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Pelletier to be horn soloist in Illinois

Andrew Pelletier, Associate Professor of Horn, will be the Featured Artist for this year’s Western Illinois Horn Festival, at Western Illinois University in Macomb. He will present a masterclass, be part of panel discussion on performance practices, and will perform a recital as part of the festival. This year is the 10th anniversary of this festival, and Dr. Pelletier was also the very first Featured Artist. For more information:

BGSU Opera Gala launches new Wolfe Center for the Arts

Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts presents an Opera Gala as the first musical performance in the newly opened Wolfe Center for the Arts. The program begins at 8 p.m. on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 in the Thomas and Kathleen Donnell Theatre.

The evening will feature solo arias, duets, quartets, quintets and overtures to some of world’s greatest operas including Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Magic Flute,” Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” Bizet’s “Carmen,” Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” and Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”

In a showcase of student and faculty talent, the program features the Bowling Green Philharmonia, University Choral Society, Collegiate Chorale, Men’s and Women’s choruses, and faculty soloists including Christopher Scholl, Doug Wayland, Jane Rodgers, Sean Cooper, Sujin Lee, Ann Corrigan, Ellen Scholl, Lance Ashmore and Jennifer Cooper.

Special commentary and narration will be provided by WGTE-FM Program Manager and Music Director Brad Cresswell. Radio audiences may recognize him as the host of “Afternoon Classics,” “Live from FM 91” and “WGTE in Concert.”

The Wolfe Center for the Arts, a distinctive structure built to advance collaboration across the arts at BGSU, opened its doors in December 2011. Designed by international award-winning architects Snøhetta of Oslo, Norway, the $41 million, 93,000 square-foot building serves as the home for the Department of Theatre and Film and supports instructional and creative activities by the College of Musical Arts and the School of Art.

General admission tickets are $10 and available by calling the college box office at 419-372-8171 or by emailing Tickets also will be available at the door. Seating is limited. Media sponsorship by WGTE Public Media.

Jazzed about the Grammys

A Bowling Green State University music faculty member has a hand in a 2012 Grammy-nominated album.

David Bixler, an assistant professor of jazz studies, arranged one of the songs on the album “40 Acres and a Burro” by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. The album is a contender in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category.

Bixler’s contribution to the album is an arrangement of the traditional Irish song “She Moves Through the Fair.” On the album jacket Bixler is called an “amazing composer, saxophonist. … It is not a stretch that this arrangement of a traditional Irish air is on our record. We believe the music we call jazz belongs to the planet and that beauty knows no borders or genres.” Additionally, Bixler’s arrangement, which starts with a violin solo by his wife, Heather Martin Bixler, is described as “achingly beautiful.” It is the tale of a man whose wife tragically dies and he is constantly seeing her ghost, Bixler explained.

He has been a part of this musical genre for many years, performing with Arturo O’Farrill’s bands and with O’Farrill’s father, the legendary composer and musician Chico O’Farrill.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” Bixler said about the album and the Grammy nomination. This is the first year Latin jazz is not a separate category at the Grammy Awards; however, Bixler said the upside is that for the first time this genre of music moves into a mainstream category that is announced during the actual ceremony.

Bixler has also been part of another Grammy nomination. He played saxophone on Bobby Sanabria’s “Big Band Urban Folktales” album, which was up for Best Latin Jazz Recording in 2007.

Bixler joined the BGSU jazz studies faculty in 2008. He graduated from Indiana University in music performance, and after deciding he wanted to teach, he went on to receive a master’s degree in composition from Montclair (N.J.) State University.

The telecast of the Grammy Awards ceremony is at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 on CBS.

Pianist Christopher O’Riley of NPR performs on BGSU Festival Series

Musical boundary-crossing pianist Christopher O’Riley will give a solo performance as the next artist in Bowling Green State University’s Festival Series. Hosted by the College of Musical Arts, his concert begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Since the triumphant release in 2003 of “True Love Waits,” O’Riley’s reimagining of works by such performers as Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake have garnered critical accolades and international acclaim, including the only four-star review ever given by Rolling Stone magazine to a classical pianist.

His latest White Tie Classics/Mesa-BlueMoon release, “Out Of My Hands,” includes music of R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Bad Plus, The Smiths and Tears for Fears, as well as material from Radiohead and a newly released song by Elliott Smith.

As host of the popular NPR music program “From the Top,” O’Riley is well known for his eloquent and compelling musings on music and popular culture. His most recent performances stretch the piano beyond the classical repertoire and into the rich, uncharted territory of contemporary and alt-rock. Announcing the program from the stage allows him to share musical discoveries, letting the music flow seamlessly from one genre to another, from the familiar to the fresh.

O’Riley is recognized as one of the leading American pianists of his generation, touring extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician and appearing with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. The illustrious group of conductors with whom he has collaborated includes Michael Tilson Thomas, Semyon Bychkov, JoAnn Falletta, Krystof Penderecki, Kurt Mazur, Christopher Hogwood and Leonard Bernstein.

O’Riley’s visit will also include a master class for BGSU piano students and his serving as a judge for the final round of the David D. Dubois Piano Competition for talented high school students.

For tickets, call the College of Musical Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or email

Dubois Semi-Finalists Announced for 2012

The 2012 Dubois Semi-Finalists are:

Ningjialu Liu
Demi Fang
Michael Lenahan
Cindy Zhao
Vanessa Haynes
Yuanzhe Zhong
Bryan Ho
JiaKung Victor Feng
Arata Kaku
Joseph Vaz
Vivian Anderson
Megan Lee
David Belkovski
Zi Yi Yang
Jeffery Huang
Cathy Li
Meiling Lin
Phoebe Pan
Grace Yi
Albert Wang
Miguel Morrissey