UMD Department of Music to bring international harmony to Weber HallOn Monday evening, Ksenia Lubyantseva will perform piano works by several classical composers. Currently, she studies piano at the Petrozavodsk Glazunov Conservatory in Duluth’s Russian sister city. Lubyantseva has performed in nine European countries and has won several piano competitions.
By: Thomas Vaughn, Budgeteer News
Russia and Sweden have had their disagreements over the centuries, but this week at UMD’s Weber Hall, musical ambassadors from both countries will share their talents with local classical music enthusiasts in two upcoming concert events.
On Monday evening, Ksenia Lubyantseva will perform piano works by several classical composers. Currently, she studies piano at the Petrozavodsk Glazunov Conservatory in Duluth’s Russian sister city. Lubyantseva has performed in nine European countries and has won several piano competitions.
Associate Professor of Music at UMD, Alexander Chernyshev, studied and taught at the Petrozavodsk Conservatory from 1973 until 1991. After a concert tour, he applied for a position at UMD and has been in the music department since 1993. He is the coordinator for this concert event.
“I’m always glad when people from Russia come here and perform,” Chernyshev said. “Musically and culturally, Russia is at a very high level. Even in America we have a tradition of Russian music schools including the Julliard School, which was opened by a Russian couple, the Levine’s.”
While she is here, Lubyantseva will give a master class to piano students where the students will play for her.
“She’ll correct them and give some suggestions like we all do in master classes,” Chernyshev said. “She’s good at that and she speaks English.”
On Wednesday, Weber Hall will resound with Swedish instrumental and choral music. Duo Gelland will be the featured musicians. Cecilia and Martin Gelland both play violin and have committed their performance careers to duo violin repertoire for which they are known. They will perform music of the modern composer Allan Pettersson who died in 1980.
“As a teenager, my dad opened me up to all sorts of musicians that are not normally performed by American orchestras, Pettersson being one of them,” said Justin Rubin who teaches composition and is a professor of music at UMD.
In 2009, Rubin met Duo Gelland. He shared his love of Pettersson’s music with them, since the duo is Swedish and Pettersson wrote several pieces for duo violins. They stayed in touch.
This year, the Swedish government is sponsoring a world-wide recognition tour of Pettersson’s work, since 2011 is the centennial of the composer’s birth. At the concert, listeners will hear the duo perform five of the seven duos for violin written by Pettersson. Also, the UMD Chamber Singers will perform some arrangements of Pettersson’s vocal music under the direction of Professor Stanley Wold. Finally, Duo Gelland will perform a new work by Rubin featuring both the duo and choir together in honor of
Duo Gelland will also spend time performing the short works of UMD composition students and providing critique during two sessions outside the concert performance. Each UMD composition student had the opportunity to write a three-minute work. The pieces were sent to the Gellands in Sweden so that they could learn them
“My piece is a theme and variations for two violins,” said David Pangborn, a junior at UMD. “It’s got two themes going on at the same time. It’s just really expressive. It leaves each instrument kind of out there. You can hear each instrument individually and if one messes up it’s going to fall apart.”
Nicaela Cote is a sophomore just finishing her work.
“I love the sound of violins. They have a unique timbre that appeals to me. My piece is called To Cast the First Stone. It’s taking two violins and working with them as a duet,” Cote said.
Both concerts are this coming week in Weber Music Hall, and they begin at 7:30 p.m. Ksenia Lubyantseva performs Monday, Oct. 24, and Duo Gelland performs Wednesday, Oct. 26.
Tickets can be purchased at the door before either concert, by calling (218) 726-8877 or by accessing www.tickets.umn.edu.
Duluth/Russian sister city connection
Established as a sister city in 1987, Petrozavodsk shares a mining and shipping history with Duluth. The city of 266,000, one of the biggest in Northwestern Russia, was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Petrozavodsk is situated on a large lake, Lake Onega, which has a similar waterfront lake walk as its many sister cities, complete with sculptures. The idea of Duluth’s Lakewalk was the inspiration for one in Russia. A sculpture from Petrozavodsk, “Green Bear,” is located in Lake Place Park, as a sculpture from Duluth, “Fishermen,” is located on Petrozavodsk’s embankment. (Source: Duluth Sister Cities International)