Friday, October 10, 2014
The Roche Visiting Artists Series at Mercyhurst University opens its 26th season on Oct. 20 with a performance by the innovative Mana Quartet.
The Mana Quartet presents fresh 21st-century repertoire and 20th-century masterworks on vintage instruments built to the 19th-century specifications of the saxophone’s inventor, Adolphe Sax. Chamber Music Magazine dubbed them “saxophone ambassadors.”
In 2009, the group became the first saxophone quartet in history to receive the coveted Grand Prize at the Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, quickly elevating them to the professional chamber music arena. Repeatedly featured on NPR's “Performance Today,” Mana has performed with orchestras across North America in featured concerto appearances while also maintaining a high profile on the chamber circuit.
Mana is currently the Resident Chamber Ensemble at the National Music Festival, where they recently hosted their 5th annual Mana Saxophone Institute, an internationally attended two-week intensive apprenticeship program.
Mana will perform Monday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall, located in Mercyhurst’s Hirt Academic Center. The following day at 2 p.m. the quartet will offer a masterclass in Walker for students of the D’Angelo Department of Music at Mercyhurst. Both events are free and open to the public.
Mercyhurst music professor Albert Glinsky, Ph.D., founded the Visiting Artists Series in 1988 to introduce local audiences to a unique mix of acclaimed traditional soloists and chamber ensembles, along with specialized performers in areas of contemporary music, jazz, Renaissance, Baroque and world music. Last season, the Terry and Margaret M. Roche Family endowed the series, ensuring that these outstanding performances can be offered to the community at no cost.
The series will also bring internationally acclaimed composer Eric Ewazen to Erie for a recital of his works on Nov. 3, and continues in 2015 with performances by the world-class duo of cellist Adrian Daurov and pianist Di Wu (March 16) and by celebrated young soprano Sarah Wolfson (April 27).