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Renowned Smetana Trio to open Artists Series season; Ticket sales begin June 9

June 2, 2014
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The Smetana Trio will open the Artists Series season Oct. 23.

EAU CLAIRE — Tickets will go on sale June 9 for the 50th season of the Artists Series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The 2014-15 season will open Oct. 23 with a concert by the Smetana Trio, the premier piano trio in its native Czech Republic. The performance at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall of Haas Fine Arts Center will feature works by Czech composers Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak and Roman Haas.

"There is nothing routine about the Smetana Trio's approach to this engaging repertoire," wrote BBC Music Magazine, which praised the trio's "gripping emotional range and flawless technique" in performing Dvorak's Trio in F minor, Op. 65, which is part of the Artists Series program. "The three performers listen to each other so acutely that, if you were at a live performance, you'd be afraid to breathe for fear of interrupting. … They live the music and you can't help but to live it with them." 

Touring North America only since 2011, the Smetana Trio was founded in 1934. The current membership includes pianist Jitka Cechova, violinist Jiri Vodicka and cellist Jan Palenicek, whose father was one of the founders of the original ensemble. The Smetana Trio has toured extensively as both chamber music ensemble and orchestral soloists, and has recorded exclusively for Supraphon since 2000.

Four additional events are part of the 50th season:

  • Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theatre, Nov. 11, Ojibwe Ballroom, Davies Center, 7:30 p.m. Invited to perform all over the world — from the Millennium Celebration in Times Square to the Cultural Olympiad in Greece — the Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theatre returns to the Artists Series for the first time since 1997. The company will perform "Cokata Upo! Come to the Center," a three-part work that celebrates the culture of the Lakota people. Traditional, sacred and courting songs, narratives and creation stories are woven into the fabric of the performance.

  • Cirque Zuma Zuma, Feb. 5, Zorn Arena, 7:30 p.m. This dazzling ensemble of African dancers, acrobats, contortionists and jugglers was a 2011 finalist on NBC-TV's popular program "America's Got Talent." Often described as an African-style Cirque du Soleil, the company wows audiences with a full-length show filled with nonstop action and performances of all different types of African variety arts.

  • Dali Quartet, March 10, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Today's freshest voice in classical and Latin American music, this young quartet is anchored in both Venezuela's social and music education movement El Sistema and in American classical conservatory traditions — combining the best of both worlds. Its enticing mix of romantic string quartet repertoire with Latin American chamber music takes listeners on an eclectic journey of rhythm and sound.

  • National Players, "To Kill a Mockingbird," April 21, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. America's longest running classical touring company, the National Players will stage an adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel for the first time in its 65-year history.

Ticket sales begin June 9 at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center, 715-836-3727. Season subscriptions are available for 25 percent off the single-ticket price.

Tickets for individual Artists Series events are $17 for the public; $15 for those age 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff; and $7 for those age 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Student tickets are half price, $3.50, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student ticket price.

Patrons may charge their tickets to Discover, MasterCard or Visa when they purchase online or order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all online and telephone charge orders.

Since 1965 the Artists Series has presented excellence in the performing arts. The program was created when the university's series of convocation programs merged with the Eau Claire Civic Music Association, a community project that began a subscription concert series in 1940.

The Artists Series is funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire and administered by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office of the University Centers. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support.

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JS/DO/DW


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