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Van Cliburn silver medalist to open 103rd Matinee Musicale season Tuesday

Russian pianist Yakov Kasman will open Matinee Musicale's 103rd season at the College of St. Scholastica's Mitchell Auditorium Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. A 1997 Van Cliburn Silver Medalist winner, Kasman's playing has been described as "jaw-dropping vi...

Russian pianist Yakov Kasman will open Matinee Musicale's 103rd season at the College of St. Scholastica's Mitchell Auditorium Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

A 1997 Van Cliburn Silver Medalist winner, Kasman's playing has been described as "jaw-dropping virtuosity, interpretive insight and sheet stylistic panache ... that really grabs the listener by the collar." Kasman has extensively toured the United States, Russia and Asia, performing more than 100 concerts to knock-out reviews. The Los Angeles Times wrote that "pyrotechnics came from Russian pianist Yakov Kasman, who illuminated his performance of Beethoven's 'Emperor' concerto with electrifying energy and sparkling tonal colors."

Kasman's debut in America in 1997 at the Van Cliburn competition was the culmination of several competition triumphs and tours in Europe and the Middle East, including prizes at the 1991 Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome, the 1991 London World Piano Competition, the 1992 Artur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv and the 1995 International Prokofiev Competition at St. Petersburg.

Since then, he has given concerts in the United States, Russia and Asia, including recitals in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Paul, Atlanta and Birmingham. He has appeared as soloist with more than 25 orchestras including the Pacific, Syracuse, Memphis, Miami, Fort Worth, Huntsville and Alabama symphonies, Athens State Orchestra, the Orchestre de Lille in France, the Singapore Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and the Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra. Kasman has nine studio CD recordings on the Calliope label.

The remainder of the season:

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Matineee Musicale will present the internationally acclaimed "Scholars of London" vocal ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2310 E. Fourth St., for its second recital. The quartet will also teach one or two classes to high school and college voice and choral students. Since its professional debut in 1970, the quartet has performed in many of the world's most famous concert halls, including New York's Lincoln Center, London's Royal Festival Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

Matinee Musicale's spring recitals include Scottish classical guitarist Paul Galbraith on Tuesday, March 11, and the Aspen Ensemble on April 22.

Galbraith plays at 7:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church. A sensation in the guitar world, Galbraith was a 1998 Grammy nominee for a double CD of his arrangements of the Bach Solo Violin Sonatas. This recording was also chosen as one of the two best CDs of 1998 by Gramophone Magazine.

For Matinee Musicale's season finale, the Aspen Ensemble will perform April 22, 7:30 p.m. at Mitchell Auditorium. From the famed Aspen Music Festival in Colorado come these five acclaimed musicians united in their love for chamber music. All highly regarded solo artists, the Aspen Ensemble includes pianist Rita Sloan, flutist Nadine Asin, violinist David Perry, violist Victoria Chiang and cellist Michael Mermagen. Chiang, incidentally, is married to Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra conductor Markand Thakar.

Other Matinee Musicale events include a college student scholarship recital and reception March 27, 2003, at Sacred Heart Music Center and an annual luncheon on May 20, 2003.

A season ticket includes four concerts for $50; $40 senior; $20 student. Tickets at the door are $15 single, $6 students. For tickets, call Kim Squillace at (218) 525-9413.

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