Kicks Off 2009-10 Season
The Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series kicks off its 2009-10 season Sept. 18 with critically acclaimed clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and pianist Yehudi Wyner. The performance is part of a weeklong series of events cosponsored with the Salem Chamber Orchestra. Classical guitarist Xuefei Yang will perform Nov. 15 and the Brentano String Quartet April 11. All performances will be in Hudson Hall in the Rogers Music Center at Willamette University.
Stoltzman's virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of the world's most sought-after concert artists. As a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with more than a hundred orchestras, the two-time Grammy Award winner defies categorization, dazzling critics and audiences throughout many musical genres, including jazz and classical.
The San Francisco Chronicle called Stoltzman "a national treasure" and "the greatest clarinetist of the century," and The Washington Post said he "is an artist of indescribable genius ... a musician of flawless taste, one with few rivals anywhere on any instrument."
Stoltzman will be joined by pianist and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner, who performs with the Bach Aria Group and as a solo and chamber musician. Wyner's recording of "The Mirror" won a 2005 Grammy Award.
Classical guitarist Xuefei Yang gave her first public performance at age 10 with the First China International Guitar Festival, and is the first classical guitarist to emerge from China. She has appeared throughout Great Britain, Europe, Asia and North America, and has performed concertos with leading orchestras. She has also been featured on numerous radio and television programs, including the BBC documentary "The Story of Guitar" and a biographical documentary about Yang on China Central Television. Her CD, 40 Degrees North, was named Editor's Choice in Gramophone Magazine and Best Instrumental CD of 2008 by Canton Radio station in China.
"Xuefei Yang is proving to be one of the great classical guitarists of the day," wrote Classical Guitar Magazine, and Gramophone wrote, "The guitar world has a new star."
The Brentano String Quartet has received critical acclaim throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia, performing in the world's most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. In addition to performing the two-century range of standard quartet repertoire, the quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. The group has performed many works pre-dating the string quartet as a medium, including Baroque music and Renaissance madrigals and polyphonic vocal pieces, and has commissioned works from some of the most important composers of our time.
The New York Times extolled the quartet's "luxuriously warm sound and yearning lyricism," saying, "Their music making is private, delicate and fresh, but by its very intimacy and importance it seizes attention." The London Times wrote, "Such was their ferocity that the instruments almost burst into flames." The group offered an "almost unearthly level of perfection." The Toronto Star wrote, "A hair-raising level of focus and intensity ... Whew!"
To order tickets go to www.absolutelytix.com. For more information call the Willamette Music Department at (503) 370-6255.