Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA to present world-class musicians in 'French Focus' concert

October 6, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Four world-class musicians who comprise the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will present an evening of French music at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the Stephen F. Austin State University's 2009-2010 "Ovation Season."

The "French Focus" concert features works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Olivier Messiaen. The Chamber Music Society's acclaimed performers include pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ani Kavafian, cellist Nicolas Alstaedt and clarinetist David Shifrin.

McDermott and Kavafian will open the concert with Debussy's Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Shifrin will then join McDermott to perform Debussy's "Première Rhapsodie" for Clarinet and Piano.

Kavafian and Alstaedt will close the first half of the program with Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello, a piece the composer believed marked "a turning point" in his career.

The second half of the program will be devoted to Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, which was premiered by the composer and three others while they were being held in a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. It is generally regarded as one of the landmark compositions of the 20th century.

Now in its 40th season, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents chamber music of every instrumentation, style, and historical period in its extensive concert season in Alice Tully Hall in New York, its national tours and its many recordings and national radio broadcasts.

The "French Focus" concert is part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 2009-2010 tour that features four different concert programs and stops in cities such as Vancouver, British Columbia; Santa Monica, Calif.; Boston; and Phoenix. Visit www.chambermusicsociety.org to learn more about the society and its music.

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and University Series.

Tickets to the concert range from $35 to $17.50, with discounts available for seniors, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

Prior to the performance, Dr. Christopher Ayer, SFA associate professor of clarinet, will give a brief lecture about the concert at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited to return to the gallery after the performance for a reception honoring the artists and the event's corporate sponsor, Point A Media.

W.M. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr. on the SFA campus.