Published: March 4, 2014

College of Music presents 14th annual chamber music festival

Contact(s): Kathleen Adams College of Music office: (517) 353-9958

The MSU College of Music presents its 14th annual Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival March 17, 19, 20, 21 and 23.

The festival, which will feature the music of Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Schumann, Brahms and three world premieres by Vache Sharafyan, will include two days celebrating the music of Johann Sebastian Bach on March 20 and on March 21, including "Bach and Forth," a crossover concert featuring works by Bach and many different styles.

More than 15 faculty artists and guest artists will perform during the five-day festival along with 50 student musicians. All seven of the concerts will be held in the recently renovated Fairchild Theatre in MSU’s Auditorium. Cello Plus is part of the Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series.

The concert information is as follows:

March 17
7:30 p.m.
Russian Gems
Program includes Alexander Glazunov’s String Quintet Op. 39 in A major and Peter Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio Op. 50 in A minor, and features faculty artists Suren Bagratuni, cello; Dmitri Berlinsky, violin; Yuri Gandelsman, viola; and Minsoo Sohn, piano; and guest artists Marta Bagratuni, cello; and I-Pei Lin, violin. The concert is sponsored by Martin Fuchs; Jerry Schuur and Elaine Karle.

March 19
7:30 p.m.
A Composer and His Music (Vache Sharafyan)
Program includes three world premieres by Sharafyan – Breath of Cello; Trio for Saxophone, Cello, and Piano; Cello Concerto No. 2 – as well as Sharafyan’s newly written piano pieces performed by the composer himself; “Amen, Holy Father” for Two Cellos and Voice; and “A Gem Rose.” This concert features faculty artists Suren Bagratuni, cello; James Forger, saxophone, and Deborah Moriarty, piano; and guest artists Sharafyan, piano; Ruggero Allifranchini, violin; Randolph Kelly, viola; Marta Bagratuni, cello and voice; and professor emeritus Leon Gregorian, conducting the festival ensemble. The concert is sponsored by Greg and Pam Zbasnik.

March 20
5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. 
Bach Plus Day 1
Featured performers include faculty artists Suren Bagratuni, cello; Walter Verdehr, violin; Michael Callahan, harpsichord; Yuri Gandelsman, viola; Richard Sherman, flute; and the State Singers. Program for the free 5 p.m. concert includes the Cantata No. 130; Suite in C major, BWV 1009: Trio Sonata and Canon Perpetuus; and Suite in C minor, BWV 1011. The 7:30 p.m. concert includes Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, and works by Bach, Couperin, and Ravel, and features faculty artists Suren Bagratuni, cello; Yuri Gandelsman, viola; and Ralph Votapek, piano; and guest artist Marta Bagratuni, cello. The concerts are sponsored by Joanne and Bill Church.

March 21
5 p.m., 8 p.m.
Bach Plus Day 2
Program for the free 5 p.m. concert includes works by Bach and concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Program for the 8 p.m. concert, Bach and Forth, includes a one-man piano performance by guest artist Stephen Prutsman – a crossover program including works by Bach and many different genres (classical, rock, country, traditional, and gospel). The concerts are sponsored by Joanne and Bill Church; April Clobes and Glen Brough.

March 23
3 p.m.
Chamber Music Favorites
Featured performers include faculty artist Suren Bagratuni, cello; and guest artists Ruggero Allifranchini violin; Randolph Kelly, viola; and Stephen Prutsman, piano. Program includes Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47, by Robert Schumann, and Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60 by Johannes Brahms. The concert is sponsored by Larry Snyder and Wendy Champness.

Tickets for each concert are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, $5 for students and those under 18, and can be purchased at the door 30 minutes before each performance, or online at For more information about tickets, call (517) 353-5340. Admission is free to all concertgoers for the two performances at 5 p.m. on March 20 and March 21.

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