Another one of Pittsburgh’s best kept secrets is the treasure trove of talent found at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music. Although their academic reputation is well renowned, their performances are not considered a mainstream venue of entertainment. But you will be smitten with the world class talent hidden within the walls of the Purnell Center for the Arts and may find the experience life changing. It can get quite addictive to experience the sheer ecstasy of watching these talented students perform and you can tell from the first they are headed for fame. You will also be blown away by the bargain for such stellar entertainment. Assigned seating is only $10.00 and I promise you there is not a bad seat in the Chosky Theater where they perform. Seniors are $5.00 and all students are free.
Tonight they opened their production of Emmanuel Chabrier’s L’étoile. It is set in a mythical fairy tale kingdom and begins with a disguised King Ouf in search of a subject to execute in celebration of his birthday. Laoula, the daughter of a monarch, is escorted to town by an Ambassador, Hérisson de Porc-Epic. Unbeknownst to Laoula, the mission of the trip is to arrange her marriage to the King. Unfortunately for Hérisson de Porc-Epic, Laoula falls in love with Lazuli, a poor peddler. Lazuli insults the King Ouf, not seeing through his disguise, and becomes a prime candidate for death by impalement in honor of the King’s birthday. However, the King Ouf’s astrologer, Siroco, devises that the two men will die within 24 hours of each other forcing the King to make a big decision. It runs January 23-26 with three evening performances and one matinee. You can purchase tickets off of their website http://music.cmu.edu/events/206 or at the door.
There is also a master class performance Thursday, January 23 at 10:00 a.m. Pianist Ian Hobson will lead a master class focusing on chamber music. This master class is free and open to the public. A native of Wolverhampton, England, pianist and conductor Ian Hobson is recognized throughout the world for his masterful performances of the Romantic repertoire along with his deft and idiomatic readings of neglected piano scores. As guest soloist Ian Hobson appears regularly with the world’s major orchestras and it is a rare treat to see him for free. You do not want to miss this if you can possibly fit it into your schedule.
To keep track of a whole year of inspirational performances just subscribe to their concert series calendar music.cmu.edu/ical on your mobile device or computer. The School of Music is an outstanding asset to our city by showcasing such intellectually gifted musicians. These students inspire imagination and creativity in music along with the construction of musical knowledge in all its diverse forms. Through their tradition and innovation they enrich our community and bring beauty to our lives.