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Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

IU Jacobs School of Music students to perform at Kennedy Center

Feb. 15, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Five students from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will perform February 27 (Sunday), at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The performance is part of the center's Conservatory Project, a weeklong concert series showcasing artists from America's leading music schools.

The 6 p.m. performance on the Millennium Stage in the Terrace Theater is free and open to the public and will be streamed live on the Web at 6 p.m. EST. The streamed concert will be available at

Jacobs School students selected to participate include Andrew Lunsford, tenor; Alyssa Arrigo, piano; Madalyn Parnas, violin; Cicely Parnas, violoncello; and Wu Qian, piano.

The program includes works by Cilèa, Strauss, Sorozábal, Menotti, Puccini, Ravel, Bolcom, Scarlatti, Hallgrimsson, Debussy and Liszt.

About the Artists

Tenor Andrew Lunsford took his first voice lesson just three years ago, but his career has progressed rapidly since then, and he has been the winner of numerous awards and competitions. Since the fall of 2010, he has been a Performer Diploma student in the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Carol Vaness. Also a National Honor student, Lunsford was recently named a Founders Scholar, IU's highest honor for academic excellence. A 2009 finalist in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild competition, he won first place in the adult division of the 2009 National Association of Teachers of Singing National Competition and was selected as one of 12 Young Artists nationwide for the 2009 Crested Butte Music Festival. His first performance with IU Opera Theater was in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in 2009-10. The same weekend as this Conservatory Project performance, Lunsford will sing the title role in IU Opera's new production of Gounod's Faust, his first major operatic role.

Pianist Alyssa Arrigo, a native of Chicago, is currently pursuing her master's degree in piano performance at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Jean-Louis Haguenauer. An active collaborator, she holds a graduate assistant position as a pianist for IU Opera Theater productions as well as accompanying other vocal students. Arrigo has participated in many summer festivals, including Vladimir Feltsman's PianoSummer program, the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Italian Operatic Experience in Montecatini Terme, Italy. She has participated in master classes with Imogen Cooper, Martin Katz and Andrew Russo and was a finalist in Hershey Felder's competition "The Real Thing" in 2007. Arrigo made her New York City debut at Steinway Hall in 2008 and accompanied tenor and Jacobs faculty member Carlos Montané in concerts this past November. She received her bachelor's degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Violinist Madalyn Parnas and cellist Cicely Parnas are gifted young soloists and chamber musicians. The sisters have collaborated as "duo parnas" for the last 12 years, winning first prize in international chamber music competition at Carnegie Hall, releasing two acclaimed CDs and earning rave reviews for performances of 21st-century compositions written for them by award-winning composers. Of their 2009 performance of Brian Fennelly's 'Sigol' for Two at Symphony Space, New York Times critic Allan Kozinn wrote, "The duo parnas gave the piece an electrifying reading, couching it in a lush tone and executing its complex interplay with pinpoint precision." The duo parnas has performed numerous concerts with orchestras, including the New York String Orchestra and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Forthcoming performances both in solo and duo concertos are scheduled with the Schenectady Symphony (N.Y.), the Verde Valley Sinfonietta (Ariz.) and the St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra (Russia). In 2008 the Parnas sisters made their debut as the Parnas/Serkin Trio with the distinguished pianist Peter Serkin, in performances at Bennington College and Brattleboro Music Center in Vermont, the New School and People's Symphony Concerts in New York City and Music Mountain Festival in Connecticut. They also collaborate in trio performances with Israeli pianist Yaron Kohlberg, with forthcoming concert series planned for November 2010 and April/May of 2011 as well as summer 2011 festival appearances. The duo parnas has released two CDs. Parnas Double (January 2008) features music by Handel-Halvorsen, Kodaly, Ravel, Tcherepnin and Thomas. Gare du Nord (August 2009) concentrates on music inspired by Parisian culture, with works by Martinu, Milhaud, Glière, Fennelly and Honegger. A recent CD -- a live recording of the duo's Tannery Pond Concert at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y., in August 2009 with pianist Christian Steiner -- featuring Beethoven's Spring Sonata, Shostakovich's Cello Sonata and Arensky's Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, was issued in the summer of 2010. Madalyn and Cicely are students in the Artist Diploma program at the Jacobs School of Music. Recipients of the Artistic Excellence Award, they study with Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, respectively. They are granddaughters of the legendary cellist Leslie Parnas.

