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Concerts and Events

The award winning Aizuri Quartet - Sunday, October 6 at 3pm. Photo credit: Shervin Lainez. 

All concerts are free and open to the public.

The Music Department at Vassar College welcomes you to its Fall 2019 series of concerts at Belle Skinner Hall of Music. We are delighted to continue Vassar’s tradition of great music by offering a rich variety of performances by guest artists, faculty, and students.

We are proud to welcome several outstanding guest artists to the Recital Hall stage this semester including residency programs with guest artists Luis Perdomo and the Controlling Ear Unit, Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players, Aizuri Quartet, and Taylor Ackley and The Deep Roots Ensemble.

We also look forward to numerous senior recitals and concerts by students in the Vassar College Orchestra, Chamber Music Program, Choir, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Singers, Jazz Ensemble & Combos, and Women’s Chorus.

Whether you are a member of the Vassar community, or a resident of the area, we cordially invite you to this free concert series. We hope you will join us often!

Fall 2019

September 2019
Mon, Sep 2, 7:30pm Welcome Concert for the Class of 2023

Presented by members of the music department faculty: Gail Archer, organ, Trevor Babb, guitar, Anna Elashvili, violin, James Osborn, trumpet, and Thomas Sauer, piano.

Fri, Sep 6 Master Class: Luis Perdomo
Pianist Luis Perdomo leads a master class with students from the department.
Fri, Sep 6, 8:00pm Guest Artists: Luis Perdomo and The Controlling Ear Unit

Luis Perdomo, piano, is joined by Mimi Jones on bass, and Mark Whitfield, Jr. on drums.The Village Voice praises Venezuelan-born pianist Luis Perdomo as “a rather amazing improviser...making a name for himself by feverishly assaulting the progressive edge of mainstream.” Perdomo studied both classical and jazz piano and is featured on over 120 recordings. The concert will feature original compositions and jazz standards. A Barbara Woods Morgan Event.


Fri, Sep 13, 8:00pm Faculty & Guest Recital: Christopher Brellochs, saxophone with Allison Brewster Franzetti and The New Hudson Saxophone Quartet

Faculty member Dr. Christopher Brellochs presents original repertoire for the saxophone in solo and chamber configurations spanning 149 years. Featuring a virtuosic composition by former Vassar faculty member Clair Leonard (1933-47), Dr. Brellochs is joined by multiple Grammy® Nominated pianist, and longtime collaborator, Allison Brewster Franzetti, as well as the acclaimed New Hudson Saxophone Quartet which he joined in 2017.

Sat, Sep 14, 8:00pm Faculty Recital: Thomas Sauer, piano, performs J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Bach’s Goldberg Variations present a unique combination of virtuosity, lyricism, and compositional complexity.  Mr. Sauer will give a verbal introduction to this fascinating, universalizing work beginning at 8:00, followed by a performance of Bach’s Aria with 30 Variations.

Sun, Sep 22, 3:00pm Honoring the life of Michael V. Pisani

Join us to celebrate the remarkable life of Michael V. Pisani through music and stories.

Reception to follow in the Bridge Building. All are welcome to attend.

Sun, Sep 29, 3:00pm Faculty Recital: Yenne Lee, guitar
Known for her sensitive playing, award-winning guitarist Yenne Lee will present classical pieces including Asturias by Albéniz, selections from Canciones populares Catalanas arranged by Llobet, and Manhã de Carnaval by Bonfá, as well as her own arrangements of popular melodies and jazz standards including “One-note-Samba,” “Over the Moon,” and “Autumn Leaves.”
October 2019
Fri, Oct 4 Master Class: Tempesta di Mare
Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players lead a master class with students from the department
Fri, Oct 4, 8:00pm Guest Artists: Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players present: A Tale of Two Italian Cities

The trove of instrumental fare served up by baroque Venice and Naples, the north and south poles of Italian opera, embodied the characters of the two cities as much as their renowned opera seasons. From Naples, the witty Renaissance music of Andrea Falconieri, that pays homage to that kingdom’s ties to Spain, while Francesco Mancini’s and Alessandro Scarlatti’s quartets for recorder and strings epitomize a Neapolitan obsession with music as architecture. From Venice, Dario Castello ’s Sonate concertante translate the emotion-driven esthetic of Venetian opera into an instrumental idiom, a move furthered by Giovanni Legrenzi in his sonatas from La Cetra, and in the next century by Antonio Vivaldi with his reinvention of the concerto.

A Dickinson-Kayden Event.
Sat, Oct 5 Master Class: Aizuri Quartet
Ariana Kim and Miho Saegusa, violin, Ayane Kozasa, viola, Karen Ouzounian, cello, lead a master class with students from the department.
Sun, Oct 6, 3:00pm Guest Artists: Aizuri Quartet

Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, branded by The New York Times as “genuinely exciting” and “imaginative,” the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past. This afternoon’s program features: Gabriella Smith’s Carrot Revolution which was written for the Aizuri Quartet in 2015, Haydn’s String Quartet in B Minor Op. 64 No. 2; Komitas’ Armenian Folk Songs, and Sibelius’ String Quartet in D Minor Op. 56, “Voces Intimae.”

