Series Opens with Pianist Tomoki Sakata on Oct. 18
The University of New Orleans announced that the 2016-17 Musical Excursions series will feature Tomoki Sakata, a recent finalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, on Oct. 18; the Chicago-based Lincoln Trio on Nov. 15; Polish ensemble Meccore String Quartet on March 7; and the renowned Ritz Chamber Players on March 28. All concerts will take place at 7 p.m. at the Recital Hall inside the Performing Arts Center on UNO’s campus.
Among six finalists, Tomoki Sakata “demonstrated virtuosity, color and expressivity” (Dallas Morning News) during the 2013 International Van Cliburn Piano Competition. Sakata has appeared in concert around Japan as well as in Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, Russia and the Netherlands, working with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Randall Craig Fleisher and Hikotaro Yazaki. An anime fan, he recorded the soundtrack for the popular Japanese manga series “Your Life in April.” He currently studies in Japan, Germany and Italy.
Nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award, the Lincoln Trio has become Chicago’s most celebrated chamber ensemble. Taking its name from their home in the U.S. heartland, the group delivers polished presentations of well-known work and contemporary repertoire appealing to sophisticated music lovers, admirers of contemporary programs and students discovering chamber music for the first time. The trio won the 2008 Masterplayers International Competition in Venice, Italy.
The Meccore String Quartet, one of Poland’s top ensembles, has appeared throughout Europe and the U.S., and in 2014 were the first Polish quartet to appear in the German Bundestag during Holocaust Remembrance Day. Meccore has won prestigious medals including London’s Wigmore Hall Competition and the Premio Paolo Borciani in Italy. In 2011 the Quartet was nominated for the Paszport Polityki Award for its innovative approach to music. They host the annual Q’arto Mondi festival in Poznań, which features top quartets from all over the world.
The Ritz Chamber Players rotate preeminent musicians of the African diaspora from symphonies that include the New York Philharmonic, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, London and Philadelphia, a flexible structure that allows for riveting combinations. Critics proclaimed the début at New York’s Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall “extraordinary,” “vital” and “fresh.” Their performances have been broadcast on BBC to more than 40 countries. Additionally, they have been guests on NPR’s Tavis Smiley Show and perform regularly at the Madison and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals.
Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and UNO faculty and staff, $5 for non-UNO students and free for UNO students. A full series discount offer is available until Oct. 18. Individual and series tickets may be purchased here or at the door as available. For more information visit the Musical Excursions Facebook page or call (504) 280-6381.
The highly regarded Musical Excursions Series has presented first-class classical and world music since 1993. Previous seasons have typically included three major performances, but the 2016-17 season marks the permanent addition of a fourth primary event. The series is presented jointly by the UNO Department of Music, the Arts Administration Program at UNO and 89.9 WWNO Radio. The sponsors for the 2016-17 series are: the UNO Student Government, the Mitchiner-Gittinger Family Foundation, the Harper Family Foundation, the Maison Dupuy Hotel and Muriel's Jackson Square Restaurant.