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Schumann at UB

Pianist Robert Levin and violist Kim Kashkashian perform an all-Schumann recital

The distinguished musicologist and pianist Robert Levin will be joined by noted violist Kim Kashkashian for a two day residency, including three public events, at the University of Buffalo on Tuesday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 8, as part of the Slee/Visiting Artists series.

Levin and Kashkashian will perform in Slee Hall on Tuesday, at noon, during the first of the three Brown Bag concert events scheduled for the spring semester. These free, lunchtime events, held on the stage of Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, continue to grow in popularity every semester, which is not surprising, since audience members who are able to attend not only enjoy free coffee, along with their lunch, but they also receive a voucher, redeemable for a pair of tickets to a UB Music Department concert during the following month. The Brown Bag event will present excerpts from selections on the all-Schumann concert (tickets required) that Levin and Kashkashian will present that evening at 7:30pm, in Slee Hall. The following afternoon, Wednesday, at 3:30pm, Kashkashian and Levin will appear next door, in Baird Recital Hall, in a Composer Informance, an event that is free, and open to public observation.

Performing at UB for the first time, Kim Kashkashian is one of the most widely admired violists now performing worldwide and in recent seasons she has appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of New York, Berlin, London, Munich and Tokyo. She has continuing working relationships with noted contemporary composers such as Gubaidulina, Penderecki, Kancheli, Kurtág, Mansurian, Pärt and Eötvös. Kashkashian won the Edison Prize in 1999 and the Cannes Prize for Chamber Music in 2000, and she has also toured and played with many notable artists including Gidon Kremer and Yo-Yo Ma, and she has made guest appearances with the Tokyo, Guarneri, and Galimir Quartets and toured with a unique quartet which included violinists Gidon Kremer and Daniel Phillips and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Robert Levin, who has been a professor of musicology at Harvard University since 1993 is currently the Dwight P. Robinson, Jr. Professor of the Humanities at Harvard. During a previous visit to UB in September of 2008, Levin, along with his wife, who is also a pianist, presented one of the most memorable group of musical events by a visiting artist in recent memory, including his uniquely personal lecture/master class. Levin is renowned as an expert in the music of Mozart, having completed critically acclaimed versions of Mozart’s Requiem and the Great Mass in C minor, as well as being the currently acknowledged leading practitioner attempting to re-create performance practice from the time of the composer, such as improvising cadenzas.

The Tuesday evening program of works by Schumann includes the Adagio and Allegro, Opus 70, the Stuecke im Volkston, Opus 102, the Fantasiestuecke, Opus 73, and the Sonata in d minor, Opus 121.

Advance tickets: $12; UB faculty/staff/alumni & senior citizens $9; students $5. At the door: $20/$15/$8. Slee Hall box office Mon. – Fri. 9am-4pm; Center for the Arts box office Mon-Sat.10am – 6pm, or, at any Ticketmaster outlet. (716) 645-2921

Culture in Cinema hits a triple

Simulcasts of opera productions from the Royal Opera House in London have been, along with those from La Scala in Milan, among the highlights of the Culture in Cinema series at the Amherst Dipson Theatre, so opera lovers are in for a real treat, on Wednesday, February 8 at 6pm, when a new production of Puccini’s Il Trittico is on the bill. Il Trittico, which made its world premier at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City 1918, is a trilogy of three unrelated one-act works: the melodramatic Il Tabarro, the ecstatically beatific Suor Angelica, and the comic Gianni Schicchi. Because of the huge expense involved with staging a complete version of Il Trittico, a tradition evolved of presenting only one, or sometimes two of the works, on a single bill, so it was a major event when the Met finally staged a new, complete version of the work back in 2007. Similarly, while the last full production at the Royal Opera occurred in 1965, the leading director Richard Jones had staged his witty, darkly comic realization of Gianni Schicchi for the Royal Opera in 2007, and here he completes the trio, with the Royal Opera’s music director Antonio Pappano on the podium. Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek appears as the wayward Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, and German soprano Anja Harteros has the title role in Suor Angelica, while soprano Ekaterina Siurina gets to sing the opera’s best known number, the irresistibly lovely aria “O mio babbino caro” in Gianni Schicchi.

The Amherst Theatre (3500 Main Street across from UB South Campus), has been specially upgraded to accommodate the Culture in Cinema series. Please visit:

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