Written by: Hilary Demske, (801) 863-7360
The Music Department is proud to present Harpsichord Week at Utah Valley University from November 16-21, 2009, celebrating the recent acquisition of a 2009 harpsichord built by Peter Fisk. The festival features renowned harpsichordist, Ling-Ju Lai, presenting five recitals in collaboration with UVU students and faculty. All events are free and open to the public.
Dr. Lai, a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Eastman School of Music, is a well-known Baroque specialist who has garnered consistent favorable reviews with her creative interpretation of Baroque keyboard music, particularly the complete Bach Partitas. The Baltimore Sun writes, “The depth of the sound sinks in with startling poignancy as Ling-Ju Lai lets the notes linger long in the air . . . a moment of musical insight to savor.”
The festival will begin with a solo harpsichord recital by Ling-Ju Lai on Monday, November 16 at 7:30 pm in GT 416 (Gunther Technology building). The concert includes selections from Rameau, Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, Farnaby, and Soler. “The opportunity to hear a solo harpsichord recital with an artist of Ling-Ju Lai’s caliber is extremely rare.” piano department chair Dr. Hilary Demske writes. “Often even musicians are not aware of the expressive power that the instrument has in the hands of the right performer. Ling-Ju Lai’s playing will transform the way you hear the harpsichord.”
The remaining four musical events will take place in the Ragan Theater. Thursday, November 20 at 7:30 pm will be ‘Harpsichord Concerto Night’. Dr. Lai will perform Vivaldi concerto in D Major and three Scarlatti sonatas with the UVU Percussion Ensemble featuring flute and marimba quartet. The d minor keyboard concerto of J.S. Bach with the UVU Honors String Quartet will follow.
On Friday, November 21 at 7:30 pm, the UVU Chamber Orchestra will perform Brandenburg Concerto No.5 with harpsichordist Ling-Ju Lai, violinist Dr. Donna Fairbanks, and flutist Mary Richards. The orchestra, directed by Dr. Donna Fairbanks, will also present Eccles Sonata in G minor with bass soloist Eric Hansen and Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony.
‘Harpsichord Week’ will conclude with two performances on Saturday, November 22, in GT 416. A student harpsichord recital will take place at 5:30, with performers and ensembles selected by Dr. Lai after individual private instruction throughout the week. After a brief pause at 6:30, the concluding recital at 7:00 will feature the UVU Chamber Choir performing selections from Vivaldi’s Gloria and faculty harpsichord ensembles.
Festival organizer Hilary Demske says that “with so many different ensembles performing, the students and audience can experience the depth and variety of the harpsichord. The best way to learn about Baroque music is to hear it, and this festival presents that opportunity for both students and the public led by a world-class artist.” For more information, please visit www.uvu.edu/music.


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