Friday Music Series 2014-2015 Archive

The Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series features acclaimed artists in free concerts on select Fridays at 1:15 p.m. in McNeir Hall.* (*unless otherwise indicated).

FALL 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

Emma Boone, soprano
Zoe Novak, alto
Kelsey Kolasa, alto
Luke Schafer, tenor
Risa Browder, violin
Amy Domingues, cello
Jinsun Cho, harpsichord

Music as Cultural Mission: Explorations of Jesuit Practices


The annual collaboration with Lauinger Library Special Collections will feature the presentation of the recently published volume Music as Cultural Mission: Explorations of Jesuit Practices in Italy and North America (St. Joseph University Press, 2014), co-edited by Professors Anna Harwell Celenza and Anthony DelDonna. The concert features music created in the environs of the Society of Jesus from 18th-century Naples and our own Georgetown University, including selections from Nicolo Ceva, Trionfo per l’Assunzione della Santissima Vergine (1705). 


Friday, September 26, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.

Gamelan Raga Kusuma

The music program welcomes to the Hilltop the Gamelan Raga Kusuma from the University of Richmond and directed by Professor Andrew McGraw. The ensemble has worked with Balinese master artists, including I Gusti Putu Sudarta, I Madé Sidia, I Nyoman Saptanyana, Ida Ayu Candrawati and I Nyoman Suadin, among others. The ensemble includes bronze gongs, chimes, cymbals, metallophones, drums, fiddles and flutes and its seven-tone gamelan semara dana was made by Pande Madé Sukerta in 2005 and includes intricately carved teak cases illustrating the Hindu Ramayana epic. 


Friday, October 3, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

C Street Brass

The C Street Brass hails from Pittsburgh and is currently the ensemble in residence in the music program at Carnegie Mellon University. C Street Brass connects lovers of the arts from all walks of life with a unique and innovative concert experience. The group prides itself on being equally as comfortable in the sound world of baroque music as it is in dubstep. Through constant performance focused on discovery and growth, C Street Brass continues to expand the limits of what is possible with five brass instruments. 


Friday, October 17, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

Charles West, clarinet
Yin Zheng, piano

Yin Zheng is currently an Assistant Professor of Piano and Keyboard Area Coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and enjoys a vibrant career of performing and teaching. Her playing has been described as “an astonishing torrent of images, passages, and themes, amazing the audience with an unbelievable technical precision that was balanced by delicate melodic and dynamic nuances.” Charles West is an orchestral, chamber, and solo clarinetist and conductor performing throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Dr. West is presently a Professor of Music and Coordinator of Winds & Percussion at Virginia Commonwealth University, and an Artist-Clinician for the Buffet Crampon Corporation. 


Friday, October 24, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.

Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman, piano

Pianist Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman has performed extensively in solo recitals and with orchestras in major venues across North America, Europe and Asia. She has been described by critics as a “truly inspiring and brilliant pianist…spellbinding in sensitivity and mastery of technique.” An enthusiastic promoter of contemporary music, she has given world and national premieres of dozens of piano, string piano and toy piano works by composers such as Elliott Carter, Henry Cowell, George Crumb, Tom Flaherty, Yury Ishchenko, Leon Kirchner, Dave Kopplin, James Matheson, Adam Schoenberg, Iannis Xenakis, Peter Yates, and others. 


Friday, October 31, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

Erin Driscoll, soprano

The Songs of Harold Arlen
Soprano Erin Driscoll makes her debut on the Friday Music Concert Series with the acclaimed cabaret, Erin Driscoll: Get Happy! The Songs of Harold Arlen. The program will feature the music of Arlen, who has been called one of the greatest American composers of the 20th Century. His compositions include the score for the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz as well as other well-known hits including “Let’s Fall in Love,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and “Get Happy.” 


Friday, November 7, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

Modern Musick

The early music ensemble Modern Musick continues its residency in the Music Program at Georgetown University. Led by Risa Browder (violin) and John Moran (cello), the ensemble focuses on diverse genres and composers from the early modern era, utilizing period instruments and performance practice techniques. 


Friday, November 14, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

Big Chimney

Big Chimney is a modern string band based in the Washington Metropolitan area that draws on the musical traditions of rock, pop, and old-time music. The Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series features acclaimed artists in free concerts on Fridays at 1:15 p.m., on Georgetown’s main campus.


Friday, November 21, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.

Richard Giarusso, baritone
Lura Johnson, piano

Music of fin-de-siecle Vienna
Pianist Lura Johnson has established herself as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most prominent ensemble pianists. Hailed as “brilliant” by the Washington Post, Ms. Johnson is celebrated for her passionate and insightful interpretations of the standard repertoire, and esteemed by colleagues for her uncommon sensitivity and skill as a collaborative partner. Richard Giarusso is a versatile musician with practical and scholarly experience in a wide range of repertoire. He currently serves on the musicology faculty at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Dr. Giarusso maintains an active career as a singer and conductor throughout the Northeast. Their program will feature vocal and solo piano literature from turn-of-the-century Vienna and is offered in conjunction with the PostClassical Ensemble’s 2014 Mahler Festival. 


