Musical offerings hit crescendo in November

Performances by two student ensembles and two concerts featuring the dean of Maine pianists bring Bates College musical offerings to a crescendo in November. 

All concerts will be held in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, Russell Street, and are open to the public at no cost.

The month opens with a concert by the Bates College Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, conducted by Philip Carlsen. A visiting assistant professor of music at Bates, Carlsen is a cellist and an award-winning composer whose works include two written for the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

The Bates Orchestra program constitutes a sort of musical history primer, representing each of four distinct eras. Representing the Classical period is Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, and from there it’s a logical step to Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn and the Romantic era. For the modernists, it’s Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments. Finally there’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten by Arvo Pärt, an Estonian who is one of the best-known and most accessible contemporary composers.

The Bates College Concert Series, the college’s flagship musical offering, has its final 2002 entry at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. The players are Bates artist-in-residence Frank Glazer, a Maine pianist of long international renown, and violinist Curtis Macomber, a Juilliard faculty member and Glazer’s colleague in the New England Piano Quartette since the mid-1990s. They will perform three Beethoven sonatas, Op. 24, Op. 96 and Op. 47.

Free admission to the Glazer-Macomber program is made possible by the Florence Pennell Gremley Fund at Bates.

Macomber belonged to the New World String Quartet from 1982 to 1993 and is a founding member of the Apollo Trio. He is an influential champion of new music whose CRI disc “Songs of Solitude,” a compilation of contemporary repertoire, was named one of the best solo instrumental recordings of 1996 by the New York Observer.

Glazer taught at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y., before retiring to Maine with his wife, Ruth, in 1980. The couple founded the popular Saco River Festival, held in Cornish every summer. A student of pianist Artur Schnabel, Glazer is one of the few surviving proteges of that great musician. His long career has included numerous recordings, his own television program in the 1950s and countless solo recitals and performances around the world.

The Bates College Concert Series resumes on January 18 with a performance by jazz guitarist Pat Martino.

November’s next student-group performances are by the Bates College Choir, in 8 p.m. concerts Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16. Directed by John Corrie and accompanied by orchestra, the choir sings a cantata from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers of the Confessor.

Glazer returns with a solo recital program at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20. It’s an intriguing mix of music that includes a Schumann fantasy, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Debussy’s Suite Bergmasque and three works by Liszt: Sonnet 104 of Petrarch, the Consolation No. 3 and the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

For more information about music in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall at Bates, please call 207-786-6135.

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