Students studying outside the library

Dunlap Chamber Music Series continues

Next performance set for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3

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Pianist Alexander Kobrin and cellist Wendy Warner will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in Leonard Auditorium.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Benjamin B. Dunlap Chamber Music Series at Wofford College, in its 11th year, will present concerts this fall featuring world-renowned pianist Alexander Kobrin, cellist Wendy Warner and saxophonist Ashu.

Kobrin, winner of the Van Cliburn Competition, and Warner, winner of the Rostropovich Competition, will perform on Monday, Oct. 3. They will present a program of works by Beethoven, Shumann, Rachmaninoff and Shastakovich.

Ashu, winner of numerous major international awards traditionally won by pianists and violinists, will perform on Monday, Nov. 7. His performance will include works by Rachmaninoff and Piazzolla.

Dr. Eun-Sun Lee, director of the Dunlap Chamber Music Series and professor of music at Wofford, a violinist, and William Ransom, pianist and director of the Schwartz Performing Arts Center Concert Series at Emory University and director of the Highlands-Cashiers Music Festival, will perform a unique benefit recital to finish out the series. That performance will be Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

All performances in the Dunlap Chamber Music Series are held at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Wofford’s Main Building and are free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary.

“We are very happy that Wofford College is able to offer these extraordinary programs free to the community,” Lee says. “It is a rarity. We are very fortunate that, with the support of the community and the enthusiasm of Wofford’s retired president, Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap, in whose honor the series is named, these concerts can be offered free to the community. We also now have an endowment fund to help us continue to present the concerts as gifts to our community, and it is my hope that Spartanburg and the surrounding area will continue to support the series with donations as well as by attendance.”

Since the Chamber Music Series was founded, it has grown in both size and prestige because of the caliber of performers the program draws, Lee says. “At a college without a music major, it is amazing that we are able to attract such internationally recognized performers to Wofford, but it’s in part because we have a community that appreciates the quality of music-making here.”

While Wofford does not offer a major in music, students from many departments participate in a variety of musical activities, she adds.

Kobrin has won top prizes at numerous other international competitions, including Busoni, Hamamatsu, and Chopin. His highly acclaimed debut with the New York Philharmonic at both the Avery Fisher Hall and the inaugural concert of the Bethel Woods Arts Center were followed by recitals and performances in many major halls, including the Louvre Auditorium and Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall and Albert Hall in London, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, Kennedy Center in Washington, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, and many others. He has recorded for Quartz, King Records, Fondamenta and Harmonia Mundi labels. He divides his time between performing around the world and teaching at Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., where he holds the Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano, after having served on the faculty of the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow.

After winning first prize at the International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990, audiences have watched Warner perform on prestigious stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Paris’ Salle Pleyel and Berlin’s Philharmonie. She has collaborated with such leading conductors as Rostropovich, Spivakov, Eschenbach, Previn, Dutoit, Jarvi and Tilson Thomas. Warner began studying piano at the age of 4 and began studying the cello at age 6, under the tutelage of Nell Novak. At 14, she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra broadcast on WTTW-TV. She continued her studies with Rostropovich at the Curtis Institute from which she graduated. Warner is a recipient of prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and has recorded extensively on Cedille, Bridge and Naxos labels. She is on the faculty at the Schwob School of Music and is currently performing on a Gagliano cello and Tourte bow.

Ashu made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Since then, concerto and recital performances have taken him around the world, including last year throughout Russia, South Africa, Finland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, Poland, Great Britain, New Zealand, and North America. Critics have described him as “just as much fun to watch as to listen to” (Dallas Morning News) and “ready to cultivate the masses” (Chicago Tribune). Born and raised in California, Ashu began playing the saxophone at age 10. With a growing demand from major concert series, his recent concerto and recital engagements include the Ravinia Festival, Carnegie Hall, Zurich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus, Singapore Esplanade, NY Central Park, Kravis Center, La Jolla Music Society, and more. Ashu recently won the prestigious “Audience Prize” at the International Musical Olympus Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also won first prizes at competitions including the International Heida Hermanns, International Kingsville Wind Instrumentalist, International Salon De Virtuosi, American Opera Society, National Alliance for Excellence, and Houston Symphony Concerto Competitions. Ashu graduated from Northwestern University and is based in Chicago.