Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Some of the top classical musicians in the world are part of the Chamber Music subscription package of the 2000-01 Performance Series at Lafayette College’s Williams Center for the Arts. The Chamber Music series begins September 9 with Easton native Gary Schocker, who will play flute in a duo concert with acclaimed young guitarist Jason Vieaux. The program will feature music by Bach, Guiliani, Villa-Lobos, Albinez, Ibert, and original works by Schocker himself. This intriguing duo program pairs Schocker, an accomplished veteran of the international concert world, with the phenomenal young guitarist, Vieaux, a musical talent destined for greatness.

Schocker started playing piano before he was three years old and has been playing flute since he was 10. He studied both instruments at Juilliard in the ’70s, guided to early success by his two teachers, Julius Baker and Earl Wilde. With recital and orchestral engagements in most of America’s premier concert halls — including Carnegie Hall in 1980 — Schocker quickly made a name for himself that was heard in the company of Rampal and Galway. He even was called upon to cover Rampal’s sudden absence from several prominent concert engagements when the late French flutist become ill. This homecoming recital begins Schocker’s extended period of service at Lafayette as Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence for the fall and winter.

The WashingtonPost noted of a Schocker concert: “The program notes describing Schocker as one of the ‘finest artists of his generation’ were utter nonsense. Based on this performance, Schocker is one of the best – period.” Adds The Philadelphia Inquirer: “What sets his performance apart from others is the directness of the playing, the lack of artifice, and the presence of musical urgency. Schocker uses the flute to communicate his own enthusiasm and considerable insights.”

Vieaux, still in his twenties, has enjoyed meteoric success in his brief career. While only 19, he walked on stage in a field of 80 competitors in 1992 and became the youngest 1st Prize winner in the history of the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition. He followed with a 53-city solo recital tour of the United States and France, followed by his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has triumphed in several other prestigious competitions, and garnered the kinds of reviews from leading critics that only the most accomplished recitalists receive. In 1995, he completed an extensive tour of seven countries in Asia as an Artistic Ambassador of the United States, giving concerts and master classes at U.S. embassies and information posts.

The warmth of his tone, the virtuosic lyricism of his phrasing, and the joyfulness and maturity of his stage presence make Vieaux a formidable force in the concert world. Classical Guitar called him “an unusually promising newcomerplaying with vigor, accuracy, and a great deal of musical understanding.” The Buffalo News has labeled his technique “flawless,” while The Sunday Dispatch of Kathmandu, Nepal, said of a concert: “It would be hard to describe the beauty with which he playedIt was no surprise to see the rapt audience clamoring for an encore with thunderous applause.”

The subscription series continues on October 4 with perennial Lafayette favorite, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, which brings its “conductorless” approach to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, Stravinsky’s Apollo Suite, and Richard Strauss’s delightful Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon and Orchestra, with Charles Neidich and Frank Morelli as soloists. On November 11, distinguished pianist Garrick Ohlsson performs a program that includes Beethoven’s Sonatas No. 26 and No. 32, and a set of Rachmaninoff preludes. Bassist Edgar Meyer returns to the Williams Center on February 8, both as composer and ensemble artist in a gala concert by six members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Clarinetist David Shifrin, cellist Gary Hoffman, and Meyer combine forces in the world premiere tour of Meyer’s new Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Bass. Violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Andre-Michel Schub perform Brahms’s A-Major Violin Sonata, and the whole ensemble performs Franz Schubert’s crowd-pleaser, the “Trout Quintet.” In one of the season’s great highlights, esteemed vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 and England’s Chilingirian String pool their forces in a newly commissioned work by English composer John Tavener, The Bridegroom. Lafayette and the Friends of the Williams Center contributed commissioning funds to the creation of this work. The program also includes music by Haydn and Arvo Pärt, performed by the Chilingirian, and a sampling of vocal music by Anonymous 4 from its recent recording, 1000. The subscription package concludes with Orpheus on March 21, this time with a program consisting of Haydn’s Symphony No. 98, Giovanni Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Ottorino Respighi’s Botticelli Triptych.

The price of the Chamber Music subscription series is $99, a $26 savings off the total cost of the individual concerts.

All performances begin at 8 p.m. Subscribers to any of the four series are given priority seating; those who renew by August 18, 2000 are guaranteed to keep the seats they had for the same series last year. Single ticket orders for any of these concerts will be filled beginning August 21. Tickets for a series or individual event may be ordered by calling the box office at 610-330-5009. In a non-subscription special event, Orpheus will join James Galway for a November 29 concert at the State Theatre in Easton, which is co-sponsoring the performance with Lafayette College. Priority seating for Williams Center subscribers is available through September 14, by mail; tickets also are available by calling the State Theatre box office at 610-252-3132.

The 2000-2001 Performance Series at Lafayette College is sponsored, in part, by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the MidAtlantic Foundation for the Arts.

Categorized in: News and Features