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WFU Secrest Artists Series announces 2008-2009 concert schedule


April 25, 2008

Featuring concerts ranging from classical to edgy, Wake Forest University’s 2008-2009 season of the Secrest Artists Series will include performances by Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO); the Warsaw Philharmonic with pianist Valentina Lisitsa; trumpeter Alison Balsom; singer/composer/choreographer Meredith Monk; and the Takacs String Quartet with pianist Marc André Hamelin. 

The season will open at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in Wait Chapel with a concert by Mayfield and the NOJO.  Mayfield, a protégé of Wynton Marsalis, formed the nonprofit NOJO to celebrate and preserve the deep cultural heritage of jazz.  Mayfield is a Grammy-nominated and Billboard Award-winning trumpeter and composer who is the officially appointed cultural ambassador for the city of New Orleans.  The NOJO performs and presents educational programs that draw upon the rich musical and cultural traditions of New Orleans.  It is the only major performing and presenting jazz institution based in post-Katrina New Orleans.

The jazz orchestra has performed at prestigious venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Mondavi Center in Sacramento and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. 

A special fundraising activity for post-Katrina New Orleans will be held in conjunction with the concert.  Details will be announced in the fall.

At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Poland, will perform in Wait Chapel.  The 110-instrument ensemble held their first performance in 1901 and was re-formed after World War II when more than half of its players perished.  The world renowned philharmonic will perform under the direction of Antoni Wit and will feature solos by Lisitsa, a Ukrainian pianist. 

Alison Balsom & Ensemble will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in Brendle Recital Hall.  Balsom is a rising female trumpeter, a rarity in the largely male world of trumpet playing.  Only in her 20s, she holds a record contract on EMI, was awarded the Best Young British Performer in the 2006 Classical Brit Awards and made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January.  She will perform with an ensemble featuring a violin, cello and keyboard.

On March 19, the Secrest Artists Series will partner with Wake Forest’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts (OELA) to present the Meredith Monk performance at 7:30 p.m. in Brendle Recital Hall.  Boasting a 40-year career in music and performance, Monk is a composer, singer, director, choreographer, filmmaker and a pioneer in what is called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance.”   Her unique creations feature film, dance, singing, drama and more. 

Monk’s performance is a featured event in the symposium “Creativity: Worlds in the Making” sponsored by the OELA.  She will also give the closing keynote address at the symposium.

The final concert in the season will feature the Takacs String Quartet, a group critics call one of the world’s premier string quartets, and pianist Marc André Hamelin at 7:30 p.m. April 16 in Brendle Recital Hall.  Both the quartet and Hamelin have appeared in recent Secrest Series seasons to full, standing-room-only audiences. 

The Takacs Quartet performs 80 concerts a year throughout the world.  Last year, they performed four concerts at Carnegie Hall.

Hamelin is a French-Canadian pianist who has performed solo concerts across North America and Europe and has appeared numerous times with orchestras internationally.  He is not only known for exploring the unfamiliar, but also for his mastery and artistic interpretation of classic works.

As part of the mission of the Secrest Artists Series, all performances are offered free of charge to Wake Forest students, faculty and staff. 

Individual and season tickets may be purchased by the public.  Tickets to individual performances range in price from $18 to $25 for general admission; $13 to $18 for senior citizens and non-Wake Forest students; and $5 for children under 12.  Group discounts are also available.  Season tickets are $100 and will be available through the Theatre Box Office in Scales Fine Arts Center in early August. 

Each Secrest performance also includes a free Secrest Signature pre-concert lecture that begins 45 minutes before each concert.

For ticket information, contact the Secrest Office at (336) 758-5757.

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


Rising trumpeter Alison Balsom & Ensemble will give a Secrest Artists Series concert in February 2009.
Rising trumpeter Alison Balsom & Ensemble will give a Secrest Artists Series concert in February 2009.
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The Warsaw Philharmonic, conducted by Antoni Wit, will perform as part of the Secrest Artists Series in November.
The Warsaw Philharmonic, conducted by Antoni Wit, will perform as part of the Secrest Artists Series in November.
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