Argenta Concert Series rings in three years at the University; first concert Friday

New eight-concert chamber music series and renovations in Church Fine Arts Building offer expanded musical experiences for students and community

Argenta Concert Series rings in three years at the University; first concert Friday

New eight-concert chamber music series and renovations in Church Fine Arts Building offer expanded musical experiences for students and community

The University of Nevada, Reno Argenta Concert Series enters its third season, presenting eight performances through next May, including Musical America's 2012 Musicians of the Year. The series debuts at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27,  in Church Fine Arts' Nightingale Concert Hall with Brahms Reflected, compositions by Schumann, Hindemith, Bartok, Bruch and Brahms.

Making his much-awaited chamber series return, clarinetist David Shifrin is among the most distinguished chamber artists today. He is the former artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is a professor at Yale University. He is joined by Paul Neubauer, former principal violist of New York Philharmonic, professor at the Juilliard School and director of OK Mozart Festival, distinguished as one of his generation's quintessential artists. Shifin and Neubauer will perform with University musicians Dmitri Atapine on cello, Hyeyeon Park on piano and James Winn on piano.

Atapine, cello professor and co-artistic director of the Argenta Concert Series, said the series fulfills a need in the community for chamber music. In collaboration with Park, assistant professor of piano, the University's Argenta Trio has expanded its regular three-concert season to an eight-performance concert series.

"The whole idea behind the series is to bring to Reno some of the top musicians around the country and world," Atapine said. "I have always been extremely passionate about chamber music because it's a small amount of people, and it's very intimate." 

Also this season, the University's Argenta Trio will return for two performances, each featuring works by composers from Nevada. The grand finale of the season will feature a visit by two titans of the classical music world, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han. Finckel is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards, and jointly, they are artistic directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Associated with the concert series are workshops and master classes taught by the guest artists. Students had the unique opportunity to learn from Neubauer who provided instruction during a master's class the day before the concert.

"We are providing even more collaborations with distinguished world artists who interact with our students and community, increasing our presence in the world of classical music."

As world-renowned artists and exciting, new performances descend onto campus, the University also welcomes a new physical backdrop with renovations to the School of the Arts' Church Fine Arts Building.

"Act One" is the name given to the first phase of the University's plans for renovation and expansion of School of the Arts performance and art spaces in the Church Fine Arts building. Specifically, Act One refers to the remodel of the Nell J. Redfield Proscenium Theatre, with the introduction of raked seating, creation of an interior control booth, and an 1,800 square-foot expansion of the scene shop. Act One also includes the remodeling of Church Fine Arts' Front Door Gallery and the creation of an atrium entrance on Virginia Street.

The modernization project at the building has received major support from the Nell J. Redfield Foundation and the Edna B. and Bruno Benna Foundation.

"The Redfield Foundation has a deep and longstanding interest in fine arts in general and the Nell J. Redfield Proscenium Theatre in particular," Jerry Smith, Redfield Foundation trustee, said. "This gift makes it possible to make necessary renovations to the theatre and to take a lead in developing the new center for fine arts."

The estimated completion for Act One is early 2014. The entire "play" in three acts will include additional space for art, music and dance.

"We are thrilled to be able to further enhance the arts presence on campus and in the community," Larry Engstrom, director of the University School of the Arts, said. "With these renovations and improvements to come, the many dedicated staff, faculty and students who make up the School of the Arts can continue to provide the arts education and performance opportunities a university-based community expects and deserves."

Patrons planning to attend Friday's concert are encouraged to park in the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex north of the building, and enter through the north or south building entrances. Due to the current construction, the front entrance to Church Fine Arts off Virginia Street is closed and the parking lot on the northwest side of the building is inaccessible.

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