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Spring season showcases world-renowned musicians

The College of Music’s spring concert season includes exciting symphonic and jazz performances, two unique and passionate operas, and visits by musicians from around the world.

The UNT Opera has chosen a theme of celebrating strong women for this season. “The Mother of Us All,” a work that chronicles the life of Susan B. Anthony and her fight for women’s suffrage is the centerpiece of the spring 2016 repertoire. The second collaboration between author Gertrude Stein and composer Virgil Thompson, this 20th century modernist opera features the UNT Opera and Concert Orchestra melding together both fictional and non-fictional characters from American History. Performances begin Feb. 26 and run through March 6.

Continuing in the celebration of strong women, the UNT Opera joins forces with the UNT Baroque Orchestra to present Monteverdi’s “The Coronation of Poppea,” the story of a beautiful and ruthless woman who schemes, murders and seduces her way to the top of the Roman Empire. Initially performed in 1643, it is one of the first operas to use historical events and people. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Performances will be held April 7-10.

Both operas will be held in the Lyric Theater at the Murchison Performing Arts Center and will feature pre-performance lectures 45 minutes prior to all shows.

Jazz lovers have an exciting spring in store as world-renowned artists join UNT musicians for unforgettable performances.    

UNT’s One O’Clock Lab Band will perform with Grammy-award winning pianist and composer Danilo Pérez on March 3 as part of the Mary Jo and V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series. Pérez, who is this year’s Glenn E. Gomez International Artists Endowment for Jazz Studies guest artist, will be a featured soloist for the first half of the concert. His band Panama 500 will be invited to the stage for the second half of the show. The dual performance, featuring lively jazz with a hint of Latin groove, will be held in the Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

Australian-born singer Jo Lawry joins the UNT Jazz singers April 15 and 16 for two nights of vocal jazz artistry with freshly penned student and faculty arrangements of Lawry’s music. The New York-based singer has become well-known to audiences through her work as a backing vocalist for Sting. The performances will be held in the Paul Voertman Concert Hall located in the Music Building.

With two full orchestras and visiting ensembles such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the UNT College of Music has become a prime source of outstanding orchestral performances.

On Feb. 3, the UNT Symphony Orchestra will perform Gustav Mahler’s large-scale Symphony No. 6 in A minor, sometimes referred to as his “tragic” symphony because of its ending.  His wife wrote at the time of its creation that it was his most personal work, saying both she and Mahler were moved to tears, “so deeply did we feel this music and the sinister premonitions it disclosed.” The audience at its 1906 premiere was said to be so moved by the performance that they were left silent and in awe. The UNT Symphony Orchestra hopes to do the same with their rendition in February.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra comes to UNT on March 20, and the force will be with them as they present “DSO on the Go: The Music of John Williams.” Jeff Tyzik will conduct the DSO as they play the recognizable works of the composer who created the scores for “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Jaws,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” and other popular movies.

In celebration of UNT’s 125th anniversary, the UNT Concert Orchestra will perform “Suite for an Anniversary,” an original composition by Grammy nominee Richard DeRosa, associate professor and director of jazz composition/arranging. The instrumentation includes a full orchestra mixed with classical and jazz performers, an additional jazz rhythm section, and an improvising saxophonist. The concert will be held on April 20.

Haydn’s “The Creation” will be performed on April 27 by the Symphony Orchestra, along with the 150-voice Grand Chorus. The three-part work depicts the creation of the universe, planets, animals, and man narrated by three archangel soloists. The work was inspired by the book of Genesis and John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

All of the orchestras will perform in the Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

The Murchison Performing Arts Center is located at 2100 Interstate 35E. The Music Building is located at 415 Avenue C.

For a full list of UNT College of Music events, including recitals by faculty and students, visit the online calendar at http://music.unt.edu/calendar. Tickets go on sale Monday, Jan. 25. For ticket information for performances at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, call the box office at 940-369-7802 or visit the center’s website at http://www.thempac.com. Some concerts are streamed live online at http://untmusiclive.com.

—Courtney Taylor, news promotions

Posted on: Mon 04 January 2016

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