LEWISTON — Jazz reflecting Asian and Latin influences, an introduction to the complete cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas and a one-man play about orchestral conducting are among highlights at Bates College this fall.

Here’s the schedule from September through December:

• The college’s Jazz at Olin Series opens the concert season with pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, a duo known as Raw Materials, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for seniors and students. They are available at www.batestickets.com.

Sons of Indian immigrants, Iyer and Mahanthappa are at the forefront of a generation of American jazz musicians exploring diverse cultural heritages through music. Respected soloists and frequent collaborators since 1996, the duo synthesizes Asian, African and European elements into a style that’s state-of-the-art and timeless.

• Frank Glazer, a pianist and Bates artist-in-residence whose musical energy remains undimmed at age 94, begins his survey of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. The performance is open to the public at no cost, but tickets are required. Beginning with the early Op. 2 and Op. 7 sonatas, Glazer will perform a program of the sonatas every month through the academic year.

Glazer’s series honors a parallel effort by the Auryn Quartet, which resumes its performances of the Beethoven string quartet cycle in January, presented by the Bates Concert Committee. (The committee’s season also includes folk-pop singer Suzanne Vega in January.)

A pianist of international renown, Glazer has taught at Bates since 1980. TheTopsham resident brings to the concert stage a highly distinguished career that includes numerous recordings, solo recitals and performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles. In March, Glazer reprised the program that he played in his Carnegie Hall debut, 60 years ago to the day.

The autumn’s remaining concerts in the Beethoven sonata series will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9; at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. In a related event, Glazer will offer a lecture on the sonatas at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, followed by a reception. This event is free, but tickets are required. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 786-6163.

• Composer, conductor, playwright and actor David Katz performs “Muse of Fire,” his acclaimed one-man play exploring the art of conducting, at Bates at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25. Tickets are $6 for general admission and may be purchased at www.batestickets.com.

The last play directed by the late Tony-award winner Charles Nelson Reilly, “Muse of Fire” is based on Katz’s experiences at the famed Pierre Monteux School for musical conductors in Hancock. With recordings by more than a dozen beloved composers woven into the narrative, “Muse of Fire” is a gripping and humorous look into the conductor’s art.

• Pianist Duncan Cumming, a Bates alumnus who studied with Glazer, returns to his alma mater with violinist Hilary Cumming, his wife, to perform works of Schubert, Brahms and Dvorak at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2. The program also includes “Duo,” a composition by William Matthews, Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music at Bates. Admission is free, but tickets are required.
A Maine native, Cumming graduated with highest honors from Bates in 1993. An artist whose playing has been described as “technically flawless, thoughtful, deliberate and balanced,” he received a master’s degree in 1996 from the New England Conservatory and, in 2003, he earned a doctorate from Boston University. He is a member of the faculties of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the University at Albany.

Hilary Cumming, with whom Duncan often performs, studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has performed around the world. Also a member of the Albany music faculty, her most recent CD recording was made in August 2008 with the Musicians of the Old Post Road and is available from Meridien Records.

• The Jazz at the Olin Arts Center Series resumes with Grammy-nominated drummer Dafnis Prieto and his Si o Si Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. Tickets, costing $12 for general admission and $6 for seniors and students, are available at www.batestickets.com.

Prieto leads a jazz workshop at 4:30. Admission is free and participants will receive a free ticket to the evening performance. For more information about the workshop, e-mail [email protected]

Called “the essence of the modern drummer” by The Sacramento Bee, Prieto leads a quartet boasting some of New York’s outstanding Latin jazz players. Prieto has created music for dance, film and chamber ensembles as well as his own bands.

• The Parker String Quartet, called “something extraordinary” by The New York Times, becomes a quintet when joined by guitarist Seth Warner at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. The program includes Boccherini’s “Fandango” Quintet for guitar and strings. Tickets, $12 for general admission and $6 for seniors and students, are available at www.batestickets.com.
Warner, concert hall manager at Bates and a multi-instrumentalist, will play a reproduction of a 19th-century guitar by Viennese luthier Johann Anton Stauffer.

• Regarded as one of the world’s foremost players of harpsichord and fortepiano, Andreas Staier comes to Bates to perform fortepiano music by Haydn at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. Staier will use a copy of a Walther fortepiano built by R.J. Regier of Freeport. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $6 for seniors and students. They may be purchased at www.batestickets.com.

A native of Germany, Staier performs in recital and with orchestra throughout Europe, the United States and Japan. His solo work is often broadcast on the BBC.

• Conducted by Hiroya Miura, the Bates College Orchestra performs music by Haydn, Mendelssohn and others at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. Admission to the concert is free, but tickets are required.

A choral work made popular by its drama and earthy power, Orff’s “Carmina Burana” will be performed by the Bates College Choir, directed by John Corrie, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

Composed in the mid-1930s, “Carmina Burana” is based on 24 poems found in the medieval collection of the same name. The piece is best known for the movement “O Fortuna,” which opens and closes the piece.

• Music at Bates for 2009 ends with a performance by the Bates College Jazz Band, conducted by well-known Maine pianist Tom Snow, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. Admission is free, but tickets are required.
For information about all Olin Concert Hall events, call 786-6135 or e-mail [email protected] The concert hall is at 75 Russell St.


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