Throughout the 2013-14 academic year, Elmhurst College will celebrate music and dance from an eclectic range of cultures and styles during the Elmhurst College World Music Series;http:// public.elmhurst.edu/music/worldmusicfestival.
This year's theme is "Kontras! Music of Contrasts," and concerts in the series will explore the folk melodies of Russia and the mariachis of Mexico, as well as the music of Japan, Korea, Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa and the United States.
The first concert in the series will feature guitarists Duo Tandem performing music from Latin America and Spain. Duo Tandem's performances have been described as "magical" and praised for their "beautiful articulations, rhythm and timing." The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the Buik Recital Hall in Irion Hall, 190 Prospect Ave. Admission is $15.
Guest artist Pandit Nagaraj Rao Havaldar will perform and conduct a workshop on Hindustani classical music beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Buik Recital Hall. Havaldar spent a semester- long residency on the Elmhurst College campus in 2011, in conjunction with a course taught by Elmhurst music professor Mark Harbold. The public event is free.
The main concert on Saturday, Oct. 26, will feature three world- class artists performing with the Elmhurst Philharmonic Orchestra and Elmhurst College dancers.
Mariachi Real de Jalisco will perform Mexican classics on its own and with full orchestral accompaniment. Cellist and composer Ian Maksin will perform a world premiere solo composition featuring folk music from Russia, as well as Anatoly Liadov's "Eight Russian Folk Songs" with the Elmhurst Philharmonic.
World-class flutist Jennie Oh Brown, who also teaches at Elmhurst College, will present a solo composition of music native to Japan, and will solo with the orchestra in Robert Smith's depiction of the invasion of Inchon Beach during the Korean War.
The concert will conclude with an all-time favorite, inspired by the music of Argentina -- "Blue Tango" by Leroy Anderson, featuring Elmhurst College dancers.
The main World Music Series concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, 190 Prospect Ave. Admission is $12 to $20.
Other concerts in the World Music Series are:
* Guitar Ensemble Concert with guest artist Susan Dennis: The Elmhurst College Guitar Ensemble, led by director Steve Suvada, will perform the music of Spain and Latin America at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Buik Recital Hall.
The concert will feature soprano Susan Dennis, music/artistic director of the Elgin Opera. Admission is $5.
* Percussion Ensemble Brazilian Workshop/Concert with Geraldo de Oliveira: Geraldo de Oliveira started playing percussion professionally at the age of 14 in his hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
He currently is the percussionist for the Lake Side Singers and Andy Tecson's musical productions "The Jazz Passion" and "Bending Towards the Light."
The concert will be on Friday, Nov. 22, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. The workshop begins at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
*Kontras String Quartet Concert: Lauded as a "tightly crafted and beautiful instrument," the Kontras String Quartet is rapidly becoming one of the most vibrant young string quartets on the scene.
The quartet is all the more unique in that its members -- violinists Dmitri Pogorelov and Francois Henkins, violist Ai Ishida, and cellist Jean Hatmaker, an Elmhurst College cello instructor -- hail from four different parts of the world.
Kontras, which means "contrasts" in Henkins' native Afrikaans language, debuted in Chicago after the four musicians met while performing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
The quartet will play music from Japan, Russia, South Africa and the United States in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. Admission is $15.
For information on all of the concerts and to purchase tickets, visit elmhurst.edu/worldmusic;.
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