Crane School of Music Hosts Maestro Larry Rachleff for 'Carmina Burana' Performance

04.21.14

Larry-Rachleff
Maestro Larry Rachleff will visit SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, as the 2014 Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor.

SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music will welcome distinguished visiting artists for a performance of two epic works—including Franz Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" and Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana"—during the 2014 Lougheed Festival of the Arts.

From April 25 to May 4, The Crane School of Music will offer free concerts, public masterclasses, rehearsals and presentations, as part of the third annual Lougheed Festival of the Arts. Crane will also welcome Maestro Larry Rachleff, the 2014 Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor, for a campus residency. In addition, visiting baritone Anton Belov will lead a masterclass and offer a lecture recital.

For the first time, all of the Crane School of Music concerts and recitals during the Lougheed Festival of the Arts will be streamed live online this year, so that alumni, parents and friends who can't make it to Potsdam can experience the artistry from home. To view the programs and watch the performance broadcasts, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/streaming.

"The Lougheed Festival performance this year of Orff's 'Carmina Burana' is one eagerly awaited by many at SUNY Potsdam and in the community, who are justifiably enthusiastic to hear this exciting and beloved work for chorus and orchestra. This will mark its fifth performance since 1971 as a featured piece in the festival tradition at Crane. We are delighted that Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor Larry Rachleff has chosen to pair this work with the subtle and moving 'Unfinished Symphony' of Franz Schubert," said Crane School of Music Dean Dr. Michael Sitton. "Our faculty and students, including Dr. Ching-Chun Lai and Dr. Jeff Francom, who have masterfully prepared the Crane Symphony Orchestra and Crane Chorus, have long been anticipating Maestro Rachleff's residency. We know that the concluding performance, which will also feature the Boys' Choir of Ottawa Cathedral, two distinguished faculty soloists and a guest soloist, will be a thrilling signature event to conclude the third Lougheed Festival of the Arts."

The Crane Symphony Orchestra and Crane Chorus will come together under the baton of the 2014 Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor, Maestro Larry Rachleff for the culminating concert on Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.

The Crane Symphony Orchestra will open the concert with a performance of Schubert's Symphony No. 8, otherwise known as the composer's famous "Unfinished Symphony." The concert will conclude with Orff's "Carmina Burana," a perennial favorite among concertgoers, which starts and ends with the famous "O Fortuna," one of the best known pieces from the 20th century. For the performance of "Carmina Burana," three vocal soloists will join the chorus and orchestra, including: soprano Jill Pearon, tenor Donald George and baritone Anton Belov. In addition, the visiting Boys' Choir of Ottawa Cathedral, directed by Matthew Larkin,will also be featured in the performance.

This event is free, but tickets are required, as there is limited space. To reserve free tickets, contact the Community Performance Series Box Office at (315) 267-2277.

All events are free, and the public is invited to attend. For a full schedule of events, visit www.potsdam.edu/artsfestival.

The festival's musical highlights include:

·Friday, April 25: The opening day of the festival will include a Repertoire Percussion Ensemble concert at 3 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater. That evening, the Crane Latin Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m., also in Snell Theater. Directed this year by Nathaniel Coyne, the Crane Latin Ensemble is exploring the genres of Afro-Cuban music and salsa. The performance will include works by Tito Puente, Jose Madera, Eddie Palmieri, Oscar Hernandez and Cachao.

·Sunday, April 27: The West African Drum and Dance Ensemble will present its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. in Snell Theater. Directed by Julie Hunter, the ensemble will also welcome guest instructor Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng. A renowned drummer, composer, dancer and educator originally from Ghana, he was formerly the royal court drummer to the high chief of the Aburi-Akuapim region of the Eastern region of Ghana. Obeng toured with Ghana's National Arts Council Folkloric Company, and later moved to the United States. He teaches at Brown University.

·Monday, April 28: The Crane Symphony Orchestra will have an open rehearsal at 7 p.m. in Hosmer Hall.

·Tuesday, April 29: The Crane Symphony Orchestra will have an open rehearsal at 2 p.m., and the Crane Chorus will rehearse at 7 p.m., both in Hosmer Hall.

