FIU School of Music Unveils Its 2014-15 Season


The FIU School of Music begins its 2014-15 season under the leadership of Interim Director Dr. William Hipp, Dean Emeritus of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at UM. Audiences can expect to benefit from culturally relevant programming and events that will focus on community building efforts through local partnerships, new ticket prices, and the appointment of new artist-faculty.

This season will prove to be both diverse and bustling with creativity with nearly 200 events (including performances, festivals, benefit concerts, master classes, workshops, and lectures) scheduled to take place between September and April. With the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Art Center Concert Hall leading the way as the premier venue for performances, this season will welcome world-renowned guest performers, faculty ensembles and soloists, and a vast array of star student ensembles. Concerts and events will also be performed at venues throughout Miami, including College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios on Lincoln Road, The Wolfsonian-FIU, Steinway Piano Gallery in Coral Gables, Heritage Park in the City of Sunny Isles Beach, and Pinecrest Gardens, among many others.

The FIU Chamber Players, directed by violinist Robert Davidovici, starts off the concert season on Tuesday, September 16th with a chamber musical showcase through the centuries, shortly followed by a performance by the FIU Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gzegorz Nowak on Thursday, September 18th. The Orchestral Masterworks Series will include a notable list of guest artists including conductor David Effron, conductor Mark Gibson, conductor James Judd of Miami Music Project, pianist Augustin Anievas, conductor Neil Varon, and more. On November 20, FIU violist Michael Klotz and the FIU Concert Choir will join the FIU Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Vaughan Williams’ unique choral-orchestral work, Flos Campi. This six-movement suite for orchestra, solo viola, and choir features the composer’s harmonic ingenuity and his gift for ethereal melodic development.

The Amernet String Quartet, FIU’s Ensemble-in-Residence, has a sensational season ahead featuring exciting collaborations with artists such as concert pianist Margarita Shevchenko, who will join them for a program of Russian composers during the opening concert of their season on Tuesday, September 30th. Later in their season they will be joined by pianist and Dean of FAU School of Music Heather Coltman for a program in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance, where they will perform works by Korngold, Zeitlin, Schul, Bloch, and Weinberg at the Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery.

The FIU GuitART Series, spearheaded by Turkish composer and classical guitarist Mesut Ozgen, offers an exciting lineup of performances by the FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra throughout the year, and will welcome Baroque specialist and internationally-acclaimed harpsichordist Anthony Newman and Flamenco dancer Karen Fuller for “Plucked Baroque” set to take place on Friday, October 3rd.

The appointment of two established, full-time faculty members, Dr. Brenton Alston and Dr. Kathryn Longo, promise to energize both the Choral Arts Department and the Wind/Percussion Department. Dr. Alston, Director of the FIU Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, has already begun building a strong wind and percussion area and will bring together poetry and music in a tribute concert to the late Maya Angelou on October 8th. Dr. Longo will be replacing retired former Choral Director John Augenblick and will lead the FIU Choirs in a season of sacred and passionate selections beginning with Mozart and James Whitbourn’s moving work for chorus and organ, “All Shall be Amen and Alleluia” on Thursday, October 9th.  The FIU Concert Choir will also have the honor of performing Mozart’s All Saint’s Day Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Miami Beach on Friday, October 31st, which will be officiated by the Archbishop of Miami. Audiences will be further charmed by holiday programming that includes a joint performance with the FIU Choirs and Florida’s Singing Sons Boychoir on November 24th and the annual performance of Handel’s glorious masterpiece, “Messiah,” to be directed by S. Mark Aliapolious on December 5th.

Beginning on Tuesday, October 7th, the Jazz at the Wertheim Series, directed by Gary Campbell, will showcase the music of FIU jazzists including trombonist Chad Bernstein and will continue with guitarist Tom Lippincott, vocalist Lisanne Lyons, Rodolfo Zuniga’s Surface Quartet, Latin Jazz Ensemble with Grammy-nominated pianist Michael Orta, among others. Celebrate FIU Homecoming Week with trumpeter James Hacker and the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band or join us for a very special appearance with Grammy-nominated jazz artist John Fedchock for an evening of original compositions on February 7th, immediately following the highly popular Festival of Jazz Bands.

The Keyboard Art Series, directed by the Coordinator of Keyboard Program Jose Lopez, will present the annual Liszt Festival on October 18-19. The first of its kind in South Florida, the festival is dedicated to advancing knowledge about the great Romantic Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt and is sponsored by the South Florida chapter of the American Liszt Society at FIU. The festival will feature FIU powerhouse and Miami International Piano Festival favorite Kemal Gekic, along with other FIU faculty, the FIU Symphony Orchestra, and graduate students from FIU, UM, and Lynn Conservatory. Piano aficionados will appreciate the variety of guest artists appearing on this series, including Steinway artist Michael Boyd, South Florida favorite Martha Marchena, University of South Florida’s Svetozar Ivanov, and more throughout the season.

Mark your calendars for February 21 and 22 for the much anticipated annual production of FIU Opera Theatre. This year, Vocal Studies Coordinator Robert Dundas will direct L’Etoile, an “operá bouffe” in three acts by Emmanuel Chabrier. Featuring disguise and deception, astrologers and ambassadors, peddlers and lovers, this whimsical opera tells the story of King Ouf who is on the search for a suitable subject to execute as a birthday gift to himself. Or immerse yourself in a performance of “One Voice, Many Nations,” a musical theatre showcase that traces the lineage of the Broadway musical to its European roots. Musical direction will be provided by Steven Chirucel from UCF’s Department of Theatre.

This spring, the New Music Miami ISCM Festival welcomes an array of innovative and well-known composers and performers from all over the globe in celebration of its 19th successful season. This contemporary music festival, founded by the former Director of the School of Music, provides exciting performances along with master classes and panel discussions with the invited guest artists. The distinctive character of his music has been described as “time suspended-haunting sonic explorations” developed from studies with Morton Feldman. Festival highlights include the performance of the FIU Symphony Orchestra and renowned guest violinist Jennifer Choi as they perform Peter Paul Koprowski’s Podhal and the world premiere of Orlando Jacinto Garcia’s Violin Concerto on January 30.

Other artists in upcoming concerts include cellist Charles Kurtis, FIU School of Music alumni composers, violinist Mari Kimura, flutist Robert Dick, and performances by the FIU NODUS Ensemble, the Fonema Consort Ensemble, the Bugallo-Williams Duo, and the Amernet String Quartet with pianist Amy Williams.

In addition to a very active performance calendar, over 60 master classes by esteemed musicians and scholars expect to find their way to the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, all of which are free and open to the public. An exciting partnership with the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami will result in the creation of a Distinguished Artist Master Class Series, which will include highly sought after performers such as violinist James Ehnes, pianists Joseph Kalichstein and Steven Hough, violists Roberto Diaz and Richard O’Neill, and cellist Williiam DeRosa. Details to be announced in October.

In effort to support local arts initiatives, students 18 and under are now able to purchase Miami Youth Tickets for only $5. Student discount rates are also available to individuals attending a college or university who are under the age of 26 with a valid I.D.


For more details about the season, contact the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Box Office for information at 305-348-0496 or visit

Listen to our season announcement on WLRN, by clicking here.

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