Rolfs Piano Series, Per Tengstrand

May 11
2:30 p.m.

Per Tengstrand has firmly established himself as one of today’s most exciting pianists. He has been described by the Washington Post as “technically resplendent, powerful, intuitively secure” and by the New York Times as “a superb Swedish pianist” whose recital was rewarding, both for its unusual programming and for his eloquent, technically polished performances. He is the subject of a highly acclaimed Swedish documentary entitled “Solisten” (“The Soloist”), which was featured at the International Festival of Cinema and Technology in New York City. In 2005, he was decorated by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden with the Royal Medal Litteris et Artibus for outstanding service to the arts, the youngest recipient ever to be so honored.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcorIKCrRUE

Rolfs Piano Series, Ren Zhang

April 20
2:30 p.m.

Pianist Ren Zhang, dedicated to reviving and performing music in the grand romantic tradition, burst upon the international concert scene as one of the unique pianistic characters of his generation. A native of Shanghai, Zhang began his piano studies at the age of four. In 1987, he debuted with the Shanghai Theatrical Orchestra as recipient of the Gold Medal of the National Young Pianist Competition. Zhang has released a number of live CD recordings, including works by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Liszt and Godowsky.

Carpe Diem String Quartet

April 8

A classical string quartet that rocks? Yes! Carpe Diem String Quartet has become the premier American indie string quartet. Carpe Diem continues to rack up accolades and awards. This past year, Carpe Diem was the only quartet in America chosen to receive a prestigious PNC ArtsAlive Award. The quartet is known for innovative programming, unique collaborations and blurring the lines between genres.

Trumpeter Marvin Stamm with Wind and Jazz Ensembles

April 4

Throughout his distinguished career, Marvin Stamm has been praised for the art and craft of trumpet playing. Eschewing the lucrative studio scene in the late ’80s, Stamm has focused his attention on his first love, playing jazz. Over his career, he has been a member of John Lewis’ American Jazz Orchestra, the Bob Mintzer Band, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Louis Bellson’s big band and/or quintet and, on a number of occasions, performed with the big band of composer Maria Schneider. Currently, he spends much of the year performing as a soloist, touring with his jazz quartet and playing as a duo with pianist Bill Mays.

Rolfs Piano Series, Ivo Kaltchev

March 16
2:30 p.m.

Winner of international piano competitions and a Bösendorfer Artist, Ivo Kaltchev is enjoying a successful career as a recitalist. Kaltchev has performed at musical centers throughout the world – including New York’s  Kennedy Center; the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory; Warsaw National Philharmonic Hall; Salle Moliere in Lyon, France; Teatro Verdi in Salerno, Italy; and Tel Aviv Museum Recanati Auditorium, Israel.

View his 2009 performance at Steinmann Hall of the Pennsylvania Academy of Music!

Grand Dérangement

March 5
7:30 p.m.

Grand Dérangement is a group from the Saint Mary’s Bay area of Southwestern Nova Scotia. The name Grand Dérangement refers to the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, but the name also alludes to the group wanting to rouse its audience. The music is exciting, the show is a visual feast, and the highly poetic songs, while insightful, defy the audience to sit still. The bow fires up the fiddle…the sparks fly. This award-winning group is very eclectic in its musical approach, drawing from such disparate musical inspiration as French chansonniers, folk, Celtic, rock and Broadway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB7HX2OWXCU

“Rabbit Hole,” drama

Feb. 22-24, March 1-3
7:30 Friday, Saturday
2:30 p.m. Sunday

Excluding a few minor theatrical touches, not much happens in “Rabbit Hole” in the way of big events. Yet, its simplicity has been a crucial component in the accolades the play has received. In an age where the meta-theatrical rules, David Lindsay-Abaire’s wrenching play tells a simple yet rich story about a family overcoming the death of their child. Significant events do happen in the play of course, but Lindsay-Abaire’s presentation is so subtle that the audience does not see the shifts until they have already occurred.