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Music: Kent State’s Jerry Wong to teach, perform at UT


Jerry Wong will make his debut in the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series Feb. 8-9. A free public master class will begin at 10 a.m. Feb. 8 in UT’s Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.


Temperatures may be rock bottom, but the Toledo area’s music scene is heating up. Collaboration is very much in the air early in February.

At the University of Toledo, Kent State University pianist Jerry Wong will make his debut in the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series Feb. 8-9. A free public master class will begin at 10 a.m. Feb. 8 in UT’s Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Then, at 3 p.m. Feb. 9, Wong will perform a recital, also free. Dance-inspired and definitely family-oriented, the program will include a piano version of Sergei Prokofiev’s score for the beloved Russian tale, Peter and the Wolf.

Appearing with Wong as narrator will be actor Eric Van Baars. Both are associate professors at Kent’s College of the Arts.

Also programmed are selections from Claude Debussy’s suite, “The Children's Corner;” Franz Liszt’s “La Lugubre Gondola” (“The DeathVessel”), and four dances from Camille Saint-Saens’ Etudes for the Left Hand, Op. 135.

Wong is a graduate of Indiana University, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned his doctorate. He has performed widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and won many awards, including the Prix-Ville de Fontainebleau in France. Wong has released a CD of music by Prokofiev on the MSR Classics label.

A more complex music-drama collaboration is planned for Feb. 7 and 8 by the Toledo Symphony in collaboration with UT, the Toledo premiere of Peter Shaffer's play, Amadeus, with actors from the Glacity Theater Collective and live music. Cornel Gabara is directing the action; Stefan Sanderling will be on the podium in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle.

(See a story in The Blade Arts Section on Sunday for more details.)

Tickets are $25-$55 at or 419-246-8000.

Up-and-coming musicians will be in the spotlight for Bowling Green State University’s 47th annual Concerto Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The BG Philharmonia will provide musical support for undergrads Adam Solsburg, viola, and Aiwen Zhang, saxophone, with graduate students Zueli Liu and Jeff Manchur, pianists.

Conductors will be grad students Robert Collins and Brady Meyers.

For ticket information call 419-372-2181

Also among BGSU offerings will be viola students of Matthew Daline performing in Music at the Manor House, a free public event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wildwood Preserve Metropark. The BGSU Trombone Choir will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Bryan Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, also free.

The Faculty Artist Series will present Nermis Mieses, oboist, in a free public recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Bryan Hall. Mieses will perform music by Gilles Silvestrini, Bohuslav Martinu, and Theodor Burkali.

A chance to hear the famed St. Olaf College Band will occur at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bowling Green High School, 539 W. Poe Rd. The band, founded in 1891 and acclaimed nationally, is on a national tour.

Under the baton of music director Timothy Mahr, the aspiring young musicians will perform music by Persichetti, Dan Welcher, and John Heins. A highlight of the program will be David Maslanka's “A Child's Garden of Dreams.” Tickets are $10 except for students, who will be admitted free.

Matthew Ball, the Boogie Woogie Kid, is coming to the the area for two concerts this weekend. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St., Pemberville, and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Grand Rapids Town Hall, 23564 W. Front St., just off the Maumee River and Erie Canal.

A big hit on YouTube, Ball is a Detroiter who gave up a law practice a decade ago, inspired by what he heard at a boogie woogie festival. Among his hits are “Bumble Bee Boogie,” “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” and “Swanee River Boogie.”

Tickets for either show are $10. For more information call 419-287-4848.

Perrysburg native and dedicated piper Andrew Bova, who is studying bagpipes at the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland, will be in Ann Arbor for a guest appearance with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in Hill Auditorium.

The concert will focus on new music by UM students, including Annika Socolofsky, a rising composer whose works tap Eastern European folk music traditions.

Bova and Socolofsky met at Carnegie Mellon University, the only institution in the United States to offer degrees in bagpipes. With grant money from the Rackham Foundation, Socolofsky, now a graduate student in composition at UM, was able to bring Bova back to the United States to perform in the premiere of Krekhts for Great Highland Bagpipe and Orchestra.

Joseph Bozich will conduct the concert which also has works by Edward Ryan, Keith Allegretti, Peter Shin, Diana Sussman, Dillon Henry, Zac Lavendar, Dylan Arthur Baker, and Christopher Sherwood-Gabrielson.

This concert is free to the public.

University Musical Society will present two top musical groups in the next week. First, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, will be cellist Alisa Weilerstein with the Ariel Quartet in Rackham Hall Auditorium. A varied program comprises music by Wolf, Boccherini, and Schubert. (Weilerstein performed with the Toledo Symphony early in her illustrious career.)

The next night will bring Latvian violinist and maestro Gidon Kremer with his ensemble, Kremerata Baltica. That concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hill Auditorium.

Joining the group will be Alexei Mochalov, a Russian-born bass known for both concert and opera prowess.

Ticket information for both concerts is at or 734-764-2538.

The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series continues Feb. 8 with Dvorak’s magical opera, Rusalka. Renee Fleming will sing the title role. Showtime is 12:55 p.m. at Franklin Park and Fallen Timbers Cinemark multiplexes. Tickets start at $22 at the box office. The encore production is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

The Adrian Symphony Orchestra will perform a Family Discovery Concert with a production of The Ugly Duckling at 3 p.m. Saturday in Adrian High School. With the orchestra accompanying under the direction of guest maestro Brandon Faber, local actor Michael Lackey will narrate the popular tale. Betsy Lackey, writing as E.J. Lackey, composed the score. Artwork by Adrian schoolchildren will be used to expand the sensory experience.

Tickets are $5-$10 at the door or at 517-264-3121 or

Monday Musicale, one of the area’s thriving music performance clubs, will present a program at 1 p.m. Monday in Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Ave., (across from Wildwood Preserve Metropark). Performers will be pianists Joy Morin, Anne Doerfler, Sr. Krista Benda, singers Gwen Senerius and Barbara Maddox, and violinist Cheryl Trace. Eileen Towse will narrate. The performance is free with a reception to follow.

Send items for News of Music to at least two weeks ahead of the event.

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