Kean University in Union NJ is offering a variety of musical events throughout the month of March. With performances in the stunning Gene and Shelley Enlow Recital Hall, the intimate Kean Hall concert venue and the University Center Little Theatre, Kean’s line-up includes a diverse blend of ethnic music, classical performance, jazz and opera.
On March 3 at 8:00 pm in Kean Hall, Sharon Roffman on violin and Julie Albers on cello perform Duos for Violin and Cello. These two spectacular virtuosos return to Kean from their international performances to present a celebrated repertoire that includes duos by Kodály and Handel-Halveson.
Sharon Roffman, a prize winner at the 2003 Naumburg Foundation International Violin Competition, graduated from the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, as a student of Donald Weilerstein and Itzhak Perlman. Her a diverse career includes performances as soloist with orchestra, in recital, as chamber music collaborator and in educational outreach presentations. Julie Albers made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras in the U.S., Europe, Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand. In addition to solo performances, Miss Albers regularly participates in chamber music festivals around the world. 2009 marked the end of a two year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Three.
The China Anhui Traditional Orchestra performs on March 5 at 7:30 pm. Since its inception in 1956, the orchestra has established itself as a leading art institution in China’s traditional music arena. Using traditional instruments including the pipa, bamboo flute, erhu, jinghu and guqin, the orchestra will be performing music in the traditional Anhui folk style. This 50 piece ensemble will enthrall audiences in the state-of-the-art Enlow Recital Hall on Kean’s east campus.
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On March 6 at 3:00 pm, Enlow Hall will host guitarist Pedro Javier Gonzalez. Presented in association with Teatro Sí , the “Spanish Guitar Master,” in his U.S. Debut Tour, will perform flamenco in its purest essence in the modern day fusion style. Pedro Javier González is a renowned Barcelonan musician, who has developed his own language on the guitar – combining traditional Flamenco and modern style in his concerts. He has won several awards in the field of Flamenco guitar, and performed with artists such as Toti Soler, Joan Manuel Serrat, Angelo Branduardi, Victoria de los Angeles, Maria del Mar Bonet, Alejandro Sanz, and Manolo García.
The University Little Theatre will transform into a jazz club with a performance by a quintet of noted musicians starring alto saxophonist Andy Fusco and featuring percussionist James Musto on March 10 at 8:00 pm. New York City-based Fusco first earned notice for his 1978-1983 stint with the Buddy Rich Big Band, also touring with Gerry Mulligan and Mel Lewis. He made his headlining debut in 1996 with Big Man’s Blues; Out of the Dark followed three years later. Musto is a popular drummer in the metropolitan area, and a frequent performer at Kean University.
On March 24 at 8:00 pm a concert performance of Verdi’s tragic masterpiece, Rigoletto will be presented in Enlow Recital Hall. This opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi’s middle-to-late career, first performed in 1851. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo. The all star cast gracing the Enlow Hall stage includes: Katherine Harris, soprano; Joy Hermalyn, mezzo soprano; Jin Hwan Byun, tenor; Richard Hobson, baritone; Bae Joon Lee, bass; Allison Brewster Franzetti, piano; Anthony Scelba, double bass.
Tickets for performances vary, ranging from $15 to $40. For further information and to make reservations, contact the Kean Stage box office at 908.527.7469. Tickets can be purchased online at www.keanstage.com. Kean University’s Little Theatre and Kean Hall are on the main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union NJ. Enlow Recital Hall is immediately across Morris Avenue at 215 North Avenue, Hillside NJ. Visit the Enlow Hall website at http://enlowhall.kean.edu.