·Wednesday, April 30: Belov will lead a voice masterclass with select Crane students and offer a public lecture at 1 p.m. Rachleff will oversee a masterclass with Crane students conducting orchestral excerpts at 3 p.m. Both masterclasses will be offered in Snell Theater. There will be an open rehearsal with both the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. in Hosmer Hall.

·Thursday, May 1: Crane Audio Engineer Emeritus Gary Galo will give a presentation about Crane Chorus performances in the 20th century at 4 p.m. in the Ralph Wakefield Recital Hall. There will be another open rehearsal with the chorus and orchestra at 7 p.m. in Hosmer.

·Friday, May 2: There will be a panel discussion with Rachleff at noon in Snell Theater. At 3 p.m., Belov will present his lecture recital "Pushkin in Exile," accompanied by Kirk Severtson, piano. The program will include 18 songs composed by 12 different Russian composers set to the poems by the prolific and renowned Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin wrote these poems during a forced exile by the Tsar's government in the 1820s. There will be an open dress rehearsal with all performers for "Carmina Burana" and the "Unfinished Symphony" at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall.

·Saturday, May 3: The culminating concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall.

About the visiting artists:

Larry Rachleff is the Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Music and the music director of the Shepherd School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras at Rice University in Houston. He also serves as music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and has served in that capacity for the San Antonio Symphony. Called "a take-charge maestro who invests everything he conducts with deep musical understanding" by the Chicago Tribune, Rachleff is in constant demand as a guest conductor. Recent and upcoming engagements include conducting the Utah, Houston, Seattle, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Phoenix and Toledo symphonies, as well as the Dayton Philharmonic, among many others. His summer festival engagements have included performances at Tanglewood, Aspen, Interlochen, Chautauqua, the Brevard Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy. In 1993, he was selected as one of four American conductors to lead the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under the mentorship of Pierre Boulez. Rachleff is especially noted for his rich and productive rapport with orchestra musicians. A former faculty member at Oberlin Conservatory, where he was the music director of orchestras and the conductor of the Contemporary Ensemble, he has also served as conductor of the Opera Theater at the University of Southern California. He has conducted and presented masterclasses all over the world, including at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, the Zurich Hochschule, Australia's Sydney and Queensland conservatories, the Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory and Royal Northern College in the U.K. An enthusiastic advocate of public school music education, Rachleff has conducted All-State orchestras and festivals in virtually every state in the United States, as well as throughout Europe and Canada. He has also served as principal conducting teacher for the American Symphony Orchestra League, the Conductors' Guild and the International Workshop for Conductors in the Czech Republic. As a dedicated advocate of contemporary music, Rachleff has collaborated with leading composers, including Samuel Adler, the late Luciano Berio, George Crumb, Michael Daugherty and John Harbison, among others.

The voice of baritone Anton Belov has been called "rich and mellifluous" by the New York Times, while the Philadelphia Inquirercalls it that of an "emerging star." A native of Russia and a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center and the doctoral program at Boston University, he has appeared with numerous companies and orchestras throughout the United States and has earned critical acclaim for his portrayals of characters as diverse as Count di Luna, Don Giovanni, Escamillo, Count Almaviva, Doctor Malatesta and Eugene Onegin. Equally at home in opera, oratorio and concert repertoire, Dr. Belov has presented more than 60 recitals throughout the U.S., appearing at such venues as Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He is the first place winner of eight vocal competitions, including the George London Competition, the Young Concert Artists International Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A specialist in Russian lyric diction, he is the author of numerous books on the subject. Belov is an assistant professor of voice at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore.

The partnership of the Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor Fund, established by Dorothy Albrecht Gregory '61, and the Adeline Maltzan Crane Chorus Performance Tour Fund, brings distinguished conductors to The Crane School of Music for festival performances by the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra, and funds travel for major performances to venues outside of Potsdam.

For more information about the Lougheed Festival of the Arts, which encompasses all forms of artistic expression, visit www.potsdam.edu/artsfestival.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York's only All-Steinway institution.