BOWLING GREEN, O.—The College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University invites the community to “Experience the Top” during the 2013-14 Festival Series. Highlighting performances in a variety of categories, the series features artists who are rising to the top. Series tickets are available now online at the BGSU box office.
The series begins on Sept. 28 in Kobacker Hall, where guests can listen to outstanding young musicians at a live taping of the popular National Public Radio show “From the Top,” hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley, who also performed as a soloist in the 2012 BGSU Festival Series.
What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of more than 700,000 listeners each week, “From the Top” celebrates the performances and stories of America’s best pre-college classical musicians.
“‘From the Top’ gives young musicians the stage but lets them act their age. It’s serious music but classically kids,” said The New York Times.
Continuing the series, guests will experience an extravaganza of BGSU’s top artistic talent on Dec. 6 at a special holiday concert that will be part of the annual ArtsX event. In the first ever such large-scale collaboration, the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, and the departments of theater and film, creative writing, and dance will present an artistic showcase themed “Wonderland.” The concert will include ensembles from the University and community, as well as readings, performances and artistic expressions celebrating the season from students and faculty in theater, film, dance and fine art. This is a holiday event that encompasses all the talents among the arts at BGSU, and will be an evening for all ages.
In the spring of 2014, Festival Series will welcome one of today’s top pianists, Jeremy Denk, performing on Feb. 15. “Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, in whatever combination – both for his penetrating intellectual engagement with the music and for the generosity of his playing,” said the New York Times.
An American pianist with an international reach, Denk has steadily built a reputation as an unusual and compelling artist, with a broad and thought-provoking repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras in the United States and around the world. But beyond that, Denk is also known for his witty and personal music writing, which has appeared in The New Yorker and Newsweek, on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, on the NPR Music website and in his widely read blog.
The Festival Series concludes April 5, 2014, on a comic note with the renowned Improvised Shakespeare Company (ISC). Based on an audience suggestion, the company creates a fully improvised play in Elizabethan style. Each of the players has brushed up on his “thee’s” and “thou’s” to produce evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare. Any hour could be filled with power struggles, star-crossed lovers, sprites, kings, queens, rhyming couplets, insults, persons in disguise and all that we’ve come to expect from the pen of the Great Bard. The night could reveal a tragedy, comedy, or history. Nothing is planned out, rehearsed, or written. Each play is completely improvised, so each play is entirely new.
The Improvised Shakespeare Company, founded in 2005, has been performing its critically acclaimed show every Friday night at the world-famous iO Theater in Chicago and entertains audiences around the globe. It has been named Chicago’s best improvisation group by both the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Examiner and has received a New York Nightlife Award for “Best Comedic Performance by a Group.”
The Festival Series is one of the oldest running performance series at BGSU, and is made possible by the support of the community. Series tickets range from $58-$147 and are available online, or by calling the Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Individual event tickets will be available in August. Visit the Arts Box Office website for specific ticket prices and event times.