Friday, December 5, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.

Annual Holiday Concert

The Georgetown University Jazz Ensemble, led by Prof. Aaron Broadus, presents a program of classic holiday standards. 



The Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series features acclaimed artists in free concerts
on select Fridays at 1:15 p.m. in McNeir Hall, New North Building.*
(* unless otherwise indicated)

January 23 

Washington National Opera
Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program 

Jacqueline Echols, soprano
Raquel Gonzalez, soprano
Yi Li, tenor
Michael Brandenburg, tenor
Christian Bowers, baritone
Joel Ayau, pianist

Participants in this prestigious program perform arias and duets from popular operas, including Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Rossini’s “La Cenerentola,” Puccini’s “La bohème,” and more..

January 30

Modern Musick

Musica Jesuitica
Co-sponsored with the Georgetown University Department of Spanish and Portuguese
This Jesuit Heritage Week program, created by Rev. Piotr Nawrot and performed by the period ensemble Modern Musick, serves as the North American premiere of music from the 17th- and 18th-century archives in Bolivia, composed in honor of Saint Ignatius. The Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series features acclaimed artists in free concerts on Fridays at 1:15 p.m., on Georgetown’s main campus.

February 6

Tobias Werner, cello
Lura Johnson, piano

Cellist Tobias Werner, Artistic Director of VERGE ensemble, ensemble-in-residence at the Corcoran Gallery, has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Strathmore Hall, the Phillips Collection, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and at Bargemusic. Pianist Lura Johnson, director of Georgetown University’s Chamber Music Ensemble Program and principal pianist of the Delaware Symphony, is also a member of the VERGE ensemble and has collaborated extensively in orchestral performances and recordings with Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Leila Josefowicz, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. This program includes Gaspar Cassado’s “Suite for solo cello”; Ludwig van Beethoven’s Variations “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte for piano and cello; Robert Schumann’s “Fantasy pieces Op. 73 for cello and piano,” and Astor Piazzolla’s “Le Grand Tango” for cello and piano. 

February 13

Mary Halvorson, guitar

Mary Halvorson’s solo guitar project features her own unique take on jazz standards and more obscure covers, including compositions by Ornette Coleman, Noel Ackchote, Annette Peacock, Carla Bley, Thelonious Monk, Tomas Fujiwara, Chris Lightcap, Oliver Nelson, and others. The solo guitar format allows her new terrain and a wide-open sonic palette to explore. “…another bold expansion for Halvorson, under the clever guise of constriction.” (Nate Chinen, Jazz Times)  

February 20

Paul Skevington, organ 

Paul Skevington is the Minister of Music and Liturgy at Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean, Va., and serves as artistic director of the Music in McLean concert series.  He is a sought-after choral accompanist in the Washington, D.C. area, an active solo performer, and can be heard on five compact disc recordings, including as soloist on the internationally released Organ Concertos by Joseph Rheinberger on the Naxos label. This program will showcase the subtle and varied sound colors of the organ, drawing on works by Bach, Elgar, and Vaughan Williams. A good portion of the program will highlight works by American composers, including the well-known Variations on America by Charles Ives and the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. The Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series features acclaimed artists in free concerts on Georgetown’s main campus.

March 20

Dúo del Sol 

Guitarist Tom Farrell and violinist Javier Orman of Dúo del Sol have been called “avant-sonic acrobats” by LA Weekly and “exceptional genius” by I Am Entertainment Magazine. Their debut LP “Hello Kaleidoscope” was recently nominated for “Best Instrumental Album” by the Independent Music Awards and the Latin American “Premios Graffiti.” On stage, this firebrand duo harnesses the raw energy of a rock band by wildly stretching their instruments beyond any traditional limits, mixing and engineering their unique sounds like two mad scientists. Their instruments become irrelevant and what’s left is evocative, powerful music. 

March 27

Edvinas Minkstimas, piano 

A native of Lithuania, pianist Edvard Minkstimas has performed at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, soloist appearances with NSO, Arlington Philharmonic, Amadeus Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Philharmonic, and Lithuanian National Philharmonic, as well as concert tours around the world. Minkstimas serves as a guest faculty member of the Washington International Piano Festival and Artist-in-Residence of the Embassy Series Festival in Washington DC. 

April 10

Joe McCarthy and Friends

Grammy Award-winning drummer, producer, and bandleader Joe McCarthy has led a diverse career that has taken him from Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, to Afro-Cuban, Bebop, and beyond. A faculty member at Georgetown University’s Music Program, McCarthy is the leader/founder of Afro Bop Alliance, a DC-based Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble, winner of the 2008 Latin Grammy for Latin Jazz Album of the Year and nominated for the 51st Grammy Awards in the same category.

April 17

Improvisation in Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas

This lecture-recital explores the role of improvisation in Beethoven’s violin sonatas. After presenting excerpts from various works, Todd and Uhde will conclude with a performance of Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 23 in its entirety.

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