Spring Faculty Artist Series Begins Saturday

Posted: January 24, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

This spring, Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Department of Music present the Faculty Artist Series, showcasing the extraordinary musical talents of Mason’s Music Department faculty members.

Richard Novak
Tenor Richard Novak will lead off the Faculty Artist Series on Saturday, Jan. 26.

These prominent musicians not only provide exceptional training to Mason students, but are also professional performers who have appeared with the finest symphonies and orchestras around the globe.

The series provides a rare opportunity for the Mason community to experience these remarkable artists practicing their craft. All of the performances are free and will be held in Harris Theater on the Fairfax Campus. Tickets are not required.

“It is exciting to hear faculty, who are extraordinary teachers, perform at such a high level,” explains James Gardner, chair of the Music Department. “Performance is their passion, and these individuals are known nationally and internationally for their artistry. It is an honor to present them here at George Mason University.”

The first performance of the semester is by tenor and vocal studies instructor Richard Novak on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. Novak has performed with the Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, the Living Opera, San Antonio Symphony and Monroe Symphony, and is currently completing a doctor in musical arts in vocal performance degree at the University of North Texas.

The George Mason University Faculty Trio, composed of Kelly Ker-Hackleman, Peter Haase and Loran Stephenson, will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m.

An accomplished chamber musician and accompanist, Ker-Hackleman was a founding member of the Peabody Trio in Memphis and serves as a principal pianist for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. She has won or placed in numerous solo piano competitions, most notably the National Masters Piano Competition and the International Beethoven Sonata Competition.

Juillard-trained violinist Peter Haase was a member of the Atlanta Symphony before joining the National Symphony Orchestra in 1984. He was the bronze medal winner in the 1971 International Beethoven Competition. He has performed with orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Germany.

Cellist Loran Stephenson has been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra since 1973 and has many professional appearances in Washington, D.C., as a chamber music performer and a solo artist to his credit.

Dale Underwood, considered one of the foremost classical saxophonists of our time, will perform on Tuesday, March 4, at 8 p.m. Underwood, who teaches applied saxophone at Mason, is the former saxophone soloist with the U.S. Navy Band. He has toured extensively as a soloist with leading orchestras both in the United States and abroad. As a recording artist, he has amassed a prolific discography of classical and contemporary works, and he has had more than 30 original works written especially for him by other artists.

Glenn Smith
Glenn Smith, a music theory and composition instructor, is one of the music faculty members featured in recital this spring. He will present a selection of his original compositions in March.
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Glenn Smith, a music theory and composition instructor, will present a selection of his original compositions on Friday, March 21, at 8 p.m. A composer and performance artist, Smith has written more than 400 pieces, including choral, chamber and orchestral works, as well as jazz and electronic music for concert, dance, video, film and television. He has received numerous commissions from ensembles, institutions and individual artists, and has had performances on National Public Radio and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress.

The Thomas Brawley Memorial Chamber Concert will take place on March 30 at 3 p.m. Featuring faculty and students, this special commemoration will pay tribute to the long-time music faculty member who passed away in 2001. Chamber music was Brawley’s passion, and this concert has become part of an annual Music Department tradition.

The final performance of the season will be pianist Anna Balakerskaia and Friends, on April 20 at 7 p.m. Balakerskaia, a private music instructor in piano, has recorded with national and international artists and teaches at the international summer music festivals in Holland, Germany, Italy and Russia.

For more information, contact the Music Department at 703-993-1380 or music@gmu.edu.

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