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Last modified: Friday, April 21, 2006

Joshua Bell to headline star-studded lineup at IU Summer Music Festival

April 21, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A performance by international violin sensation and Indiana University alumnus Joshua Bell, IU Opera Theater's presentation of The Mikado, the world premiere of a composition by acclaimed Scottish composer James MacMillan, the return of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and the debut of a new Festival Jazz Orchestra highlight a powerful lineup for Indiana University's 2006 Summer Music Festival.

The festival, which features opera, orchestral, band, chamber and solo concerts, will be held from June 18 to Aug. 12 at the IU Jacobs School of Music.

Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, an artist who has earned the rare title of "classical music superstar," will lead the first Summer Music Festival Orchestra concert on June 29. Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra leader, Bell performs regularly with the world's leading symphony orchestras and conductors. The Bloomington-born musician received an Artist Diploma in violin performance at IU in 1989. He has also been honored with IU's Distinguished Alumni Service Award, been named an "Indiana Living Legend" and received the Indiana Governor's Arts Award.

World-famous conductors Michael Stern, who founded the acclaimed IRIS Chamber Orchestra, and Leonard Slatkin, who has guided the National Symphony Orchestra for the past 10 years, will also direct the Festival Orchestra on July 20 and Aug. 3, respectively. Considered one of the finest orchestras in the region, the Festival Orchestra features guests, outstanding students and distinguished faculty members at the Jacobs School of Music.

Photo by: Marco Borgreve, Warner

The Beaux Arts Trio

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For the first time ever, the Summer Music Festival will showcase a Festival Jazz Orchestra. Led by IU Distinguished Professor and renowned jazz educator and composer David Baker, the orchestra will make its debut on June 30.

In addition to the festival orchestra series, audiences can look forward to hearing several acclaimed visiting ensembles, including the Beaux Arts Trio led by IU Distinguished Professor and internationally renowned pianist Menahem Pressler (June 23-24); the American Chamber Players (June 18); the Penderecki Quartet (June 26 and 28); the Sequenza Trio (July 13); and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra under the direction of David Baker (Aug. 12).

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

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The American Chamber Players includes IU piano professor Jean-Louis Haguenauer and National Public Radio personality and violist Miles Hoffman. Violinist Mark Kaplan and his wife, pianist Yael Weiss, two recent additions to the Jacobs School faculty, form two-thirds of the acclaimed Sequenza piano trio. Kaplan and Weiss will join several faculty members from the IU String Academy for a chamber music recital on June 21, and Weiss will perform a solo piano recital on June 25.

On Aug. 6, IU will host the world premiere of a new 20-minute choral work, Sun Dogs, written by preeminent Scottish composer James MacMillan. MacMillan is much in demand internationally as a conductor and has been composer/conductor of the BBC Philharmonic since 2000. The performance will be conducted by Jacobs School of Music Professor Carmen Helena Téllez.

A scene from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado

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Following last year's successful production of H.M.S. Pinafore, IU Opera Theater will present Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, which some consider the most popular opera ever written. The opera has delighted audiences for more than a century and spawned a number of imitations. None, though, are considered nearly as good as the original, which represented both Gilbert and Sullivan at the height of their creative geniuses. Performances will be held July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5.

Once again, the popular sunset band concerts will be held on the lawn of the Musical Arts Center, located on Jordan Avenue. The concerts, which will feature marches, popular favorites, solos and light classics, are scheduled for July 12, 19 and 26.

Some events are free and some require tickets. Performances will be at both the Musical Arts Center and the Jacobs School of Music's Auer Hall.

For more information and a complete list of performances during the 2006 Summer Music Festival, visit

Additional free concerts and recitals by students and faculty will be scheduled throughout the summer. For more information, go to or call the 24-hour concert line, MusiCall, at 812-855-2255.

Additional activities

The IU Jacobs School of Music second summer session provides support for much of the IU Summer Music Festival. Additional activities during the summer include Summer Adult Workshops in arts management, clarinet, natural horn, violin, viola, kodály, opera, wind band conducting and music cataloging.

Summer Academies include ballet, college audition preparation, piano academy, string adademy and a summer music clinic.

For more information on these activities, go to .