Nos. 13-16
  • Frédéric Chopin — Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
  • Sergei Prokofiev — Sonata No. 7, Op. 83

While I have much to say, but haven’t quite yet figured out how to say it yet (stay tuned) about the approach to artist selection by many presenters and orchestras, I will go on record that this is a notable collaboration and great opportunity for the students who are fortunate to attend the prestigious Philadelphia conservatory.

Both of theses concerts are being presented with no admission charge. I encourage you to attend one or both. This, dear audience, is your opportunity to move musical careers forward. Happy musicking!

 

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