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Pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn, an Avery Fisher honoree and rising star in chamber music, will usher in the Williams Center for the Arts Chamber Music series with an all-Beethoven program of sonatas and bagatelles 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The program will include two of Beethoven’s most popular sonatas, the “Moonlight Sonata,” in C-sharp minor, opus 27, no. 2, and its partner sonata, in E-flat major, opus 27, no. 1. It also includes all three sets of bagatelles, which span Beethoven’s entire career, from the opus 33 compositions of 1802 through the opus 126 set which he completed at the very end of his career in 1823.

A limited number of remaining tickets, which cost $15, may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

“His performances in New York as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber player since 1992 have consistently shown him to be an uncommonly thoughtful, communicative musician,” writes the New York Times of Solzhenitsyn. “They are powerful and assertive when the music demands, but subtlety and careful phrase shaping are the more striking attributes of his playing.” Adds the Seattle Times: “Solzhenitsyn is a pianist one would like to hear again and again.”

Enjoying an active career as both pianist and conductor, Solzhenitsyn’s touring schedule in the United States and Europe has included concerto performances with numerous major orchestras, including those of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, Montreal, London, Paris, Naples, St. Petersburg, Israel, and Sydney. He has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Andre Previn, Herbert Blomstedt, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gerard Schwarz, Charles Dutoit, James DePreist, Krzysztof Penderecki, David Zinman, Jerzy Semkov, James Conlon, Lawrence Foster and Maxim Shostakovich. In addition to his recital appearances in the United States at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, St. Paul’s Ordway Theatre, UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall, and many others from coast to coast, Solzhenitsyn has given many recitals in Europe, Japan, and Latin America in such major musical centers as London, Milan, Zurich, Moscow, and Tokyo.

An avid chamber musician, Solzhenitsyn has collaborated with the Emerson, Borodin, Brentano, St. Petersburg, and Lydian String Quartets, and in four-hand recital with Mitsuko Uchida. He has frequently appeared at international festivals, including Evian, Ludwigsburg, Ojai, Marlboro, Nizhniy Novogorod, and Moscow’s famed December Evenings.

Solzhenitsyn is the principal conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, with whom he has worked closely since 1993, conducting it in subscription series as well as on tour in the United States. Recent guest artists include Mstislav Rostropovich, Cho-Liang Lin, Gary Graffman, and Steven Isserlis. Solzhenitsyn is also in demand as guest conductor, having recently led the orchestras of Nashville, Toledo, Lexington, Anchorage, Charleston, Flagstaff, and Vermont.

A winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Solzhenitsyn has been featured on numerous radio and television specials, most recently CBS Sunday Morning and ABC’s Nightline.

The Chamber Music series continues with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as it raises the curtain on its 15th year at Lafayette with works by Mozart, Schumann, and Franz Schubert on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Heralded as the “next generation” of great chamber musicians, Concertante will play selections for expanded string ensemble by Brahms, Richard Strauss, and Felix Mendelssohn on Saturday, Nov. 10. Orpheus returns on Friday, Feb. 1 to perform pieces by Mozart, Wolf, Dvorak, and Brahms. Piffaro and Capilla Flamenca, America’s finest renaissance wind musicians and Belgium’s premier early music vocal consort, respectively, will bring to life the glories of Flemish music from the Hapsburg golden age on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will conclude the series on Saturday, April 13, with works by Arnold Schoenberg and Schubert. The cost of a Chamber Music subscription is $99, a savings of $18 compared to the total cost of the individual performances.

The 2001-02 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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