PITTSBURG, Kan. — Musical artists from around the world are heading to Pittsburg this year as part of the long-running annual Solo & Chamber Music Series, bringing unique listening opportunities to Pitt State students, staff, and faculty, and the general public. Music Department Chair Susan Marchant chose a trending name for the season: AI.
“A reference to Artificial Intelligence, you’re thinking? No! This is about Artistic Intelligence, which will be on brilliant display this season,” said Marchant. “This year’s slate of gifted artists will bring truly exceptional performances to our stage.”
Tickets are on sale now for the concerts, each of which will be performed in McCray Hall’s Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall and will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Bak, viola
Award-winning Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak will be at PSU on Friday, Sept. 8. Bak has achieved international acclaim as a trailblazing artist, praised for his radiant stage presence, dynamic interpretations, and fearless power.
Critics have described him as “an exciting new voice in Classical performance” (I Care If You Listen), “a powerhouse musician, with a strong voice and compelling sound” (The Whole Note) and lauded his “haunting lyrical grace” (Gramophone).
The 2021 YCAT Robey Artist and a top laureate of the 2020 Sphinx Competition, Bak is also a Grand Prize winner and Audience Prize recipient of the 2019 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, the recipient of the 2019 Samuel Sanders Tel Aviv Museum Prize and the 2019 John White Special Prize from the Tertis International Viola Competition.
Other recent accolades include being named one of ClassicFM's "30 Under 30" Rising Stars, Musical America’s New Artist of the Month and being a featured artist for WQXR’s inaugural Artist Propulsion Lab.
On Friday, Oct. 13, Quintet Attacca will make its way to PSU. Founded in 1999, Quintet Attacca is one of Chicago's most dynamic chamber music ensembles. Grand Prize Winner and Wind Division Gold Medal Winner of the 2002 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the quintet spent 2006 through 2009 as the Chicago Chamber Musicians' Professional Development Program Ensemble.
The artists are dedicated to bringing the unique sound of the wind quintet to all types of audiences: from Italy (at the 2003 Emilia Romagne Festival) to New York (at the Schneider Concerts Series at the New School) to concert halls all over Chicagoland as well as many live broadcasts on WFMT.
Priding itself on its innovative programming, Quintet Attacca enjoys presenting concerts that are both accessible and cutting-edge. Programs have included works that reflect the Classical and Romantic eras, as well as jazz and Latin influenced works and pieces by many of today’s leading composers.
The Gesualdo Six and Owain Park, Director
The Gesualdo Six is a British vocal ensemble comprising some of the United Kingdom’s finest consort singers, directed by Owain Park. They will be at PSU on Friday, Nov. 10. Praised for their imaginative programming and impeccable blend, the ensemble formed in 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories in Cambridge and has gone on to perform at numerous major festivals across UK, Europe, Canada and Australia.
Videos of the ensemble performing a diverse selection of works filmed in Ely Cathedral have been watched by millions online.
The group released their debut recording English Motets on Hyperion Records in early 2018 to critical acclaim, followed by a festive album of seasonal favorites in late 2019, Christmas. G6’s latest recording is an album of compline-themed music titled Fading.
Paul Galbraith, guitar
Guitarist Paul Galbraith will perform at PSU on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.
Galbraith's recording of the Complete Bach Violin Sonatas and Partitas (Delos) was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Solo Instrumental Album. This 2-CD set was also chosen as one of the two best CDs of 1998 by Gramophone Magazine, which called it "a landmark in the history of guitar recordings."
His unique playing position was first revealed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1989. His guitar is supported by a metal endpin, similar to that of a cello. It has two extra strings, one high, one low. Both the guitar's extraordinary design and Galbraith's playing style are considered groundbreaking developments in the history of the instrument, increasing its range to an unprecedented extent.
Having lived and performed on a number of continents, he currently teaches at the Musik-Akademie Basel in Switzerland.
Thomas Rosenkranz, piano
Thomas Rosenkranz is a classical pianist who defies conventional norms in his career. He will be at PSU on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024.
With exceptional command over both traditional repertoire and contemporary music, as well as improvisation, Rosenkranz has established himself as one of the most innovative pianists of his generation. He first gained national recognition by being awarded the Classical Fellowship from the American Pianists Association in 2003. Since then, he has performed at prestigious festivals worldwide.
Beyond his musical achievements, he is a passionate advocate for artistic collaboration and diplomacy. As a Cultural Ambassador for the United States Department of State, he has fostered cultural exchange and promoted diplomacy through captivating performances in the Middle East and North Africa.
Currently serving as Professor of Piano at the UMKC Conservatory, he is also an honorary guest professor at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China.
Described as “exceptional ambassadors for classical music” and “innovative programmers,” Chicago-based Axiom Brass designs concert experiences for audiences that stretch the imagination and expand sensibilities, and they will bring that experience to PSU on Friday, April 12, 2024.
Their concert programs regularly pair original works by composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, George Walker, and Joan Tower with early musical translations by Barbara Strozzi, Claudia Francesca Rusca, Leonora Duarte, and rousing tangos by Astor Piazzolla.
The only brass ensemble to ever win the Fischoff Educator Award, their interactive teaching style has led to residencies at the Grand Tetons Music Festival and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, as well as being featured as ensemble-in-residence for the National Brass Symposium.
For this performance, the ensemble will present Love, Mystery and Despair, a program that explores the vast wealth of musical idioms from Latin origins.
Tickets are free to full-time PSU students with valid student ID; $10 for youth under 18 and those over 65; and $15 for the general public. Season packages also are available.
Tickets can be purchased in the following ways:
•in person at the PSU Ticket Office, Room 107 in the Garfield Weede Building, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
•by calling the Ticket Office at 620-235-4796
•online at www.pittstate.edu/tickets
Tickets may also be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to each concert, based on availability.