OSWEGO — Seven years ago, the Ying Quartet performed the first program of the new Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series at SUNY Oswego.
The renowned ensemble returns to launch another varied season when it performs in the Sheldon Hall ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Over the intervening years, both the Ying Quartet and the music department’s and Artswego’s Ke-Nekt series have grown in reputation.
“It’s an incredible series of concerts,” said Trevor Jorgensen, assistant professor of music. “Students and the community are fortunate to experience these exceptional musicians without traveling to major music venues.”
Following a pattern established in the premiere season, each of the five chamber ensembles to perform this year will be hosted by a member of the music faculty. At 7 p.m. preceding each concert, the local host will lead a half-hour talk with the artists, building engagement between the musicians and campus-community audience.
Jorgensen will host the Ying Quartet and lend his woodwinds expertise for a performance of Brahms’ “Clarinet Quintet in B Minor,” Opus 115.
While the artistry and innovative music-making of the Ying Quartet, based at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, are well known in Central New York, this year’s appearance in Oswego introduces gifted first-violinist Ayano Ninomiya. A top prizewinner in the 2003 Naumburg Competition and the 2006 Tibor Varga Competition, she has built a significant career of recital, concerto, music festival and chamber music appearances. The Ying Quartet program will showcase the newly configured ensemble in works by Mozart and Bartok.
In November, the Ke-Nekt series builds musical momentum with the first Oswego visit by the Hyperion String Quartet. Based in Saratoga Springs, this young ensemble will be hosted by associate professor and pianist Robert Auler at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30. Repertoire for the evening will include Franck’s “Piano Quintet in F Minor” and the Shostakovich “Piano Quintet in G Minor,” Opus 57.
The Aulos Ensemble will appear at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, appealing to lovers of period music. Formed in 1973 by five graduates of the Juilliard School, the group was at the forefront of the movement to give performances with original instruments. The five performers of authentic baroque music are hosted and joined by Todd Graber, SUNY Oswego music department chair and tenor.
The spirit of musical connection comes to the fore at 7:30 p.m. March 21 when associate professor Juan Francisco La Manna hosts Cuarteto Latinoamericano, known worldwide as the leading proponent of Latin American music for string quartet, La Manna said.
“We met in school, at Indiana University,” said La Manna, who worked for several years to arrange this musical reunion. He will accompany the ensemble in “Divertimento” by Gonzalo Castellanos Yumar, another of La Manna’s professional acquaintances, who served as conductor of the National Symphony of Venezuela during La Manna’s time there. Additional selections will feature composers of Mexico and Brazil — including the inventive “String Quartet #5” of Villa-Lobos.
Assistant professor Eric Schmitz and the members of the popular Oswego Jazz Project will welcome bassist Rufus Reid in concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18. A Fulbright winner in composition and a dedicated jazz educator, Reid brings a touch of the New York City jazz scene to Central New York.
Additional information on Ke-Nekt concerts and other arts events at SUNY Oswego are available at www.oswego.edu/arts. Tickets may be purchased at SUNY Oswego box office locations, by phone at 312-2141 or online at http://tickets.oswego.edu. Parking is free in campus lots for those attending Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series concerts.