25th Anniversary of the New Horizons Series Feature International Artists


Celebrating 25 years of bringing the most accomplished classical musicians to the stage, the New Horizons Series presents three concerts celebrating international collaboration featuring the Scottish piano trio Vocali3e, pianist Caroline Hong and acclaimed British pianist/recording artist Martin Jones.

Supported with funding from the Radford University International Education Center and the McGlothlin Fund, concerts begin Oct. 19 with Vocali3e. Hong follows Oct. 27, and the series concludes with Jones’ concert Nov. 14.

Caroline Hong
Caroline Hong

“The New Horizons concerts have brought some of the most innovative and provocative composers and performers to Radford University for 20 years,” said Bruce Mahin, professor of music and director of the series. Past performers include synth-guru Donald Buchla, the father of computer music Max Mathews, and composer Donald Erb.

“Bringing contemporary artistic and creative thought to the forefront of our conscientiousness, the New Horizons concerts have pushed the boundaries of musical performance so we have had a glimpse of the future of music in our own time,” he said.

Directly following National Trust for Scotland and Edinburgh International Arts Festival Fringe concerts, Vocali3e presents a concert for soprano, flute and piano celebrating cultural connections and Atlantic crossings. Works by Amy Beach, André Previn and Jennifer Higdon sit alongside songs in the Scots tongue by Thea Musgrave and Joseph Haydn.

This program also features Scottish-American composer Jennifer Margaret Barker's new song cycle, “A Lassie's Love,” set to the poetry of the famous Scottish bard, Robert Burns.

Martin Jones
Martin Jones

Vocali3e’s visit is during the ensemble's 2015 Concert Tour of America, funded in part by Creative Scotland and the university. Meet the artists before their concert at 4 p.m., Oct. 19, in room 107, Porterfield Hall.

The next in the series is Hong in concert. Hailed for her “expressive and powerful playing,” “formidable technique,” as well as her “keen sense of lyricism and the classical style.” (Columbus and Richmond Times Dispatch), she flourishes in her career as an internationally active soloist, chamber musician, artist-teacher, guest-lecturer, and adjudicator.

Pulitzer Prize and Academy award-winning composer John Corigliano referred to her as one of the greatest pianists he has ever heard, after a performance of his “Etude Fantasy” (1976).

Hong recorded for Mark Records and now records for Fleur de Son. She has also received favorable reviews by American Record Guide.

She made her debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition. She is a laureate of the Van Cliburn International Audition, the Robert Casadesus International Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, UNISA International Piano Competition, and Beethoven Foundation. She is also a Distinguished Performer of the Palm Beach International Piano Competition and winner of the Society of American Musicians (Chicago, Illinois).

The last in the New Horizons Series is Jones. He presents a concert of new music soon to be released on the PnOVA Recordings label.

Jones is one of Britain's most regarded solo pianists since first coming to international attention in 1968 when he received the Myra Hess Award. This was the same year he made his London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and his New York debut at Carnegie Hall.

This spring on the occasion of his 75th birthday, the Nimbus Recordings label released a retrospective of his works.

Jones is a prolific recording artists and his many discs for Nimbus Records include the complete solo piano works of Mendelssohn, Brahms, Debussy, Grainger, Szymanowski (voted Best Instrumental Recording of 1996 by the Spanish magazine CD Compact, Stravinsky, Korngold and the sonatas of Alan Hoddinott). He has recorded several Spanish piano masters and Volume 2 of this series received the 2000 Classical Indie Award from the Association for Independent Music in the USA.

The soundtrack of the film “Howards End” features Jones performing Grainger’s “Bridal Lullaby” and “Mock Morris.” His performance repertoire, as well as encompassing most of the standard works for piano, includes unusual concertos such as the Busoni Concerto, which he performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Norman Del Mar. He has also championed the music of British composers and performed concertos by Britten, Benjamin, Mathias, McCabe and Lambert.

Before Jones’ concert, five guest composers from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia will speak about their works in the program during a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 14 at the Performance Hall in the Covington Center.

“The IEC is delighted to help Dr. Bruce Mahin bring these exceptional international performers to RU,” said Paul Currant, director of the International Education Center. “The university can benefit in countless ways from having such talented artists and teachers on campus. The fact that some of the performers have collaborated with one of our RU faculty members makes the New Horizons Concert Series even more valuable and exciting.”

Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity and the Radford University Club Programming Committee also provide support for these concerts.

Admission to all concerts in the series is free. Each starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Performance Hall in the Covington Center. For more information, call 540-831-5177.

Oct 14, 2015