The New York Woodwind Quintet, noted as the world's best group of its kind, will arrive in Bemidji by a circuitous route.
The musicians that make up the quintet - Carol Wincenc, flute; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Charles Neidich, clarinet; Marc Goldberg, bassoon; and William Purvis, horn - are colleagues at the Julliard School of Music of the musicians in the American Brass Quintet. The brass quintet members are friends of Del Lyren, Bemidji State University professor of instrumental music and trumpet player. He said he has been working for five years to bring the group to Bemidji.
So, through that indirect connection, Lyren was able to attract the New York Woodwind Quintet to Bemidji for a concert and student seminars.
The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the BSU Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. This the second installment of the annual Bemidji Concert Series presented by Bemidji State University. Quintet members will give student seminars at 3 p.m. Friday in Bangsberg 112 and a short presentation about their music and the quintet at 7 p.m. Both are open to the public.
"We're going to try to do that before every concert," Lyren said of the preconcert introduction.
Individual event tickets are $20 for the general public, $5 for students and free for students with a valid Bemidji State identification card. Tickets may be purchased at the Department of Music, Lueken's Village Foods North and Tutto Bene in Bemidji. If available, tickets also will be sold at the door.
Founded in 1947, the New York Woodwind Quintet has gained international prominence for its imaginative programs that embrace everything from transcriptions of Bach to first performances of new works. Its Bemidji program will include works written by master composers of various eras.
The quintet has commissioned and premiered over 20 compositions, some of which have become classics of the woodwind repertoire. They include Samuel Barber's Summer Music, and quintets by Gunther Schuller, Ezra Laderman, William Bergsma, Alec Wilder, William Sydeman, Wallingford Riegger, Jon Deak, and Yehudi Wyner.
"It's an unusual type of music because they're five woodwind instruments with completely different sounds," Lyren said.,
However, he said the French horn, with another completely different sound, ties the other instruments together.
The musicians are all internationally recognized performers and teachers who conduct seminars and teacher individual students at Julliard.
"They're a fantastic group," Lyren said. "It'll be fun."
The concert is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional contributions were made by the Minnesota State Arts Board, General Mills Foundation and the Land O' Lakes Foundation. Funding has also been provided by the Bemidji State University Foundation, the Bemidji State University College of Arts and Sciences and the Region 2 Arts Council.