Orchid Ensemble brings eastern flair

Orchid EnsembleTogether with the Fort Collins Lincoln Center, the CSU Department of Music, Theatre & Dance presents the internationally acclaimed Orchid Ensemble with the CSU Concert Choir, the third installment in the new Classical Convergence Music Series, on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Organ Recital Hall at the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington Street. This new series features traditional classical solo artists and chamber ensembles, as well as explores the new projects and concepts continually branching out of the genre.

Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for the public. Tickets are available at the Lincoln Center box office at 417 West Magnolia Street, by phone at (970) 221-6730, or online. Tickets may also be purchased at the door at the University Center for the Arts (UCA). The ticket office in the UCA lobby opens 90 minutes prior to any UCA performance and through intermission.

Blends musical instruments, Chinese traditions

Building on the classical concert programs of both organizations, the co-produced Classical Convergence Series features seven world-class performers and ensembles – performing at the University Center for the Arts and the Lincoln Center – including Grammy award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, as well as pianist Jeremy Denk, Mother Falcon, the Borromeo String Quartet, Orchid Ensemble, Classical Jam, and the Mendelssohn Trio.

“The series allows us to thoroughly examine the intersection of world-class performers and our community, creating intimate experiences that allow for real interaction with these artists,” said Jack Rogers, general manager for the Lincoln Center.

The Juno nominated and Independent Music Award winning Orchid Ensemble blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, creating a beautiful new sound that is both creative and distinct. The ensemble has embraced a variety of musical styles to its repertoire, ranging from the traditional and contemporary music of China, world music, new music, to creative improvisation.

Comprised of members Lan Tung, erhu and vocal; Geling Jiang, zheng (Chinese zither); and Jonathan Bernard, marimba and percussion, Orchid Ensemble regularly collaborates with musician from a wide variety of world cultures.

For this performance, Orchid Ensemble joins forces with the CSU Concert Choir for three pieces: In the Very Highest Place, which uses traditional Chinese musical characteristics and text, a Hebrew text from the Song of Solomon which blends traditional Jewish and Asian musical styles into a fascinating blended style, and Ghost Mind utilizing avant-garde choral techniques.

“These pieces are really unlike anything that our students have ever performed before,” said Ryan Olsen, conductor of the CSU Concert Choir. “The biggest challenges in preparing this concert have been learning the very modern compositional techniques, both for the choir and their interaction with the instrumentalists, and also trying to coordinate the choral parts with these Asian instruments that we don’t have at CSU.”

The energetic yet endearing performance style of Orchid Ensemble consistently intrigues and delights its audiences, consistently receiving standing ovations.

“This will truly be one of the most unique concerts that CSU performs this year,” said Olsen.

‘One of the brightest blossoms’ in world music

Acclaimed as ‘One of the brightest blossoms on the world music scene’ (Georgia Straight), the Orchid Ensemble has been tirelessly developing an innovative musical genre based on the cultural exchange between Western and Asian musicians. The Orchid Ensemble regularly collaborates with musicians from a wide variety of world cultures and actively commissions new works by Canadian and US composers for its unique instrumentation. Read more.

About the Classical Convergence Series:

Fall 2014 marks the beginning of a partnership between the Colorado State University Dept. of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Fort Collins Lincoln Center with the launch of the Classical Convergence Concert Series. The series features traditional classical solo artists and chamber ensembles, while further exploring the full spectrum of the classical music genre. Read more.

2014-15 season

Orchid Ensemble with the CSU Concert Choir

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, University Center for the Arts

Mendelssohn Trio

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, University Center for the Arts

Jeremy Denk, Piano

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan., 20, 2015, University Center for the Arts

Joshua Bell, Violin

7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2015, Lincoln Center

Classical Jam

7:30 p.m. Saturday April 4, 2015, University Center for the Arts

Borromeo String Quartet

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18, 2015, University Center for the Arts

The University Center for the Arts provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.