The University at Albany Department of Music, with support from the Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies Department; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and the New York State Council on the Arts, is pleased to present mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna and pianist Max Lifchitz as featured artists in the 2013-14 Bel Canto series spotlighting Capital Region vocal artists at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. The duo will perform Art Songs from Latin America on Tuesday, October 29 at 7pm at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus.

The program will feature a panoramic view of the Latin American art song repertoire written during the 20th century. It will include songs by Carlos Chávez and Manuel M. Ponce (from México); Modesta Bor (from Venezuela); Antonio Valencia (from Colombia); Alejandro García-Caturla (from Cuba); Carlos Guastavino (from Argentina); and Heitor Villa-Lobos (from Brazil). Also on the program will be the New York premiere of a song cycle inspired by Federico García-Lorca’s poetry written by the late Mexican-American composer Ramiro Cortés as well as the first performance of Perfume, a new song cycle written especially for the occasion by Darwin Aquino, a young composer from the Dominican Republic.

Well known for her commitment to the music of Spain and Latin America, Ms. Tonna was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study and perform in Spain upon her graduation from the Mannes College of Music. She recently appeared at New York City’s Town Hall in a program devoted to music by composers from the Dominican Republic under the auspices of the Association of Dominican Classical Artists. She has also appeared at New York City’s Alice Tully Hall and Rose Center of Lincoln Center, Bargemusic, Merkin Hall and Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tonna sang the title role of Astor Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with the Connecticut Grand opera and has presented recitals under the auspices of among others, Joy in Singing and Música de Cámara in New York City; the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes and Casals Festival in Puerto Rico; the Pacific Music festival in Japan; as well as the Otoño Cultural Iberoamericano and the Spanish Song Festival in Spain.

Her compact disc album featuring songs by Spanish composer Julio Gómez was released by the European label Verso last year. Ms. Tonna spent the fall of 2012 performing in Spain before returning to New York to present a special concert focusing on the life of the Duchess of Alba at the invitation of the Hispanic Society of America in New York City.

Max Lifchitz has appeared on concert stages throughout Europe, Latin America and the US. He was invited to join the University at Albany’s teaching staff in 1986 after teaching at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University.  Lifchitz was awarded the first prize in the 1976 Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Contemporary Music held in Holland. His concert appearances throughout Latin America have been underwritten by the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals. Recently, he appeared as conductor of the Houston-based Foundation for Modern Music Ensemble and as pianist in the Grand Canyon Music Festival (Arizona); the Nuovi Spazi Musicali Festival (Rome, Italy); the Barcelona Festival of Song (Spain); and the Inter-American Festival of the Arts in Puerto Rico.

Lifchitz appears as collaborative artist and conductor in over fifty compact disc albums, including nine widely praised solo albums featuring piano music from the Americas.

Tickets for the concert are $8 for the general public and $ for students, seniors & UAlbany faculty/staff and may be purchased through the Performing Arts Center Box Office.  For further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

In addition to performing in the concert, Anna Tonna will also offer a master class and meet-the-artist session on Monday, October 28 from 4:15pm to 6pm.  Admission for the meet-the-artist session and observation of the master class are free and open to the public. 

Upcoming concerts in the Bel Canto Series feature the return of Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre for a condensed piano production of Carmen on February 2 and a performance by soprano Amanda Boyd on April 27. The series will also include the ENY-NATS Art Song Festival on November 1-3 as well as master classes and meet-the-artist sessions with Ms. Tonna (Oct. 28) and Ms. Boyd (April 26).


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