Category Archives: events

Pianist Vadym Kholodenko presents Valentine’s Day concert at BGSU

BOWLING GREEN, O—The Bowling Green State University Festival Series presents a Valentine’s Day performance by pianist Vadym Kholodenko, winner of the coveted gold medal at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Feb. 14 in Kobacker Hall in Moore Musical Arts Center.

Kholodenko captured the attention of jury, audience, and critics alike for powerful, exhilarating performances that “showed the guts of a true superartist,” said the San Francisco Classical Voice. He continues to build a reputation for interpretations that are “impeccable, tasteful and vibrant, and also something more: imaginative,” according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The 2014-15 season marks his first year as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s first artistic partner, a three-year collaboration that includes performing and recording the complete Prokofiev piano concertos, to be released by Harmonia Mundi USA. Other highlights of the season include orchestra debuts with seven orchestras in the U.S. and abroad; appearances at the Brevard Music Center and Stars of the White Night Festivals; and solo recitals in Boston, Louisville, Miami and Seattle, plus Rio de Janeiro and throughout Japan, Europe, and Russia. He will perform and record the Grieg “Concerto in A Minor “ and Saint-Saëns “Concerto No. 2” with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, which will join two critically acclaimed discs released since his Van Cliburn Competition win.

The recital program at BGSU includes “Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435” by George Frideric Handel, “Rondo in D Major, K.485” and “Rondo in A Minor, K. 511“ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and “Sonate No. 10 in G Major, op. 14, no. 2” by Ludwig van Beethoven. After intermission, Kholodenko will play Claude Debussy’s “Children’s Corner” and “Images, Book 2,” concluding the performance with Mily Balakire “Islamey’s: Oriental Fantasy.”

Prior to Kholodenko’s performance, Alexa Woloshyn, BGSU music faculty, will give a free pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall about the evening’s music.

In addition to his Festival Series concert, Kholodenko will present a master class at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 13 in Bryan Recital Hall, and will also serve as judge for the final round of the 2015 David D. Dubois Piano Competition beginning at 9 a.m. on Feb. 15.

For tickets for the performance, visit or call 1-419-372-8171.


Guest soloists from Berlin, Pittsburgh to highlight Philharmonia concert

KELLY__RANDY                                     Bendix-Balgley

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Bowling Green Philharmonia will host featured soloists Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Randolph Kelly, principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, on Feb. 7. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at Bowling Green State University. Under the direction of Emily Freeman Brown, the soloists will be featured in Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major for Violin, Viola and Orchestra.”

Recently appointed first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, Bendix-Balgley has appeared internationally as a soloist to great acclaim. In 2011, he became concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where his debut recital in 2012 was named “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has also performed his own version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park.

A laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Bendix-Balgley won the first prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded first prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy.

Kelly has enjoyed a distinguished and multifaceted career as principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he was signed by André Previn in 1976. Previn once wrote that Kelly “transformed his section into what I believe is the best viola section of any orchestra in America.” One highlight of Kelly’s tenure with the orchestra was performing the world premiere of a viola concerto written for him by Samuel Adler, commissioned for the 2000-01 season.

In addition to his orchestral career, Kelly’s virtuosity as a soloist and chamber musician has been celebrated around the world. He has collaborated with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma and Pinchas Zukerman. As a soloist, Kelly has appeared on some of the most prestigious concert stages in the world. He made his European solo début when Lorin Maazel invited him to play the “Walton Concerto” with the National Orchestra of France.

Also featured on the BGSU program is Carl Maria von Weber’s “Overture to Der Freischütz” and Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Weber.”

Advance tickets for the performance are $3 for students and $7 for adults and can be purchased by visiting or by calling 1-419-372-8171. All tickets the day of performance are $10.

President of the Merit School of Music to visit BGSU


BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Dorothy and DuWayne Hansen Musical Arts Series at Bowling Green State University brings educator and music education advocate Duffie Adelson to campus on Jan. 29 and 30.

Duffie Adelson is president of the Merit School of Music, a Chicago community music school nationally renowned for the caliber of instruction and level of financial support it provides to more than 5,000 students annually.

At BGSU, Adelson will visit two music education classes and present a special talk at 2:30 p.m. on January 30 in Bryan Recital Hall in Moore Musical Arts Center. She will speak about community engagement in music education and ways in which students can use their music training in both traditional and non-traditional situations. The event is free and open to the public.

Her visit is the second time recently that BGSU has welcomed representatives from Merit, which is where last fall’s Hansen Series guests the McGill Brothers — Anthony, principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, and Demarre McGill, principal flute of the Dallas Symphony — received their early music instruction.

Adelson joined Merit’s faculty in 1982, was appointed associate director in 1986, became executive director in 1993, and was named president of the School in 2007. Under her leadership, Merit completed a $19.6 million capital campaign, increased its endowment to $11 million, and moved into a state-of-the-art facility with a concert hall, music library, recording studio and 50 classrooms. Merit now provides more than $2 million annually to ensure that motivated students can participate regardless of financial need.

Adelson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University and a Master of Music from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She received a Doctorate of Music Education, honoris causa, from VanderCook College in 2007.

48th Annual BGSU Competition in Music Performance Winners Announced

The 48th Annual BGSU Competitions in Music Performance were held the week of December 8, with finalists competing on Saturday, December 13, 2014 in Kobacker Hall on BGSU’s campus.

