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WFU Secrest Artists Series announces 2009-2010 concert schedule


April 23, 2009

Featuring an eclectic offering of musical genres, Wake Forest University’s 2009-2010 Secrest Artists Series will include performances by renowned pianist Angela Hewitt; the Luna Negra Dance Theater with the Turtle Island String Quartet and Paquito D’Rivera; the Bruckner Orchester Linz; baritone opera singer Nathan Gunn; and South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The season will open at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in Brendle Recital Hall with a concert by Angela Hewitt. Considered by critics as one of the world’s premiere pianists and “the pre-eminent Bach pianist of our time,” Hewitt recently completed an 11-year recording project of all major works of Bach. As a result, in 2006 she was named Gramaphone’s Artist of the Year.  She has performed extensively throughout the world in concert halls and festivals and hosts her own annual international festival called the Trasimeno Music Festival at the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione, near Perugia, Italy.

At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, the Luna Negra Dance Theater will perform with the Turtle Island String Quartet and Paquito D’Rivera at Reynolds High School Auditorium. The concert is a collaborative event with Reynolds High School’s Arts Magnet Program and Wake Forest’s Cuba Project Collective. 

Also part of the Luna Negra’s 10th anniversary season, the concert will feature “Danzón,” a new work by Luna Negra’s returning artistic director Eduardo Vilaro that incorporates the official dance of Cuba. By partnering with the Turtle Island Quartet and Paquito D’Rivera, Vilaro has reinvented the traditional Cuban dance form into a modern work of art and will tour the United States to introduce audiences to the thriving Latino tradition of Danzón. 

The Bruckner Orchester Linz will present a concert Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Wait Chapel.  Conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, the Bruckner Orchester has a 200-year history of excellence and has recently risen to prominence as a leading orchestra in Central Europe. The Orchestra’s 110 musicians will perform works by Philip Glass and Leonard Bernstein at Wake Forest.

At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, renowned baritone opera singer Nathan Gunn will perform.  The concert venue will be announced at a later date.  Described as a “velvet-voiced” baritone by New York magazine, Gunn is one of the nation’s most in-demand opera singers.   He has earned critical acclaim for his many roles, including Guglielmo in “Cosi fan tutte,” the Count in “Le Nozze di Figaro, Ottone in “L’incoronazione di Poppea” and title roles in “Billy Budd” and “Hamlet.”  He most recently appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as the comic bird-catcher Papageno in “The Magic Flute.”

The final concert of the season will feature Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African vocal ensemble representing the customs of native South Africa through traditional “Isicathamiya” music, at 7:30 p.m. March 4 in Wait Chapel. 

Considered a national treasure in South Africa, the Grammy-award winning group performs as cultural ambassadors both at home and abroad.  More than 20 years ago, Paul Simon collaborated with the group to produce the “Graceland” album. The group performed at Queen Elizabeth II’s 50th Anniversary as Monarch with Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and several other prominent performers. They have also performed at a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

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 $20 to $25 for general admission; $15 to $20 for senior citizens and non-Wake Forest students; and $5 for children under 12.  Group discounts are also available.  Season tickets are $110 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


Pianist Angela Hewitt will open the 2009-2010 Secrest Artists Series Sept. 17.  Photo by Simon Fowler.
Pianist Angela Hewitt will open the 2009-2010 Secrest Artists Series Sept. 17. Photo by Simon Fowler.
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