Cellist Katie Kennedy at Nordica on May 24

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On Sunday, May 24, 2009, starting at 7:30 p.m., the Arts Institute of Western Maine will present a concert by cellist Katie Kennedy (top, right), pianist Chiharu Naruse (top, left), and percussionist Bill Solomon (bottom), in Nordica Auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington. The program will include works by Frank Bridge, Rachmaninoff, Martin Horvath Levente, Jessica Rudman, and Bill Solomon.

In brief, a few notes about some of the works which will be performed: The Frank Bridge Cello Sonata is a rarely-heard gem of the repertoire, an impressionistic and deeply romantic masterpiece of the early twentieth century written around the same time as the seldom-heard short piece Danse Orientale by the more famous Rachmaninoff. “Interludes” and “Tar on Wood” for cello and percussion were both written in the past few years by composers under 30, Marton Horvath Levente, Hungarian composer who studied at the Liszt Academy, and Jessica Rudman, American composer who studied at the Hartt School. Jessica Rudman wrote “Tar on Wood” for Bill Solomon and Katie Kennedy. Both works capture and exploit the contrast of the cello and the percussion instruments in unique ways while creating exciting dialogues.

Chiharu and Kennedy have been playing together since 2005. They have presented concerts in Portland at the Portland Conservatory, First Parish Church and Trinity Church, and at Nordica Auditorium. Kennedy and Solomon have have played concerts at the Hartt School, the Hartford Art School, Dartmouth College, SUNY Stony Brook, Northfield Mt.Herman School, The Loomis Chaffee School, Capitol Community College, the Unitarian Church in Hartford, and at the Hartford Women’s Composers Festival.

Katie Kennedy graduated in 2002 from the Oberlin Conservatory; she continued her studies at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. She is a member, with Bill Solomon, of the cello-percussion duo “The Uncanny Valley.” Katie has been featured as a soloist with the Bangor Symphony and several other ensembles. She has played at the New Hampshire Music Festival and the Sebago Long-Lake Chamber Music Festival, and currently performs with the Hartford Symphony. She is on the faculty at the Loomis Chaffee School, the Hart School Community Division, Community Music School Springfield and Bethwood Suzuki School.

Percussionist Bill Solomon has commissioned and premiered over twenty works and enjoys frequent collaborations with composers. He teaches at The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, and is currently studying at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.

Chiharu Naruse began studying piano at age four. In the spring of 2002, Chiharu moved to the United States to study under Frank Glazer, Artist-in-Residence at Bates College. Chiharu has given several concerts at Bates College, has played with the Portland String Quartet, and recently performed Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto and the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with the Augusta Symphony.

Admission for the concert on May 24 will be $7 for adults and $6 for senior citizens. Children under 16 and UMF students are free. For more information, call 645-2157.

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