Welcome to our 2022-23
Distinguished Artist Series!
Umi Garrett, Nov. 2, 2022
Arjun K. Verma, March 22, 2023
From the Director
It is with great excitement that I write to you about our upcoming Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series concerts.
Our first concert of the year will occur Wednesday November 2 and will feature an extraordinary young artist, pianist Umi Garrett.
While the series has always attempted to bring our community world renowned artists, it has also been our practice to invite younger “up and coming” musicians who bring an imagination, fervor, and freshness of approach to their artistry. This was certainly the case when the series sponsored a solo recital from a relatively new to the scene, 16 year-old, Yuja Wang.
From her childhood Umi Garrett received unusual attention, appearing in national media broadcasts on both television and radio. The Huffington Post referred to her early on as a “genius” and she has given a presentation of “the power of music” at a TEDx talk. The path of an artist who develops under intense scrutiny, even from an extremely early stage in their life is always amazing to behold.
From my earliest experiences hearing her play, it was always evident that she would emerge as a significant musical force. She performs with total abandon, complete technical brilliance, an overwhelming poetic sense, and of greatest importance- joy!
Presently she is beginning a masters degree at the Juilliard School, and continues to explore all of the varied possibilities that exist in the musical world for such an all-encompassing talent.
Her recital will include the early and profoundly beautiful Beethoven E Flat op. 27, no 1 Sonata, Schubert’s rarely played and extraordinary 3 Klavierstucke D 946, the Florence Price “Fantasie Negre” a selection of Grieg “Lyric pieces”, concluding with the luminous “tour-de force” Scriabin Fantasie op 23.
In addition to her recital, she will present a master-class with Willamette students on Wednesday morning November 2nd from 11-1 pm in the Rogers Rehearsal Hall.
It has been my dream since founder Anita King brought the Indian Flute master Sachdev to Willamette to bring a sitar Pandit of the highest level back to our series. Arjun K. Verma, who was picked to duplicate Ravi Shankar’s historic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival is such an individual. Trained by Ali Akbar Khan, Verma is at the forefront of younger sitar masters, and the series is incredibly lucky to have not only his brilliance displayed, but also to revel in the mastery of his tabla performer Abhijit Banerjee, considered one of the world’s greatest at his art, along with Nazan Aktas playing Tanpura.
This concert will occur Wednesday March 22, 2023, and the group will present a master-class at the Music Department’s weekly music convocation, Tuesday March 21st at 11:30 am. As we approach Spring we will publish more specifics of his program.
We look forward to these concerts, to seeing our most faithful and loyal patrons, along with our large group of new students this term at Willamette, and many new friends.
I am, as always, deeply honored to be part of continuing this great tradition-bringing groundbreaking and luminary artists to our local community and to the Pacific Northwest.
With deep gratitude,
Director, Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series
Here are a few examples of these wonderful musicians’ work. Enjoy!!
- Umi Garrett Liszt “Gnomereigen”
- Umi Garrett "Bach-Busoni Chaconne”
- Umi Garrett Liszt “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2"
- Arjun K. Verma | Sitar | Raag Nat Bhairav
Willamette University Music Department
Rogers Music Center