Selected as the classical music "Rising Star" for 2007 by the Independent, pianist Wu Qian was born in Shanghai and began her training at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. At the age of 13, she was invited on a full scholarship to study at the Menuhin School in Cobham, Surrey, with Irina Zaritskaya, and she went on to study with Professor Arnaldo Cohen and Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she also received a full scholarship. She completed her master's degree with distinction in 2009. Qian is currently a Jacobs Fellow pursuing the Artist Diploma in piano with Arnaldo Cohen at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. At 15 she performed a Mozart concerto in the Queen Elizabeth Hall and again at the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland. She also played the Saint-Saens Concerto No. 2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra in St. John's Smith Square. She made her U.K. debut recital at the South Bank Purcell Room in 2000 and has since played there again on several occasions, including a recital broadcast by BBC Radio 3. Qian has given recitals throughout Europe, including the Steinway Halls of Hamburg and New York, where her performance was broadcast throughout Asia. She has appeared in many of the U.K.'s major venues, including the Wigmore, Royal Festival and Bridgewater Halls, and she made her debut recital in City Hall, Hong Kong. Articles about Qian have appeared in many publications, and she has appeared on many radio and television programs, including interviews and performances on BBC4 and BBC World. Recently, Qian has appeared at the Harrogate, Grassington, Norfolk and Norwich, and the London Chopin festivals, and in numerous venues across the U.K., including the Fairfield Halls, Blackheath Halls and a fifth appearance at the Wigmore Hall. She was also invited to the prestigious Messiaen Festival in London, where she performed Un vitrail et des oiseaux with Pierre-Andre Valade and the Royal Academy of Music's Manson Ensemble. Her international engagements have included return visits to Koblenz and appearances at the Santander Festival, the Yale Summer Music Festival and the Hong Kong Cultural Arts Festival. In October 2009, Qian represented China in the Europalia Festival, performing Chopin's second piano concerto with the Brussels Philharmonic in a tour of Belgium. She has also recently toured with the Munich Symphoniker, performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto with Alexander Sitkovetsky and Leonard Elschenbroich. Qian's debut recording of works by Schumann, Liszt and the emerging composer Alexander Prior was released in April 2009 on the Dal Segno label to wide acclaim.

The Concert Program

Francesco Cilèa: "È la solita storia del pastore" from L'Arlesiana

Richard Strauss: Zueignung, Op. 10, No. 1

Pablo Sorozábal: "No puede ser" from La tabernera del Puerto

Gian Carlo Menotti: "I know that you all hate me" from The Saint of Bleecker Street

Giacomo Puccini: "Nessun dorma" from Turandot

Performed by Andrew Lunsford, tenor, and Alyssa Arrigo, piano

Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Violoncello

William Bolcom: Suite for Violin and Violoncello

Performed by duo parnas -- Madalyn Parnas, violin, and Cicely Parnas, violoncello

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in E Major, K.380 (L.23) "Cortège"

Haflidi Hallgrimsson: "Victory Boogie Woogie" from Homage to Mondrian

Claude Debussy: "Bruyères" from Préludes, Book II

Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12, S.244/12 Franz

Performed by Wu Qian, piano

The Project

The Conservatory Project is an initiative of Performing Arts for Everyone's Millennium Stage. As a semi-annual event occurring in February and in May, it is designed to present the best young musical artists in classical music, jazz, musical theater and opera from the nation's leading undergraduate and graduate conservatories, colleges and universities in performance at the Kennedy Center.

For more about the IU Jacobs School of Music, visit