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The Cornell Department of Music announced its spring semester slate of concerts, and opportunities are plentiful to hear a variety of music from guest artists from around the world, as well as talented faculty and students.

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis brings his trumpet along with his composition and teaching hats to Cornell for a week in March as A.D. White Professor-At-Large. Marsalis will spend the week mentoring the students in the Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Wind Symphony as he performs with the groups as a soloist and presents a performance of his recently revised Blues Symphony. The concert on March 28 at Bailey Hall is an incredible opportunity to hear Marsalis perform for free. No tickets are required, and seating is first-come, first-served.

Another blockbuster concert will happen on May 5 at Bailey Hall and features the Chorus and Glee Club joining forces with guest vocal soloists and period instrumentalists to perform J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Often used as an oratorio for Good Friday, the St. Matthew Passion is commonly regarded as a musical masterpiece.

Though they kicked off their 20th anniversary season in the fall, new music collective Ensemble X moves into high gear in the spring with three performances on February 25, March 18, and April 15. The April 15 concert will feature a sinfonietta in three works from the past 20 years, including Jonathan Harvey’s Bird Concerto with Pianosong. Inspired by Messiaen’s use of birdsong, Harvey’s piece incorporates orchestra, solo piano, and electronics to explore the music made by birds in nature in a complex and evocative piece. The February concert will incorporate a visit from Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer-in-Residence Elizabeth Ogonek, as well as a piece by Steven Stucky, and the March performance is in conjunction with a festival celebrating composer Roman Palester, whose work was banned during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

There are numerous keyboard guest artists including fortepianist Mike Cheng-Yu Lee (Jan. 26); organists Michael Unger (Feb. 24) and Bine Bryndorf (Apr. 13); and pianists Christina Dahl (March 4) and Silvia Lucas (Apr. 24). Cornell faculty and student keyboard performers also present a variety of recital performances.

Opportunities to hear new music abound with residencies from the [Switch~] Ensemble (March 1-2) and Momenta Quartet (April 14-18), as well as the annual Festival Chamber Orchestra performance (March 24) featuring guests from the Innuan piano quintet (also performing March 25).

Audience members can also travel around the world without leaving Ithaca when the music department collaborates with the Jewish Studies program to present the Big Galut(e) Klezmer Ensemble (Feb. 21) and with the East Asia Program for a concert with Wu Man and the Huayin Shadow Puppet Band (March 19). The Cornell Modern Indonesia Project hosts a gamelan conference at the end of March with special guest performers in a concert on March 29.

And of course the large ensembles are preparing a combination of masterworks and new music, from the Chorale’s performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms (April 27) and the Orchestra’s season finale of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (April 29).

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