Avanti Wind Quintet to perform Nov. 16

November 9, 2004

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The Avanti Wind Quintet, a faculty ensemble from the Department of Music and Dance, will perform Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

The quintet’s program includes “Divertimento,” by Gideon Klein. In the late 1930s Klein was a devoted student of musicology, piano, and composition at the University of Prague whose studies were interrupted by the German occupation that closed Czech universities and colleges. In 1944, Klein was sent to Terezinstadt, used by the Nazis as a "model" concentration camp where the arts were allowed to flourish. While there he helped organize cultural life and devoted much of his time to composing vocal and chamber works. He was later deported to Auschwitz and then to Furstenrube where he died in 1945.

Klein composed the four movements of “Divertimento” between June 1939 and March 1940, but it was not discovered until 1990. The score, written in pencil, was hard to read in places, lacked dynamics and was unfinished. In order to play the music, performers have had to reconstruct several sections.

The Avanti also has chosen to perform a work by another lesser-known composer, Florent Schmitt (1870-1958). This French composer, who studied with Cisar Franck and Gabriel Fauri, was an interesting figure who spent time defending the music of his era, was the recipient of many honors (including the Prix de Rome and the presidency of the Sociiti Nationale de Musique), and was considered, in his time, an equal of Ravel. Yet, he had a rather quirky way of life (He would often disappear from France and make extended trips throughout Europe.) and was known for his anti-Semitic and unpopular conservative political views. Schmitt''s 1920 “Lied et Scherzo, Op. 54,” which the quintet will perform, is in two sections; the first is extremely passionate, while the second is biting.

On the program will also be Milhaud''s “5th Symphony for Small Orchestra” and Reinecke''s “Octet, Op.216.”

The Avanti Wind Quintet members are Christopher Krueger, flute; Fredric Cohen, oboe; Michael Sussman, clarinet; Laura Klock, horn; and Stephen Walt, bassoon. Joining the quintet will be advanced students John Ferraro, clarinet; Gregory Genatossio, bass clarinet; Kelli Kirkman, horn; Deniz Ersoy, bassoon; Kari Soper, flute; and Lauren Kapalka, oboe.

Tickets are $10 general public and $5 for students, senior citizens and children under 18, and are available through the Fine Arts Center Box Office (545-2511).