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New Conductor for Kent State Orchestra Assures Eclectic Contemporary Repertoire

Posted Sep. 12, 2011

Liza GrossmanThe Hugh A. Glauser School of Music's Kent State University Orchestra recently announced it will be under the tutelage of Cleveland-based conductor, Liza Grossman. Grossman is the music director of the award-winning Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO) of Cleveland, of which she is also the founder. CYO is dedicated exclusively to the study and performance of contemporary orchestral literature, and the only one of its kind in the United States.

Grossman holds degrees in music performance and music education from Cleveland State University. She also serves on the conducting faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she co-founded the Camp's Junior Advanced String Institute. She has conducted 19 world premiere concertos with Cleveland Orchestra members, national and local musicians; conducted over 80 orchestra world premieres, all with the composers present. She has collaborated with composers including Bernard Rands, Robert Ward and Joan Tower. In addition, Grossman has conducted world premier orchestral rock performances with rock and popular artists Ray Manzarek (DOORS), Gram Nash (CSNY), Pat Benatar, Mike Garson, GrandMixer DXT, Donnie Iris, STYX, Jon Anderson (YES) and Jefferson Starship.

"The repertoire that is being planned is all-inclusive and will show how diverse the orchestra can be. With times changing, I find it crucial to not only recognize and study the classics, but pay attention to the audience demands of wanting something new from the orchestral world. Our audiences are changing and we will inspire," said Grossman.

Grossman has already begun work with the Kent State University Orchestra. The first concert is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Auditorium in Cartwright Hall. The orchestra will be highlighting Danzón No. 2 composer Arturo Márquez. This contemporary Mexican music literature expresses and reflects on a dance style called Danzón, which has its origins in Cuba but is a very important part of the folklore of the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Audiences can look forward to concert series two featuring Movie, TV and Cartoon themes. Concert series three will highlight the Dragon and Phoenix Overture which is the work of renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun whose music for Ang Lee's film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, received an Academy Award for best original score. The concert series four concert, which is performed with the Kent State Chorale, will highlight the Gloria by Francis Poulenc, which is one of his most celebrated works.

Night With the Orchestra will feature a piano work with Steinway Artist-in-Residence Donna Lee.

"The KSU Orchestra Society looks forward to working with music director Liza Grossman this year. She has an impeccable conducting background and will bring new musical ideas to our concert series," said Larry Andrews, president of the KSU Orchestra Society.

Grossman and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra are the recipients of awards including the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming (2008-2009 and 2009-2010), the Northern Ohio Live Award of Achievement and the Sunshine Award from Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio.

For more information on the KSU Orchestra, please visit www.kent.edu/artscollege or call the School of Music concert hotline at 330-672-3609.

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For More Information Contact:

Effie A. Tsengas, PR/Marketing Coordinator, Kent State College of the Arts
etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398