PLEASE NOTE: The start/end date above is NOT the event date. These concerts will be held March 2-3 as described below.
JOHNSON CITY (Feb. 22, 2013) – The East Tennessee State University Chorale will present a concert, “Modern Master: The Music of Ola Gjeilo,” on Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 105 S. Boone St., featuring choral works by the noted Norwegian composer and pianist.
Gjeilo, who will be in residence at ETSU March 1-3, will join the Chorale at the piano, and a guest string quartet from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville will also perform.
The program will include music for both unaccompanied choir and pieces for choir, string quartet and piano. Gjeilo has composed “Evening Prayer,” a special closing piece for choir with improvised piano and saxophone accompaniment, which will feature guest artist Ted Belledin on saxophone.
In addition to the Sunday concert, Gjeilo and Belledin will present a Guest Artist Recital of completely improvised music on Saturday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. This program will include music re-created from Gjeilo’s recently released improvisatory piano albums, as well as freely improvised duets between the two musicians.
Both artists will also conduct master classes with ETSU music students during the weekend.
Gjeilo was born in Norway in 1978. After studying for his bachelor’s degree at the Norwegian Academy College of Music in Oslo and the Royal College of Music in London, he moved to the United States in 2001 to begin composition studies at the Juilliard School in New York City, where he completed his master’s degree in 2006.
Gjeilo, who is presently a full-time composer based in Atlanta, especially enjoys writing music for choir, orchestra/symphonic winds and the piano, and his works have been commissioned and performed by ensembles, musicians and organizations worldwide.
Many of his choral works are featured on the Phoenix Chorale’s album, “Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo,” which is the first recording devoted entirely to his music for choir. This album, which features special guests the Harrington String Quartet, Belledin, and Gjeilo himself, was named the Best Classical Album of 2012 by iTunes and remained in the top 20 classical albums on the Billboard charts for over 15 weeks.
Belledin, born in Memphis and raised near Philadelphia, earned his bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Wishing to pursue a career as a philosophy professor, he entered Arizona State University. He earned his master’s degree in philosophy in 2001 and taught at the college level for three years, all the while continuing to play music as a regular member of the world music group Azz Izz. Since then, he has become one of the busiest freelance musicians in Arizona, performing with a wide variety of bands and musicians. He is a regular member of the Shining Star Band and Dennis Rowland’s Jazz Experience, and also performs regularly at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences.
In addition to playing saxophone, Belledin doubles on piano and clarinet, composes, arranges, sequences music, and has a growing recording studio.
Tickets for each event are $10 for general admission and $5 for students with ID, and may be purchased by credit card in advance by calling the ETSU Department of Music at (423) 439-4276. Tickets will also be for sale at the door for cash or check only beginning 30 minutes before the events. Persons with disabilities may request special assistance by calling the same number.