This spring the Colleges’ Music Department will host its annual Guest Artist Series, bringing a diverse and accomplished roster of performers sure to appeal to music lovers of every type.
The Series will commence on Tuesday, Feb. 28, with early music ensemble LeStrange Viols. Since forming in 2014 to record the modern premier of English composer William Cranford’s consort music, the viol sextet has distinguished itself as a sophisticated and dynamic performer of the consort repertory. LeStrange’s debut CD made the New Yorker’s list of notable recordings of 2015. Since its CD release, the ensemble has thrilled audiences at summer festivals and in a triumphant New York City debut recital. (Tickets are $12 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizens, Students: Free with valid HWS Student ID)
Next, on Tuesday, March 7, the Colleges will welcome pianist Nicola Melville. Described by the American Record Guide as “a marvelous pianist who plays with splashy color but also exquisite tone and nuance,” Melville’s live performances have been broadcasted on Canadian, American, New Zealand, South African, and Chinese radio. American-based, born in New Zealand, Melville has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. (Tickets are $12 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizens, Students: Free with valid HWS Student ID)
Akshara, an Indian traditional music ensemble, will perform on Saturday, April 8. Akshara presents original compositions fusing world music traditions with the rhythmic and modal foundations of Indian classical music alongside interpretations of traditional ragas like Kamboji, Mohana, Gambira Natai and Shanmugapriya arranged for Carnatic, Hindustani and Western classical and folk instruments. In 2015, Akshara’s Mohana Blues won the “Best World Traditional Song” award at the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards. Their debut CD is scheduled for release in 2017. (Tickets are $12 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizens, Students: Free with valid HWS Student ID)
On Tuesday, April 18, Kenneth Meyer will treat the HWS community to a night of classical guitar. Hailed by the Washington Post as “a thinking man’s guitarist” and by the Buffalo News as “impeccably articulate with superb technique,” Meyer won national first prize at the Music Teacher’s National Association Collegiate Artist Competition. His list of performances is international and lengthy and includes appearances in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Skirbal Cultural Center and the historic Basilica di San Clemente (Italy). In addition to live concerts, his performances have been featured on film, radio and most recently on the Albany Records label. (Tickets are $12 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizens, Students: Free with valid HWS Student ID)
The Series concludes with the Colleges’ Chorale Spring Tour Concerts. The Chorale, directed by Professor of Music Bob Cowles, represents the finest vocal talent at HWS. Each student is rigorously screened for both vocal technique and musicianship. The Chorale performs a wide variety of works ranging from medieval songs to the latest modern compositions. The two performances will be held on Wednesday, April 19 and Saturday, April 22. (The concert is free and open to the public.)
All concerts in the Series begin at 8 p.m. at Froelich Hall in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.