Jonathan Gonder and Pamela Kurau will perform at the RPO concert on campus April 24. (Keith Walters photo)
GENESEO, N.Y. - Two members of SUNY Geneseo's Department of Music will be featured soloists for a Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) concert at the college April 24 at 8 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium.
Pianist Jonathan Gonder, professor and chair of the Department of Music, and soprano Pamela Kurau, visiting assistant professor of music, are performing with the world-renowned orchestra. Irish conductor Courtney Lewis, associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, will be conducting the concert, which is free and open to the public. The concert is a rescheduled event from last summer when rain prohibited the completion of an outdoor performance.
Gonder will be performing Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1." Kurau will be singing "Micaela's Aria - Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante" - from Georges Bizet's famous opera "Carmen" and "Quando m'en vo" from Puccini's "La Boheme." The orchestra also will perform Beethoven's "Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55."
The Geneseo performance is made possible, in part, with support from the Gertrude L. Chanler RPO Fund.
"It is always a delight when the RPO comes to our campus to perform, but having two of our music faculty members featured as soloists is generating additional inspiration within the Geneseo community for what promises to be a tremendous concert," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "I very much appreciate the RPO rescheduling this concert from last year and am the deeply grateful that the Gertrude Chanler RPO Fund is making it possible," said Dahl.
This will be Gonder's first performance with the RPO, but he has numerous other performances to his credit, including solo concerts, concerto performances with orchestra, chamber music, accompaniments, and piano duo concerts. He has presented solos with the Johnstown Symphony and Livingston Symphonies and with orchestras in Northern Ontario and Oklahoma, and on WQED's "Performance in Pittsburgh." He has appeared on national television and radio in Canada and on NPR in the United States. Gonder has received numerous awards and prizes in his career while participating in international, national, provincial and regional music competitions.
"The RPO is known as a model organization for its community outreach efforts, and it was the RPO's initiative to invite Dr. Kurau and myself to perform with the orchestra," said Gonder. "Aside from the prospect of a wonderful concert with some of the best-known and best-loved repertoire from the operatic and piano world, this reinforces the fact that SUNY Geneseo faculty are strong, capable, and respected performers in their fields. Having the opportunity to perform with this world-renowned orchestra is truly an honor."
Gonder received his doctorate of musical arts in piano performance at the University of Michigan, where he studied with renowned pianist Gyorgy Sandor.
Kurau is a frequent collaborator with many of Rochester's finest musicians, resulting in performances with the RPO, Chamber Music Rochester, Live from Hochstein broadcasts, Eastman Virtuosi and appearances in numerous faculty recitals at the Eastman School of Music, where she serves part-time as assistant professor of English lyric diction. She also has performed as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Rochester Oratorio Society, Rochester Opera Factory, and Opera Theatre of Rochester, among others.
Kurau earned her doctorate from the Eastman School. She received the Jack L. Frank Award for Outstanding Teaching from the Eastman School's Community Education Division and the Joseph M. O'Brien Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching from SUNY-Geneseo in 2000.
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