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Classical Music
Janelle Gelfand on the classical music scene

Janelle's pen has taken her to Japan, China, Carnegie Hall, Europe (twice), East and West Coasts, and Florida. In fact, Janelle was the first Enquirer reporter to report from Europe via e-mail -- in 1995.

Janelle began writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer as a stringer in 1991 while writing a Ph.D. dissertation in musicology at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She joined the Enquirer staff in 1993.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she graduated from Stanford University, Janelle has lived in Cincinnati for more than 30 years. In her free time, this pianist plays chamber music with her circle of musical friends in Cincinnati.

She covers the Cincinnati Symphony, May Festival and Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, chamber music ensembles, and as many recitals and events at CCM and NKU as possible.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Beginnings at NKU

Lots going on at Northern these days:

Nothern Kentucky University has a new chair of the music department and new initiatives in the works. On July 1, Kurt Sander, who holds a graduate degree from CCM, replaced Vance Wolverton as music department chair.

Wolverton is now heading a revamped music education department.

"We're shifting priorities to music eduation, and it made sense that (Wolverton) would head up that area," says Sander.

NKU's growing music programs include the only string quartet-in-residence remaining in the region, the Azmari Quartet. A top priority will be to develop string programs in Northern Kentucky schools, says Sander.

"There are no functional orchestra programs in schools in Kentucky. I just think that the time is right, and that it will help the economics of the region," he says.

Incidentally, the Azmari -- Corbett String Quartet in Residence -- has welcomed a new second violinist and a new violist this year. Julie Fischer, violinist, is a three-time winner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Hugo Bollschweiler is a Swiss native. Their first concert is Oct. 16 (More about them later!)

The school is also striking up an arts partnership with countries in Easter Europe.
NKU is planning a two-day Bulgarian-American music festival in March. According to Richard Floecker, one of the organizers, they'll be bringing in two brilliant Bulgarian musicians: Dr. Angela Tosheva and composer Michail Goleminov, who own the Orange Factory, a music/multimedia company in Sofia. Concerts will also feature music by Kurt Sander and Lawrence Bitensky.

This Sunday, pianist Sergei Polusimiak opens a new concert series called "New Beginnings." The program, 7 p.m. in Greaves Concert Hall, includes guest artists Timothy Lees, concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and clarinetist Alexander Bedenko, pictured, a native of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Bedenko is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with the famed teacher of clarinet virtuosos, Donald Montanaro. He recently made an album with clarinetist (and, don't forget, Woodward High grad) Richard Stoltzman.

The music includes "Three Songs Without Words" by Paul Ben-Haim and Brahms' Violin Sonata No. 1. Tickets: $10; $7 students. 859-572-7622.


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