Coordinator of the competition, Dr. Nermis said “The judges were impressed with the high quality of performance. It was difficult for them to choose only two winners in each category since it was so clear there were more competitors that deserved to be commended. “

Undergraduate Division Winners included Quincheng Zeng, piano (Wuhan, China) student of Laura Melton, and Chi Him Chik, saxophone, (Hong Kong) student of John Sampen. Honorable Mention was awarded to Elizabeth Ritter, flute, (Ann Arbor, MI) student of Conor Nelson.

Chik Chi Him
Chik Chi Him
Qincheng Zeng
Qincheng Zeng


Elizabeth Catharine Ritter
Elizabeth Catharine Ritter

Graduate Division Winners included Chappy Gibb (not pictured), flute (Stillwater, MN), student of Conor Nelson, and Christopher Murphy, saxophone, student of John Sampen. Honorable Mention was awarded to Gunther own Hirthe, clarinet (Green Bay, WI), student of Kevin Schempf.

Christopher Lawrence Murphy
Christopher Lawrence Murphy
Gunnar Hirthe
Gunnar Hirthe

Composition Division winner was Thomas Beverly (San Antonio, TX)  and the Virginia Marks Collaborative Piano Award was given to Stephanie Titus, piano (Indianola, IA), student of Tom Rosenkranz.

Stephanie Titus
Stephanie Titus
Thomas Beverly
Thomas Beverly


Other graduate finalists included: Jacqueline Berndt, flute; Andrew Kier, clarinet; Danny Milan, piano; and Eun Hae Oh, flute. Undergraduate finalists included Tom Darlington, trumpet; Linda Jenkins, flute; Julia Kuhlman, saxophone; AJ Skojac, clarinet; and Malcolm Thompson, piano.

Judges for the preliminary round included James Westhoff, bassoon, Damon Coleman, cello, David Denniston, horn, Phillip Clark, piano and Carol Dusdieker, soprano. Final round judges included Ellen Breakfield, clarinet, Daniel Thomas, cello, Jonathan Ovalle, percussion, Amy Cheng, piano, Robert Peavler, baritone, and Mathew Fuerst, composer.

Winners will perform at the annual Concerto Concert with the Bowling Green Philharmonia on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. For tickets,


Amahl’s touching tale a tuneful triumph at BGSU

Composer Gian Carlo Menotti plucked the plot for “Amahl and the Night Visitors” from the folk tales of his native Italy.

The old tale is in the tradition of pastoral Christmas settings that gave birth to the Nativity scenes, bringing together Luke’s shepherds and Matthew’s Magi. But the one-act opera is more than a pageant of plaster figures come to life. – David Dupont, Sentinel News Editor

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BGSU presents Christmas opera ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Bowling Green State University Festival Series opens the season of giving with a Christmas opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Presented by the Bowling Green Opera Theater, performances will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 5, and at 4 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts.

Composed by Gian Carlo Menotti, the opera is the touching story of Amahl, a poor shepherd boy with a crippled leg, who has an encounter with the three kings who are on their way to visit the newborn Jesus. During their visit, Amahl’s mother is at first tempted to steal the kings’ gold, but her impulse is later tempered into desire to meet this special baby. Amahl offers his crutch as a gift and experiences the miraculous healing of his crippled leg. The opera has captured audiences since Christmas Eve 1951, when it was first broadcast on NBC-TV. Its story line and shorter length make it appropriate for young children.

“With the shepherd’s lilting madrigal, the Kings’ magisterial music, the Mother’s soulful aria, and Amahl’s joyous songs, this opera certainly has something for everyone,” said Kevin Bylsma, BGSU College of Musical Arts faculty member, who prepared the vocalists.

Menotti said of the work, “This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see, when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus … Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead. To these Three Kings I mainly owe the happy Christmas seasons of my childhood, and I should have remained very grateful to them … But in 1951 I found myself in serious difficulty. I had been commissioned by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) to write an opera for television, with Christmas as a deadline, and I simply didn’t have one idea in my head. One November afternoon as I was walking rather gloomily through the rooms of the Metropolitan Museum, I chanced to stop in front of the ‘Adoration of the Kings’ by Hieronymus Bosch, and as I was looking at it, I then realized they had come back to me and had brought me a gift.”

That gift has delighted audiences ever since.

With stage direction by Geoff Stephensen, musical preparation by Bylsma and conducting by Emily Freeman Brown, the cast features Jennifer Cresswell as the Mother, Bethany Post and Maddie Russin alternating as Amahl, Tyler Dohar as King Kaspar, Richard Channell as King Melchior, Dean Moore as King Balthazar, Zach Shoot as The Page, and a chorus of shepherds including a dancing boy and girl. Set and lighting design are by Keith Hofacker, choreography by Tammy Metz Starr and stage-managing by Desiree Johnson.

Patrons attending Saturday afternoon’s performance are invited to stay afterwards for the 10th annual Arts X beginning at 5 p.m. in the Wolfe Center and Fine Arts Building. ArtsX is a free event open to the public and offers interactive activities for all ages including art sales, ceramic, glass and jewelry demonstrations, improv ensembles, musical performances, Austrian-born artist Erwin Redl’s LED art installation in the Wolfe Center foyer and a team of aerial acrobats led by Erin Pearson-Garber, among others. Visit for a complete schedule.

Tickets are $15 for the public and $5 for BGSU students and can be purchased online at or by calling the Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171.