Trombone professor to lead annual faculty Krannert performance

By Christen McGlynn

This Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Professor Elliot Chasanov will lead the annual School of Music faculty performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Foellinger Great Hall. 

Bridget Lee-Calfas, director of advertising and publicity at the Krannert Center, said they collaborate with the School of Music every year to put on the faculty performance. It has been a yearly tradition at Krannert, and students are often welcomed to perform as well.

Chasanov, professor of trombone, said the program will center on two major pieces: Eric Ewazen’s “A Summer’s Journey” for soprano voice, trombone and piano, and Vincent Persichetti’s “Serenade No. 6” for trombone, viola and cello. He will also perform his arrangement of Mendelssohn’s “The Poet’s Harp” from his “Songs without Words” (for piano) on alto trombone. According to Chasanov, the music that will be played will highlight the vocal quality of the trombone as well as its instrumental vigor. Both composers have a familiar connection to Chasanov. 

“The composer Eric Ewazen is a good friend of mine. In 1997, when I hosted the International Trombone Festival at UIUC, he served as my composer in residence,” Chasanov said. “He has written beautiful, highly enjoyable music for brass and winds.”

Additionally, Persichetti was a dear friend of his maternal grandfather, would share schnapps and hardboiled eggs (a German tradition) while engaging in loud laughter together. Chasanov said his grandfather was the most influential person in regard to his musical career, and he strives to live up to his memory. 

“During WWII, he saved countless musicians from Nazi death camps by sending money to bribe guards,” Chasanov said. “Notably, among them, Otto Paepcke, one of the founders of the Aspen Music Festival; Wolfgang Granat, violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Guillermo Perich, later viola professor at UIUC.”

Chasanov said he encourages his students to attend his performances. He believes listening to music, especially live performances, imprints musical nuance and can shape the subconscious. His teacher at the Chicago Symphony, Edward Kleinhammer, said “for every hour you play, you must listen for two” and has lived by his quote.

Anna Umholtz, junior in Media, will be attending this performance at the Krannert Center for her Jazz Dance II class that encourages students to explore other forms of the performing arts. She said she is looking forward to the combination of student and faculty performances and is intrigued to see what will conspire.

Chasanov will also be performing with other University faculty, such as Yvonne Redman from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. While the second half features two virtuoso players from the University’s string faculty, Rudolf Haken and Russian cello virtuoso Dmitry Kouzov. All of the musical pieces have been chosen specifically to enhance each musician’s talents. 

“It is an honor and an absolute joy to work with these fantastic musicians,” Chasanov said.

Tickets for the performance will be $10 for regular attendees, $7 for senior citizens and $4 for University students. The show will last approximately 1 hour and 8 minutes.

Christen can be reached at [email protected]