A Jane Prouty Smith ‘32 Event.

Sat, Oct 12, 8:00pm Vassar College Orchestra
Eduardo Navega, conductor.
Sun, Oct 13, 3:00pm Faculty & Guest Recital: Milica Jelača Jovanović and Marija Ilić, pianos
Piano duo Milica Jelača Jovanović and Marija Ilić will present a varied program spanning four centuries, from polyphonic music to ragtime dances, featuring compositions by J. S. Bach, Schumann, Ligeti, Bolcom, and Vrebalov.
Sun, Oct 27, 1:00pm Stand Together!
A collaborative performance featuring the Concert Choir of Children's Chorus of Maryland, Susan Bialek, conductor, and Cappella Festiva Treble Choir and Cor Capriccio Children’s Choir, Matthew Zydel, conductor, and Elizabeth Clifton, conductor.
Wed, Oct 30, 3:00pm Master Class: Munich Philharmonic String Quartet
Bernhard Metz and Clement Courtin, violin, Konstantin Sellheim, viola, and Manuel von der Nahmer, violoncello, lead a master class with students from the department.
November 2019
Sat, Nov 2 Master Class: Taylor Ackley and The Deep Roots Ensemble
Faculty member Joseph Sferra and guests lead a master class with students from the department.
Sat, Nov 2, 8:00pm Faculty & Guest Recital: Taylor Ackley and The Deep Roots Ensemble
Performing on clarinet, mandoline, and voice, faculty member Joseph Sferra performs as part of The Deep Roots Ensemble, a chamber music group that focuses on studying and performing Traditional American Music. Formed in 2015 by Taylor Ackley and Alison Rowe, their goal is bringing this rich tradition of music making into concert halls and academic settings.
Sun, Nov 3, 3:00pm Faculty Recital: “Now am I yours”: a Spanish, Portuguese, and Latino Songbook
Courtenay Budd, soprano, Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano, and Miriam Charney, piano, present a recital of songs and duets exploring Spanish and Portuguese influences in song, from the  middle ages to the present, to be drawn from German Lieder, French Mélodies, Galician Cantigas, traditional Ladino songs, contemporary Spanish settings by American composers, Spanish Canciones, and Argentine tangos.
Sat, Nov 9, 1:00pm Senior Recital: Hanwen Zhang, piano
Featuring works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Schumann.
Sat, Nov 9, 8:00pm Vassar College Women’s Chorus
Ronald Bemrich, conductor
Sun, Nov 10, 3:00pm Vassar College & Community Wind Ensemble
James Osborn, conductor.
Sat, Nov 16, 8:00pm Vassar College Choir
Eduardo Navega, conductor.
Sun, Nov 17, 3:00pm Faculty Recital: House of Strings: A Harper’s Journey Through Scotland
James Ruff, Tenor, Early Gaelic Harp Singer, and Historical Harper presents a collage of early music for harp and voice from Gaelic Scotland, recreating the 17th-century world of the historic harper-bards.  Rarely heard intimate chamber pieces from a Hebridean harp manuscript, stately formal laments commemorating great clan chieftains, poetic and musical invocations of the famed Keppoch murders, and more. The evocative sound of the early Gaelic wire harp couples brilliantly with the ancient beauty of Gaelic poetry.
Sat, Nov 23, 8:00pm Faculty & Guest Recital: Music for Six Trombones
Original and arranged compositions for solo trombone through a six trombone ensemble featuring principal players from the New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Broadway. Faculty member Paul Bellino, tenor and alto trombone, Brad Ward, tenor and bass trombone, Jack Schatz, bass trombone, Brian Santero, tenor trombone, Nick Schwartz, bass and contrabass trombone, Tom Hutchinson, tenor and alto trombone.
Sun, Nov 24, 3:00pm Vassar College Chamber Singers: American Spirit

Songs of spiritual praise from early colonial to modern America, by Billings, Thompson, Dawson and others.  

Drew Minter, conductor.
December 2019
Vassar College Chamber Music Program
Eduardo Navega, director.
Vassar College Jazz Ensembles & Jazz Combos
James Osborn, director.
Sat, Dec 7, 8:00pm Vassar College Orchestra
Eduardo Navega, conductor.
Sun, Dec 8, 7:00pm Lessons & Carols
This annual Advent service includes readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols that culminates in a stunning candle lighting ceremony. Featuring the Vassar College Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women's Chorus, and Cappella Festiva Chamber and Treble Choir. Ronald Bemrich, Christine Howlett, Drew Minter, Eduardo Navega, and Matt Zydel, conductors. Sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Vassar College Music Department.
Thursdays, October 30, and November 6, 13, 20 at 12pm Music on the Bridge

Join us for our 20-30 minute lunchtime recital series by members of the Vassar College Chamber Music Program.

At the Bridge Café in the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences building.

All events not otherwise noted take place in Skinner Hall of Music and are free and open to the public. Programs are subject to change. For further information and up-to-date details on all Vassar College Department of Music concerts, please call (845) 437-7294. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Latecomers will be seated at the performers’ discretion. All audience members are to be seated. Food and beverages are not permitted in the Recital Hall. All electronic devices must be silenced during performances.