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Grammy winning violinist coming to Ithaca

Grammy-winning violin virtuoso James Ehnes will give this year’s Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series performance at Ithaca College on Saturday, Oct. 25. The free concert will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. With pianist Andrew Armstrong, Ehnes will perform music of Mozart and Kernis, along with Bach’s famous D major Chaconne and Richard Strauss’ violin sonata. In addition to his public performance, Ehnes will give a master class on Saturday, October 25, at noon in the Hockett Family Recital Hall in the Whalen Center. The series was established in 2002 to honor Louis Thaler’s lifelong love of the violin.Ehnes’s 2007 recording of Elgar’s violin concerto was characterized by the classical music magazine “Gramophone” as “a performance guaranteed to make you fall in love all over again with this sublime music.” In January 2008, “Gramophone” made the recording as an Editor’s Choice commenting that it “can only boost Ehnes’s standing as one of the most gifted and charismatic fiddlers around.” In February 2008, Ehnes won a Grammy award in the Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra) category for his “Barber/Korngold/Walton: Violin Concertos” album.Andrew Armstrong has performed solo recitals and with orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Kennedy Center, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic. He has performed chamber music with the Alexander, American, and Manhattan Quartets, as well as with Itzhak Perlman. Having performed over 30 concertos with orchestra, Armstrong has impressed his international audiences with a large repertoire ranging from Bach to the present.The Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series was established in the Ithaca College School of Music by the Thaler/Howell Foundation. Ani Kavafian inaugurated the series in October 2002. Subsequent performers were Elmar Oliveira and Jaime Laredo. Louis’s son Manley H. Thaler and his immediate family provided the impetus for this gift. Before his death in 1979, Louis Thaler had a long and successful career as an Ithaca attorney and was the founder and senior partner in the Thaler and Thaler law firm. In addition to his professional and civic activities, Louis Thaler was an amateur violinist.In 1927 Thaler married the former Rachel Shulman, a native Ithacan who studied piano at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. Louis and Rachel Thaler were devoted supporters of the Friends of Ithaca College. The Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series, established in 1991, along with the creation of the Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series, honor the Thalers’ love of music and their support of the College and the School of Music.The Thaler/Howell Foundation, through the efforts of Manley H. Thaler, endowed both series to recognize and honor Rachel and Louis Thaler and to ensure that outstanding violinists and pianists would always perform for the Ithaca College community and the residents of the surrounding area.For more information, contact Erik Kibelsbeck in the School of Music at (607) 274-3717 or ekibelsbeck@ithaca.edu.

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